The VAL VAL Project
The VAL VAL project sprang out of INDIRE’s collaboration with the network of institutes in the Valdera area (province of Pisa ) known as “Costellazioni”: local schools working on the common objective of reducing the percentage of negative learning results and early school leaving during the first year of upper secondary school. The collaboration with INDIRE stems from the desire to assist this network of schools in reaching these goals, throughout the improvement process.
The project makes it possible for INDIRE to lead, observe and monitor, in the short, medium and long term, the schools of the Valdera network in the implementation of the improvement actions.
INDIRE, for its part, will carry out research on the validation of tools and effective intervention protocols in support to the improvement processes. The opportunity to work with 15 schools will also enable INDIRE to experience the models developed with some Italian universities as part of the research project Vales – Evaluation and School Development and test the protocols and instruments and their reproducibility in different local contexts and realities.
The participation of INDIRE as partner of ValVal project meets the objectives of the Area of evaluation and improvement processes that deals – as part of the National System of Evaluation– with the development of planning and support actions for school improvement processes. These actions are carried out by means of support in defining, drafting and implementing plans for improvement and through the observation and monitoring of the outcomes.
Enhancing teachers’ professionalism is an emerging theme in Italy. It sets challenges and opportunities and requires innovative approaches and solutions. INDIRE has among its institutional tasks the in-service training of teachers, for this reason it makes use of selected and specially trained tutors.
With this research project, INDIRE wants to address the topic of assessment and accreditation of educational paths of tutors and students.
In our analysis, we take into account:
our experience, in particular some of the characteristics of training courses, such as the evolution from the validation to the qualitative analysis of the training path, the documentation of the process and of the product, and the tracking and monitoring systems;
a broader horizon that includes the Italian and international debate on systems and models for the evaluation and validation, accreditation systems and use of specific tools such as Open Digital Badge and ePortfolio.
The research aims to answer a fundamental question:
Which system for the evaluation of educational paths allows to enhance and valorise knowledge, abilities and competences for the development of teachers as professionals and as part of the educational community?
In the basic idea, the training of tutors and teachers is a path leading towards professional growth and innovative teaching and learning. The accreditation system must therefore be based on a model of training evaluation that offers teachers a structure to support their development and to be perceived as an opportunity for professional growth and personal satisfaction.
The general objectives can be summed up in two points:
- The design of an evaluation system of the training path, closely linked to school improvement models and to educational needs. This system should be functional to the professional growth of the teacher and to build the professional skills of the tutors of our educational paths;
- To support teachers in broadening their knowledge of evaluation, considering them as self-critical professionals and members of an educational community.
Given the large number of all concerned and the complexity of the path, we intend to apply a holistic approach to the research. We believe that an integration between qualitative and quantitative methodologies can support an innovative perspective on this issue.
The research is divided into four main phases: reconnaissance, planning, implementation and testing. In each step, methods will be adjusted to meet the specific objectives set by the investigation, and during all the research phases there will be a close connection with the activities of the research line dealing with training models.