INSIDE/OUTSIDE THE SCHOOL: AN INNOVATIVE PRACTICE TO SUPPORT THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE ITALIAN SCHOOL
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN15 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:This paper will describe “Inside/outside the school”, one of the 12 innovative practices identified by “Avanguardie educative” Movement (http://avanguardieeducative.indire.it/) as strategic to challenge the lecture-based model of teaching and learning that is usually used in the Italian schools even if no longer considered adequate to the new generation of students and misaligned to the knowledge society ( Castells 2006).
“Avanguardie Educative” is a Movement of innovative schools being researched by INDIRE in collaboration with 22 italian advanced schools with the aim of studying how teaching and organizational changes may be implemented within the school and mainstreamed to other schools. From November 2014 to nowadays the Movement has reached 200 schools which are now creating a community of practices (Wenger 1998) and testing one or more innovative practices.
The “12 innovative practices” have been chosen for their disruptive and non -episodic impact in the traditional views of space, time, learning and organizational processes.
The “Inside/outside the school” practice considers the schools as an “open system” which uses the social, economic and territorial context (Brint 2007) as part of the teaching design (Brint 2007).
In line with national policies and european recommendations, Italian schools are testing a deep transformation process that involves all actors of the social context with the aim to create a “educating community”, share responsabilities and help students. Indeed, the main aim of the practice “inside/outside the school” is to put the students at the center of learning processes and create the conditions for success at school, challenge the drop-out and allow the social realization (Goodlad , 1984).
To achieve a shared definition of “Inside/outside the school” INDIRE procedeed with a survey of the practices and theories of the national and the international scenario. In particular: american “community schools” (Black, Lemon e Walsh, 2010), the experiences of european schools as “civic center”, the philosophy of “Open Schools” (Bader, Blackmon 1978) and the italian “case studies”.
The scenario showed the emergence in Italy of a new paradigm (called “Inside/outside the school”) which considers the school as an active and creative player in its reference context.
This paradigm is structured into 4 models:
inside - outside: the school organizes services for the community (i.e.: access to the library, development of reception services, promotion of the territory, integration with health service, etc.)
outside - inside: the school develps and extends teaching and learning programs in collaboration with the resources of the context, i.e.: the resources of the context territory become educational contents and learning opportunities, with particular reference to education for an active citizenship. The school is at the service of the context, stress and responds to the needs.
inside &outside: the school realizes situational learning processes
inside for outside: the school organizes training courses about specific skills for an easy join in the workforce.
In this way, the school establishes a two-way link with its reference context, benefits cultural and financial resources from it, and, in turn, offering learning programs or services for the community (i.e.: access to the library, development of reception services, promotion of the territory, integration with health service).