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Ricerca per l'innovazione della scuola italiana
Innovazione metodologica e organizzativa nelle scuole piccole

The “community school” as a school form for small schools

Ambito: Ricerca endogena

The activity arises from the need to investigate forms of community school in the light of the alliances that emerged during the pandemic to support schools as a common good in participation with the region and enhanced by technologies. This vision is based on the sociological construct, shared at an international level, of reconciliation pedagogy.

This vision drives research to investigate how shared responsibility between the school and the region, the use of third-party spaces and enhancement of the school and cultural heritage can contribute to the design of curricula and teaching experiences resulting from an “animated conversation between inside and outside the classroom”, integrating the concept of “place” in a place-based perspective and in responsible citizenship formalised in the Educational Community Pacts (2021 School Plan).

In addition to the above, the need for change is perceived by the work carried out with the CNR – IRPPS in research on “the school to come”, involving 206 teachers and head teachers, whose methodology, based on the contextualisation of Latour’s Inventory, allowed to rethink the organisational and institutional space of the school after the pandemic.

Over the past year, Research Structure 8 put in place observational and exploratory research processes on the forms of proximity schools with a focus on cultural spaces understood as third-party educational spaces. The study commenced with a training experience that recorded the participation of over 1,200 teachers, recording a need on the part of the school to reinterpret itself as a widespread school that partners the region.

Research questions

  • Q1: What are the constituent elements of the community school?
  • Q2: What types of alliances emerge between school and region?
  • Q3: What role can a region’s tangible and intangible cultural heritage play in the vision of a community school?
  • Q4: What types of outdoor spaces are used in community schools, and how do they fit into the educational project of the community school?
  • Q5: What are the transformative effects of community school forms on the educational offer of the small school?



  • Head teachers, teachers and students of small and isolated schools;
  • Local administrations, the third sector, families in the region of the average Italian province where small schools are located.


  • Representatives from regional school governance bodies (UST [Ufficio Scolastico Territoriale – Territorial School Office]/USR [Ufficio Scolastico Regionale – Regional School Department]);
  • ANCI, Networks of schools or regional conferences that can make use of studies and practices.