RicercAzione Volume 9 - Numero 1
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The first issue of Ricercazione 2017 is a miscellaneous one without a precise thematic path. The article from Impedovo's and colleagues open up the issue, and it is on an important and frequently problematic topic, that is, the development of skills that we can define subject matters in pre-school education. The subject matter presented is physics, and the authors emphasize the importance, even instrutional, of the transition from the almost exclusive emphasis on the development of language and social skills, typical of the pre-school time, to the emphasis on the first steps for the development of scientific concepts. One article in this issue is written by researchers from the Spanish-based language area, in Europe and South America. The theme is the spread of new technologies in the fi eld of education (a theme that is constantly in progress, but which our schools have indeed been experiencing since the 1980s...). In the work by Betancourt and colleagues, the emphasis is on the adverse eff ects of technological determinism, which is typical of every educational system when incorporating technology into educational practices. The authors question the tools available to the various stakeholders (teachers and schools in the fi rst place) in the Hispanic-American contexts to counter the inevitable eff ects of technological determinism. Simple technologies are not enough to bring innovation, but more work is needed on teaching practices, and generally in the educational culture of schools. In this works, though not immediately visible, the theme of skills emerges, especially those of teachers. They have to manage learning environments that are no longer comparable to the traditional ones, and where it is necessary to demonstrate, for them, high standards in “mastering” new technology in teaching. Another work, from Iliev, describes, through the results of an empirical research done in Macedonia, the representations of open education in a sample of pre-service teachers (university students) and in-service teachers. The starting point is that the concept of open education, by its nature close to the radical innovation of the traditional pedagogical concept, is seen in a negative way by the educational staff. Through a quantitative study, the hypothesis is confirmed, highlighting fears and perplexity of education professionals regarding the application of open education in educatioal systems from primary school to secondary school. Two works, from the Italian context, deal with the problem of being at risk students. The first, by Ferraro and Burba, describes a number of possible strategies, partly related to the guidance process, which can be implemented at system level to reduce as far as possible the risk of dropping out school and to make unsuccessful career choices, that is, the various forms of being at risk student. Through a review of the literature and a systematic description of possible actions, the authors draw a scenario that is made up of a consistent problem-taking by the educational institutions where the role of the school is not marginal. The second, by Girelli and Bevilacqua, describes the results of a research conducted in Trentino, in collaboration with IPRASE where the collected data, through qualitative methods, are focused on the representations and strategies activated for the so-called “at risk students” (the so called “C group” of pupils who, despite not having a certificate or an formalized behavioral or even cognitive problem, find themselves in the foreground of future problems). Even in these works, it is clear that reference is made to the subject of skills, especially those not “academic” or “scholastic”, but those that are most closely related to the development of self and individual identities. The third, from Reggio, is a description of the outputs of a European project on workbased learning for disadvantaged students in Vocational Education and Traning. The Castoldi's work if one of the two wich close the line of contributions. Again, this is a description of the results of an IPRASE-based research-study on the professional development of what we now identify as school middle management (principals’ collaborators). The training infrastructure provided to a group of teachers from primary and middle school is described with interesting insights into the set of skills that, if enhanced, could have positive effects on the management of instructional distributed leadership within schools. Closes the number the review of the book “Too Smart To Be Happy” by Jeanne Siaud-Facchin, edited by Berescu. The book is an interesting narrative experiment in which traditional competence (being “smart”) is contrasted, not without problematic situations, with forms of intelligence, such as the emotional and social intelligencies. Is it really true that to be happy you have to be not so much intelligent? Enjoy the reading!
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