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Ricerca per l'innovazione della scuola italiana
Didattica laboratoriale e innovazione del curricolo Area Scientifica

Modelling as a teaching practice. Tools for teacher training

Ambito: Ricerca istituzionale

The literature shows that there is a broad consensus of researchers and educators committed to teaching science, on the main factors that characterise high-quality professional development experiences. Specifically, these should ensure the involvement of all participants in a research activity, be durable, be based on the implementation of classroom activities, be focused on disciplinary content. Modelling practice is recognised as a particularly useful role in designing meaningful teaching and learning programmes in the scientific field, as well as highlighting the opportunity for teachers to be aware of how to use the model idea and modelling practices when designing curricula in the scientific field, in addition to establishing assessment criteria for learning based on that type of activity. Specifically, emphasis was placed on how modelling processes allow girls and boys in primary school to develop skills in producing manageable representations of complex phenomena, during experiences in which disciplinary knowledge, manipulation of material systems and interactions between work participants come into play. The role of modelling activities when teaching mathematics was highlighted.

Particular importance has been attached to the production of symbolic instruments and the progressive attribution of meaning to them. In this context, there is interest in developing training courses that allow teachers to develop skills in designing, conducting, analysing and evaluating modelling activities.


  • To outline tools and guidelines for developing teacher design and analysis skills, which can promote modelling in the first cycle school.

Research questions

  • How can student-produced representations be used to structure career development programmes that promote modelling practices in first cycle schools?