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Ricerca per l'innovazione della scuola italiana
Didattica laboratoriale e innovazione del curricolo - Area linguistico-umanistica

First Steps in reading and writing: research into early literacy practices at school

Tipo di ricerca: Osservativa

Learning to read and write, which typically occurs between the end of nursery school and the early years of primary school, represents an important step in the educational experience of boys and girls. A survey carried out by INDIRE on a sample of approximately seventy teachers at kindergarten and primary school levels, showed a prevalent attention to the acquisition of manual graphic skills and automation in grapheme-phoneme association, while the development of skills related to understanding and producing meaning appears to be postponed to a later stage. The survey showed that the majority of teachers surveyed take little account of previous knowledge, attitudes and ideas that children spontaneously formulate on how the written language functions, including languages spoken in the family, thus leaving little room for exploratory approaches and also for teaching to be differentiated based on the needs and interests of children.


The general research objective is to identify the most effective teaching practices to develop reading and writing skills, considered both as knowledge of the code and as the ability to understand and produce meaning.

Research questions

  • What are the main teaching methods used for first literacy?
  • What practices are consistent with the goals and directions set by both National Guidelines and the evidence in literature?
  • ¬†What are the spontaneous knowledge, attitudes and theories of boys and girls about written language, and how are they influenced by media consumption? How does this knowledge relate to emergent literacy? How does the method of teaching and learning to read and write affect learning and motivation for reading and writing?

The research is carried out in collaboration with the Educational Cooperation Movement.