ITALIAN JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH <p>The <strong>Italian Journal of Educational Research (IJEduR)</strong>, the official organ of the Italian Society of Educational Research (<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">SIRD</a>), is a peer-reviewed scientific journal. It is dedicated to educational and didactic research methodologies and to evaluative research in education.</p> <p>The research areas include: curriculum development, teacher training, school, university and vocational education, teaching organization and design, educational technologies and e-learning, disciplinary teaching, teaching 'inclusive education, methodologies for continuous training, docimology, assessment and certification of skills, evaluation of training processes, assessment and quality of training systems.</p> <p>The papers are published in two issues per year in June and December.</p> Pensa MultiMedia en-US ITALIAN JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH 2038-9736 <p>The authors who publish in this magazine accept the following conditions:</p> <ol> <li class="show">The authors retain the rights to their work and give the magazine the right to first publish the work, simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons License - Attribution which allows others to share the work indicating the intellectual authorship and the first publication in this magazine.</li> <li class="show">Authors may adhere to other non-exclusive license agreements for the distribution of the version of the published work (eg deposit it in an institutional archive or publish it in a monograph), provided that the first publication took place in this magazine.</li> <li class="show">Authors can disseminate their work online (eg in institutional repositories or on their website) before and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges and increase citations of the published work.</li> </ol> Evaluate teaching in higher education. What is it really for? <p>Cours e evaluations by students mai nly emplo ys simple su r veys. However, there ar e many criticisms about their actual usefulness: empirical evidence shows that they are a ritual way of complying with administrative regulations; the scientific literature does not demonstrate their impact on the quality of learning. Moreover, their focus is mainly on student satisfaction and they do not consider the complexity of learning processes. A qualitative course evaluation was tested as an alternative approach. 106 master’s degree students in education provided rich answers describing both teachers and students as agents; they see their learning processes in a context of academic demands and social interactions. Experience suggests that qualitative course evaluations may give information on learning that cannot be uncovered in a traditional survey; They also support the student learner identity and emancipate his role as a co-producer of knowledge.</p> Renata Maria Viganò Copyright (c) 2020 Renata Maria 2020-06-26 2020-06-26 24 120 137 10.7346/SIRD-012020-P120 Enhancing EFL Students’ Writing Performance through Inquiry Based Learning <p>The aim of this study was to enhance students’ writing performance through inquiry based learning. A quasi-experimental design which employed Time Series Design with single group participants was used. A total of 20 EFL undergraduate students were selected using comprehensive sampling method. Tests, focus group discussion, and student-reflective journal were used to gather data on the students’ writing performance. The participants were given a series of three argumentative essay writing pretests both before and after the intervention, inquiry based argumentative essay writing instruction. While the quantitative data were analyzed using One-Way Repeated Measures ANOVA, the qualitative data were analyzed through narration. The findings of the study revealed that using inquiry based argumentative writing instruction develop students’ writing performance. Therefore, inquiry based instruction is suggested as a means to improve students’ writing performance because the method incorporates activity oriented learning, logical arguments, and collaboration.</p> Bantalem Derseh Copyright (c) 2020 Bantalem Derseh 2020-06-26 2020-06-26 24 138 156 10.7346/SIRD-012020-P138 Educational research, emergencies and the art of educating <p>Editoriale</p> Pietro Lucisano Copyright (c) 2020 Pietro Lucisano 2020-06-26 2020-06-26 24 9 12 10.7346/SIRD-012020-P10 Design competence assessment in higher education <p>In Italian universities, the assessment of learning too often takes a summative nature, usually associated with a passing score of a final exam, despite international literature on the sector indicates the importance of using forms of formative assessment to improve students’ learning. Furthermore, forms of evaluation traditionally used do not provide us significant information about how much the student is (or will be) able to apply what he has learned in future work and in real life contexts. Designing an assessment based on the acquisition of competences responds to a double need: to describe, accurately, the degree of competence performance expected by students; to initiate forms of self-assessment and peer evaluation with specific training feedback. In order to define the skills to be assessed, the main competence descriptors defined in the European context for higher education are examined, which constitute an important point of reference for starting an operationalization of the defined goals. The evaluation rubric can provide us a valuable help to operationalize skills and levels of mastery expected by the student and to proceed with their assessment in a formative way. In this sense, some applications and operational examples are proposed.</p> Marta De Angelis Roberto Trinchero Copyright (c) 2020 Marta De Angelis, Roberto Trinchero 2020-06-26 2020-06-26 24 37 53 10.7346/SIRD-012020-P37 Learning assessment skill at school: a strategic asset for life <p>Assessment skill is considered strategic to govern complexity and to direct oneself in longlife and longwide learning process being a highly transversal skill. Consequently, all educational and training contexts, and among them in particular schools, should encourage and promote its development; instead of this assessment skill rarely is an explicit objective in teaching practice. In innovative contexts students can be asked to carry out an assessment exercise but without an adequate training this request can be risky.<br />This is particularly true in student assessment of teaching where the inversion of roles can negatively influence the quality of educational relationships. To full exploit the educational potential of assessment practices in the school context, it is necessary to relaunch an assessment agreement within a framework of commitment and co-responsibility between teachers and students.</p> Katia Montalbetti Copyright (c) 2020 Katia Montalbetti 2020-06-26 2020-06-26 24 54 66 10.7346/SIRD-012020-P54 Design for evidence-based improvement. What methodology? <p>The main aspiration of educational research has always included being able to improve achievement on a large scale through effective and sustainable approaches. However, history shows how this goal remained largely unattainable and, in more recent times, widely and intentionally abandoned.This work presents an orientation towards educational planning which tries to demonstrate how new opportunities exist today to overcome this gap integrating the experimental tradition with the capitalization of evidence-based knowledge allowed by the support of network technologies. In support of this, it describes an example relating to the development of reading comprehensions in primary schools to show how educational research should proceed in this new direction.</p> Antonio Calvani Antonio Marzano Copyright (c) 2020 Antonio Calvani, Antonio Marzano 2020-06-26 2020-06-26 24 67 83 10.7346/SIRD-012020-P67 Towards a research program on agency through the capability approach <p>The concept of agency is increasingly mentioned in policy documents and its use in education according to a capability approach is particularly recent. This paper sets to review the studies on the matter to identify theories, instruments on how to promote agency in teachers according to a capability approach. It presents three perspectives on agency in professional contexts, these are the sociocultural studies originated from Vygotsky, the identity and life-course notions, and the social realist theory. In the conclusions the paper integrates the ecological model with the social realist theory, and eventually hypothesizes two research streams to study agency according to the capability approach. These concern, on the one hand, the development of forms of agency for active participation and positive social change, while the other pertains to the identification of the specific factors that in each context allow for its substantial achievement</p> Daniele Morselli Piergiuseppe Ellerani Copyright (c) 2020 Daniele Morselli, Piergiuseppe Ellerani 2020-06-26 2020-06-26 24 84 101 10.7346/SIRD-012020-P84 The actuality of docimological studies <p>Scholastic evaluation is an issue that has long engaged research in the fields of humanities, social sciences and education. The evaluation involves psychological variables and is inextricably linked to learning and teaching: monitoring the achievement of the objectives on which the teaching action is based necessarily involves measuring the results achieved. In recent years the theme of evaluation has taken on a central role in the scholastic debate, enriching itself with reflections and connotations that today give us a very different idea of ​​evaluation that is certainly more complex than in the past. To reach these conclusions, the step was not short nor without problems in the scientific community. Compared to traditional models of evaluation, a new positioning had to be sought, reasoning based on objective measurement criteria, promoting an idea of ​​mature evaluation and above all an evaluation of one's own training potential. The present work aims to carry out an examination of the peculiar problems of docimology, tracing its developments over time and to propose a reflection on the relevance of docimological studies.</p> Marika Calenda Francesco Milito Copyright (c) 2020 Marika Calenda, Francesco Milito 2020-06-26 2020-06-26 24 102 119 10.7346/SIRD-012020-P102 Promoting innovation at school: a tool to improve learning programming and assessment <p>This article proposes a tool aimed at improving the efficacy of teaching and learning processes at school. Developed on the basis of the action research paradigm, the format enhances strong interactions among learning programming, selection of learning strategies, and evaluation. In virtue of its flexible structure, the model can have different implementations, stemming from the programming concerning single disciplines to the construction of the school curriculum. However, in all its potential uses, the format facilitates the realization of teaching and learning processes inspired to the key competencies’ framework.</p> Gianluca Consoli Giordana Szpunar Patrizia Sposetti Copyright (c) 2020 Gianluca Consoli, Giordana Szpunar, Patrizia Sposetti 2020-06-26 2020-06-26 24 157 182 10.7346/SIRD-012020-P157 An experience of research-training based on competencies, in the school Melanzio-Parini of Castel Ritaldi <p>In recent years, the world of education has found itself facing a series of changes to meet the increasingly pressing needs of the world in which we live. From the methodological point of view, a series of innovative didactics have been developed, detached from the frontal lesson and from a transmitting idea of knowledge, favouring an active didactics where the student is at the centre of the learning process. In this article we present the results of a research-training aimed at verifying the effects of active and competencebased didactics in two classes (second and fifth) of primary school. To this end, the participating subjects were subjected, ex ante and ex post, to tests that verify their cognitive functioning, but also their approach and motivation to study. The results show an increase in the above mentioned dimensions for the experimental groups, compared to peer control groups, suggesting that these didactic interventions may have both a direct effect on the subjects’ learning, but also an empowerment effect of psychological and neuropsychological transversal dimensions.</p> Federico Batini Marco Bartolucci Francesco Mattioli Copyright (c) 2020 Federico Batini, Marco Bartolucci, Francesco Mattioli 2020-06-26 2020-06-26 24 183 205 10.7346/SIRD-012020-P183 The contribution of Social Network Analysis in conceptualizing school failure: A methodological reflection on an exploratory inquiry <p>This paper presents the rationale for adopting Social Network Analysis (SNA), as a methodology for inquiring into the complex system of causal factors that impacts on the scholastic achievements of at-risk students. SNA provides an analytical perspective that can be contextualized within a socio-cultural theoretical model, by considering development as a factor that is closely interconnected with the cultural, social and relational environment in which the student is immersed. The unit of concern in Social Network Analysis is the pattern of social relationships, constituted by connections, boundaries and gaps among educational communities. Through the use of SNA, it is possible to investigate the structure of social relationships that influence the learning paths of students at-risk of school failure, and the processes and underlying dynamics.<br />In this contribution, the role of SNA is examined by reference to an ongoing research with students at risk of school failure in a professional school. We report an exploratory inquiry in which the SNA is applied to highlight the development of the social relationships in a class of students, during the course of a group activity in a vulnerable school context (developed inside the FAMI-IMPACT FVG 2018-2020 project). The SNA highlights the role that innovative activities can have in sustaining interdependence and reciprocity among students and support their motivation to learn.</p> Caterina Bembich Copyright (c) 2020 caterina bembich 2020-06-26 2020-06-26 24 206 222 10.7346/SIRD-012020-P206 The peer review experience within the Teacher Education course: results from an evaluative research on students’ perceptions <p>The paper presents results from an evaluative research regarding the use of peer review in the context of Teacher Education internship at the University of Padova. The assignment for the peer review cycle was the internship project. The research aimed to monitor students’ perceptions in order to identify areas of improvement and tailor the model for further systematic implementations and involved 143 students enrolled in the 4th and 5th year. Recent research on peer review shows how this approach fosters students to take an active role in their learning, reflecting on their own assignments, reinforcing knowledge and skills, learning by sharing and comparing perspectives with peers at different levels, developing assessment and self-assessment skills. The current research seems to confirm these findings, showing positive students’ perceptions regarding the efficacy of peer review, specifically of the giving feedback, receiving feedback, writing self-feedback phases, and highlighting relevant impacts on the learning process. The peer review cycle has been improved based on suggestions emerged from the research and the model is now applied within all years of the internship.</p> Ettore Felisatti Anna Serbati Sara Paccagnella Copyright (c) 2020 Ettore Felisatti, Anna Serbati, Sara Paccagnella 2020-06-26 2020-06-26 24 223 244 10.7346/SIRD-012020-P223 A school for emancipation <p>In this contribution (transcription of his video intervention) Philippe Meirieu takes up the themes covered in his latest book, A school for emancipation (Armando, 2020). From a historical and epistemological point of view, Meirieu takes up four divisive factors that crossed the New Education movement in the twentieth century: the “ideal school” vs. the “single school”, free group practices vs. the most regulated group practices, the “natural” methods (Freinet) vs. the methods that prefer the use of structured materials (Montessori), the absolute respect of the boy vs. the need to introduce “fruitful” constraints.<br />From a philosophical point of view, Meirieu recalls how pedagogy, as a theoretical practice, contains three dimensions: the aims, the knowledge and the practices. What makes such a pedagogy is the consistency between these three aspects. The intervention ends with the proposal of some practices on which it is urgent to work: practices to make the school a place of deceleration, the construction of attentional devices, a “demanding” evaluation to overcome the “banking” evaluation prevailing today, the construction the collective (the school is a place where you learn together), the centrality of culture as a good that can be shared.</p> Philippe Meirieu Copyright (c) 2020 Philippe Meirieu 2020-06-26 2020-06-26 24 13 20 10.7346/SIRD-012020-P13 Communication and comprehension. Methodological rigor and civic engagement in Lucia Lumbelli’s research <p>The article presents the impressive research work of the recently deceased Lucia Lumbelli, founding partner of SIRD. She was a very original researcher in topics such as the verbal communication in education, audiovisual communication and the promotion of text comprehension. The common ground of her research was always the aim to promote the students’ autonomy and motivation, which is often lacking because of sociocultural factors. Her pedagogical assumptions and research methodology, a kind of exploratory research, in which theoretical devices and empirical data interact, are also<br />presented.</p> Roberta Cardarello Enver Bardulla Copyright (c) 2020 Roberta Cardarello, Enver Bardulla 2020-06-26 2020-06-26 24 21 36 10.7346/SIRD-012020-P21 Indice <p>Indice</p> Editorial Staff Copyright (c) 2020 Editorial Staff 2020-06-26 2020-06-26 24 1 9