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Ricerca per l'innovazione della scuola italiana
Innovazione metodologica e organizzativa del modello scolastico

Making Learning and Thinking Visible. Making thought and learning visible in the first cycle of education

Ambito: Ricerca endogena

Globalisation and the economy of the 21st Century require the ability to learn and to function as part of increasingly diverse groups in which knowledge of ourselves as individual students and as groups of students is a priority. Yet, in many state schools, knowledge acquisition is still seen primarily as an individual, content-centric act, rather than a social, communicative and hermeneutic action. Virtually every assessment and most aspects of education focus on promoting individual performance and achievements, despite the fact that much, if not most, of the learning that takes place inside and outside schools takes place through group interactions. How can teaching and learning extend beyond the passive transmission of knowledge from teachers to students, to engage and inform others inside and outside the classroom? How can we shift the balance in classes to include a focus on creation as well as the transmission of knowledge, culture and values? Hence the research activity is carried out as a continuation supported by the results of previous research (PTA 2018-2020; PTA 2019-2021) for which the international research collaboration project with the Project Zero-Harvard Graduate School of Education group has been a milestone due to the significant cultural contribution, enriched with technical proposals and practices that can be applied in schools.


The objective of Making Learning and Thinking Visible (MLTV) is to support the creation of cultures of learning, of thought and of understanding in Italian schools, together with the development of sustainable and replicable structures, practices and tools that can be disseminated throughout Italy.

OB1: To promote the establishment of student communities that promote individual and group learning and understanding

OB2: To use Thinking Routines, documentation, and other tools to deepen understanding of what and how students learn as individuals and as a group

OB4: To reflect and identify improvements to educational practice by sharing, discussing, and criticising student thinking and learning documentation

OB5: To contribute to a collective understanding of how to make schools and classrooms more effective learning environments.

Research questions

Q1: What support systems, support methods and roles can INDIRE create to make PZ frameworks transferable to a wider network of schools, especially for the first cycle of education?

Q2: What relationship can we build between some elements of the MLTV framework and some existing innovations in Italian schools, for example the reform in assessments at primary school?

Q3: Are there any adaptations needed in the transition of MLTV practices from the upper secondary school to the first cycle school? If yes, what are they?


Institutes of the first cycle of education. Every level present will be involved vertically: nursery school, primary school and lower secondary school. Teachers and head teachers will be involved, identifying in each institution a group of teacher “representatives” who can act as interlocutors between INDIRE and the school community as a whole.