A. Bevilacqua

University of Verona (ITALY)
The empowerment of the student’s key competences in higher education is an essential challenge for their personal and professional development [1-3]. Empowering their reflexive competence, in particular, has been considered strategic to facilitate students’ acquisition of awareness of themselves, of their learning style, as well as of the training path they are experiencing. Furthermore, it has been recognized as a key professional competence in the labor market.

In the course “Methodology of the pedagogical research” 2017-2018, within the Bachelor's degree in Organizational Training of the University of Verona (Italy) [4], a double aim has been identified. Firstly, to provide students with the knowledge necessary to understand the epistemological frameworks of the pedagogical research and the transformative role of education, when introducing opportunities for research and reflection. Secondly, to facilitate the acquisition of skills concerning those methods and instruments that should be considered essential for experts in educational processes who intend to do reflection and inquire-based learning activities. A third transversal objective has been identified, that is to empower three specific lifelong learning key competences, i.e. learning to learn, social and civic competences, sense of initiative and entrepreneurship.

To these aims, the flipped learning pedagogical and didactic approach has been chosen to work with students not only in terms of knowledge acquisition but above all in terms of skills development. During the course, teaching devices have been planned and implemented to facilitate student’s reflection “in action” and “on action” [5], as well as meta-reflective acts [6]. The inversion of learning environment envisaged by flipped learning led students to approach the lower levels of cognitive work (gaining knowledge and comprehension) outside of class and to focus on the higher-level learning processes (application, analysis, synthesis, and/or evaluation) during in-class activities with the support of lecturer [7].

The paper presents the results of a meta-reflective task, where students were asked to identify specific strategies and instruments that facilitated reflexivity during the course and to analyze the cognitive processes that had been activated.

[1] European Union Law. Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 on key competences for lifelong learning. 30 Dec. 2006. Web. 10 Aug. 2014. eurlex.
[2] European Commission, "Rethinking Education: Investing in skills for better socio-economic outcomes," DG Education and Training COM (2012) 669 final, 2012.
[3] European Commission, "A new Skills Agenda for Europe. Working together to strengthen human capital, employability and competitiveness," COM/2016/0381 final, 2016
[4] A. Bevilacqua, Flipped learning to gain methodological research skills in an undergraduate course: an Italian experience. EDULEARN17 Proceeding, pp.3112-3119.
[5] D.A. Schön, The reflective practitioner: how professionals think in action. Aldershot: Ashgate, 1983.
[6] L. Mortari, Apprendere dall’esperienza, Roma: Carocci, 2003.
[7] L.W. Anderson, D. Krathwohl, A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: a revision of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives, New York: Longman, 2001.