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Ricerca per l'innovazione della scuola italiana

Research Structure 11 – Evaluation of innovation processes

Since 2010, the research group has been involved in the PQM, VSQ and VALeS projects which have enabled the experimentation of self-assessment, evaluation and improvement models on about 1,000 schools throughout the national territory.

The experimentations were preliminary to the implementation of the National Evaluation System (Presidential Decree no. 80 of 2013), a regulatory act in which INDIRE is appointed as institutional subject, together with INVALSI and the inspection body of the Ministry of Education, with the task of “supporting educational institutions in the definition and implementation of improvement plans”.

For this reason, the research group was involved in training actions for schools and commissioned by the Ministry of Education to create the format of the Improvement Plan, inserted within the online PTOF (Three-year Training Offer Plan) that each institution draws up every three years. Based on this experience, some themes have been deepened and three lines of research have been developed concerning:

  • The promotion of a culture of evaluation as a process that supports the school in the improvement and transformation of teaching and evaluation practices.
  • Professional accompaniment of teachers through the selection and training of expert tutors (improvement consultants) to support the delicate transition from self-assessment to improvement planification.
  • The study of school governance, with particular attention to the role of leadership and middle management, as central figures for supporting school improvement.

The research activities of the Structure involve all the school players, at class level, in order to innovate the teaching processes, and at school level, in supporting the ability to report and use the results of the training action and self-assessment to orient decision-making flows towards improvement.

Over the years, the theme of school leadership has also been developed and deepened through national studies and European projects that have concerned governance models, as a “social” process that involves all the actors who formally or informally exercise leadership functions, by sharing the school’s mission and vision. In particular, the Structure aims to analyse the shared and participatory leadership models that characterize the school as a Learning Organization and a Professional Learning Community.


General objectives

  1. Study and development of models and tools for the evaluation of innovative organizational and didactic processes aimed at promoting educational success and student well-being and combating educational poverty.
  2. Study of school governance models and the role of leadership and middle management as a lever for change in the improvement and inclusion awareness processes.


Research questions


  • What are the main dimensions that characterize the school organization and what models and tools are useful for evaluating change and innovation processes in the school?
  • What are the leadership styles and school governance models and how do they influence organizational change and promote improvement and innovation processes?

Context – Target population

Educational institutions of all types and levels (teachers, students, head teachers and middle management figures). The activities are part of a predominantly national context and also include participation in a European research project (AI4T).


Institutional collaborations and research collaborations


  • Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna – Dept. of Business Sciences (DiSA)
  • Italian Education and Training Directorate of the autonomous province of Bolzano
  • Telematic University of Studies, IUL
  • Social Enterprise “With children” (Naples)
  • National school networks
  • Third sector bodies