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Ricerca per l'innovazione della scuola italiana

Research Structure 2 – Laboratory teaching and curriculum innovation – Scientific area

The Structure deals with the didactics of mathematics and sciences. In particular, it is committed to designing, experimenting and documenting both learning paths and training actions aimed at teachers in the scientific field.

General objectives

The results of various surveys reveal some elements relating to the scientific skills of Italian students. A significant part of the student population does not reach satisfactory levels in mathematics: 21% of 15-year-olds are below the basic level of the PISA survey; in 2020, 45% of lower secondary school students and 51% of upper secondary school students, did not develop adequate skills according to the INVALSI tests. The same patchy results which characterize mathematical skills were found in scientific subjects, in addition to the fact that about 25% of 15-year-olds attending school did not reach the basic level of the PISA survey.

A survey involving teachers showed that the most effective training activities are those that enable the application of new ideas or skills. It was also highlighted that not very frequently teachers invite their students to work on open and complex problems to be faced over a long time and with strategies developed independently by the students.

In light of the above, the general objectives of the Structure are the following:

  1. Identifying effective strategies for teaching scientific disciplines and outlining exemplary medium and long-term paths that provide a possible implementation;
  2. Identifying effective strategies for the training of science teachers and outlining tools that can support their implementation;
  3. Promoting the dissemination of practices aimed at improving scientific education (Third mission).

Research questions

  • What are the cognitively relevant steps through which significant concepts in the scientific field are developed, by also correlating with those of common sense?
  • What elements characterize teacher training models in science, in such a way to promote teaching practices based on the intertwining of formal and phenomenological aspects and students’ productions?

Context – Target population

The experiments conducted within the Structure directly involve pupils, as well as teachers of schools of different levels, from nursery schools to secondary schools. The research results are aimed at educators and researchers engaged in science education.

Institutional collaborations and research collaborations

  • Scientix
  • SIRD Observatory – Didactics and Disciplinary Knowledge
    European Schoolnet STEM Working Group