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Ricerca per l'innovazione della scuola italiana

Research Structure 10 – Models and methodologies for the analysis, reading and documentation of the main phenomena of the school system

The Structure, established in 2015, in line with INDIRE’s historical vocation and institutional mission, places the review of models for the observation and documentation of the main transformation phenomena that characterize the national school system at the centre of its research activities. This is done according to an interpretative line which is transversal to the research conducted by the other Structures.

The choice to deepen the study of the observation models of the phenomena of the educational world and, at the same time, the ways to document them, stems from a reflection on the importance of a systematic look at these processes: despite the great liveliness of the school system, what happens inside it is sometimes limited to the specific context in which it takes place. This is also linked to the need that the observation of the school system would not be produced only by external subjects but could arise – in a bottom-up process – also from listening to the educating community and to the narration made by all the players who live the school every day, so that they could find in INDIRE the opportunities and tools to recount and talk about themselves.

The need to observe the school according to multidimensional visions is combined with the opportunities offered by the new technological paradigms. In this step, the role of the Research Structure is central in explaining emerging issues and needs, in order to provide adequate support, formulating increasingly aware intervention and accompaniment proposals, also in support of institutional decision making.

The technologies and software for the treatment of big data are instrumental in satisfying the need to observe the growing complexity that characterizes school phenomena from ever broader and more articulated perspectives. By systematically exploiting INDIRE’s large wealth of data and integrating them with ministerial data and other sources in an open format, it is in fact possible to create Knowledge Management Architectures that draw on a heterogeneous information heritage, which enables the systematic study of phenomena also in relation to their referring context.

The other research dimension of the Structure concerns the possibility of using multimedia languages ​​to support the school in the pedagogical-didactic documentation processes and to explain the research and experimentation results promoted by the institution. Considering documentation as a resource for starting, developing and carrying out educational activities in schools means retrieving the value that documenting assumes in a society that produces information and knowledge at a frenetic pace. The research group is also involved in the development of e-learning environments and services aimed at encouraging the sharing of experiences and the creation of peer-to-peer contamination and training processes, with a view to circulating ideas and re-using collective knowledge and skills.


General objectives


  1. Study and development of knowledge organization and representation systems starting from theoretical and application models of semantic indexing for the development of knowledge-based information systems. These systems make it possible to integrate databases and heterogeneous information (by source and by nature), structured and unstructured, acquired over time by INDIRE and enrich them with external databases available in open data formats.
  2. Development of environments, languages ​​and documentation tools, and dissemination of the best teaching and organizational practices in place in the school in a generative perspective, making explicit the knowledge possessed by the school and making some of the paths carried out at school transferable by activating peer to peer training processes.
  3. Monitoring the interventions implemented by schools in support of social issues of strategic interest (inclusion, gender equality, respect education, fight against bullying, cyberbullying and racism) in order to support the decision-making processes of revision or consolidation of regulatory guidelines.

Context – Target population

Internal scientific community, educational institutions of all types and levels, USR, MI, universities and other research bodies, local authorities, national and international settings for multilingual documentation issues.


Institutional collaborations and research collaborations


  • ILC / CNR
  • University of Rome La Sapienza
  • University of Florence – Department of Education, Languages, Interculture, Literature and Psychology FORLILPSI
  • Oxfam Italy
  • CSI Piedmont, Piedmontese Consortium for the automatic processing of information
  • Experts in audio-visual and multimedia production
  • Tuscany region