• it
  • en
Ricerca per l'innovazione della scuola italiana


27 gennaio 2022

Free and free to think. Placing critical thinking at the core of teaching

Translation by Giulia Lombardo

Free and free to think is the free course aimed at teachers of all levels who want to teach how to think, applying an educational method that places critical thinking at the centre of learning.

The course offers the tools to create classes where thinking becomes a daily practice and takes the form of investigation, analysis, evaluation, comparison, collaboration and creativity.

To put thinking at the centre of teaching, the course uses tools called “Thinking Routines”, developed by Harvard University, Project Zero and the subject of a joint project with the Ministry of Education in Italy. This method enables the creation of classes made up of students who think critically and are passionate about learning, and is at the heart of the innovative educational model developed by Indire researchers in collaboration with Harvard University and three leading schools of the Avanguardie Educative Movement. This project, entitled MLTV – Making Learning and Thinking Visible, enriched the Avanguardie Educative’s gallery of ideas.

Furthermore, the course uses the knowledge of psychoanalysis to analyse how to promote and manage an educational environment where thinking together, collaboration, comparison and therefore group dynamics have become central.

The course is conceived and held by Fulvia Richiardone, president of PenSiamo APS, a former UN official in the field of training and refugees, and by Stefania Berno, psychotherapist and child psychoanalyst, specialized at the Tavistock Clinic in London and counsellor of PenSiamo APS.

The training is divided into two parts. In the first part, 8 lessons focused on the educational method based on critical thinking. An educational method based on thinking is explored and applied, where the students are passionate about learning and are free to explore, elaborate and express their ideas even if divergent, as long as they are based on investigation, analysis, evaluation, collaboration and comparison.

The lessons are divided as follows:

  • What is critical thinking
  • Predispositions and skills necessary to think critically
  • Tools to develop the predispositions and skills to think critically: presentation and experimentation of some Thinking Routines to: introduce and explore ideas; synthesize and organize ideas; seek the essence of ideas
  • What I learned: analysis, synthesis, reflection, sharing
  • The educational method based on thinking will be both analysed in itself as a method and applied directly to teaching the subjects of the school curriculum.

In the second part, always made up of 8 lessons, you will learn how to manage a thinking class, psychoanalysis and group dynamics. We will analyse how to promote and manage an educational environment where collaboration and discussion are central and therefore the dynamics of the group and of the student-teacher relationship play a fundamental role.

The meetings will be divided into:

  • Introduction to key concepts of psychoanalysis – consciousness, preconscious, unconscious, projections and introjections, defence mechanisms.
  • Group dynamics in the classroom; professor-student dynamics; function of the positive leader in the dynamics between classmates.
  • The emotional interferences that cause learning disabilities – the point of view of psychoanalysis
  • What I learned – analysis, synthesis, reflection, sharing.

The aim of the course is to provide a wealth of knowledge and experience which, if applied in the classroom, materializes in the ability to teach to think critically. To this end, accompaniment is provided in the application of theory to practice, that is, in the application of the technique. The accompaniment consists in solving practical problems and doubts, and helping to adapt the method to the school context of each teacher.

The lessons will take place from February 15th to May 31st, every Tuesday, 6 pm – 7.30pm.
on UNIPOP online, Google Meet. Register at the portal of the S.O.F.I.A.

Recommended book: Making Learning and Thinking Visible, edited by Elisabetta Mughini and Silvia Panzavolta, INDIRE, Carocci editore, 2020.