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

The pedagogical approach of Service Learning for collaboration between schools and the third sector

Ambito: Ricerca endogena

The reasons behind the research are linked to the introduction of Service Learning as a variant of the “In/Out of School” idea in the Educational Avant-garde Movement.

The research group thus began a theoretical survey to identify a methodological framework studied to support schools in designing programmes inside and outside the school. Service Learning was identified as a pedagogical reference approach.

From the activity with the first three lead schools, the “Guidelines for implementing the Idea” were co-built which, in 2018, were identified by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR) as the tool to be used to design these programmes in the second school cycle to create PCTOs (Programmes for transversal skills and guidance).


OB1: To define the roles and functions of the third sector in Service Learning programmes;

OB2: To draft new guidelines for implementing the “In/Out of School – Service Learning” idea to disseminate Service Learning in schools, in the third sector and to facilitate dialogue and collaboration between the two areas;

OB3: To disseminate a model of collaboration between educational institutions and the third sector throughout the country to implement Service Learning programmes.

Research questions

Q1: How can schools and the third sector build an educational relationship that overcomes a utilitarian function? What is the role of the third sector? What is the added value for schools?

Q2: What skills can the third sector provide schools to build quality educational programmes?

Q3: How can schools review their organisation in relation to constructive dialogue with the region and the third sector?



Head teachers, teachers and students at schools of all levels and grades, the third sector, local administrations


Representatives from regional school governance bodies (UST [Ufficio Scolastico Territoriale – Territorial School Office]/USR [Ufficio Scolastico Regionale – Regional School Department]), networks of schools or regional conferences that can make use of the studies carried out and the practices put in place.