2 Università degli Studi di Macerata (ITALY)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2019 Proceedings
Publication year: 2019
Pages: 6772-6781
ISBN: 978-84-09-14755-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2019.1617
Conference name: 12th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 11-13 November, 2019
Location: Seville, Spain
This paper describes the first phase of the research project titled MLTV - Making Learning and Thinking Visible in Italian Secondary Schools, stemmed from a collaboration between INDIRE, the National Institute for Documentation, Innovation and Educational Research and Project Zero (PZ), a research group of the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The project started in 2017 and it is still ongoing. Phase I covers the school year 2017-18, when three upper secondary schools (in the Northern, Central and Southern Italy) experimented in their classrooms the MLV (Making Learning Visible) and the VT (Visible Thinking) frameworks of PZ.

The core themes of the MLTV project are the following ones:
1. group learning - defined as a collection of persons who are emotionally, intellectually, and aesthetically engaged in solving problems, creating products, and making meaning in which each person learns autonomously and through the ways of learning of others;
2. documentation - defined as the practice of observing, recording, interpreting, and sharing through different media the processes and products of learning in order to deepen learning;
3. and Thinking Routines - defined as structured tools used over and over again in the classroom, that support specific thinking moves (i.e. making connections, describing what’s there, building explanations, considering different viewpoints and perspectives etc.).

The project draws on previous research on thinking and learning skills, and, in particular, is based on the following conceptual basis: thinking is not only a matter of skill; it is dispositional, distributed, and can be made visible through particular routines and practices. Learning does not happen in loneliness but it is distributed, hence it is socially constructed among individuals, groups, and cultural tools and artifacts (Krechevsky et al., 2013). Learning is seen as a consequence of thinking (Perkins, 1995): it is purposeful, emotional, social, and representational (Krechevsky et al., 2013). It takes place throughout all our life. Understanding is performative, or it is real when applicable in new situations. (Perkins & Blythe, 1994).

This contribution, focusing on Phase I, tries to represent and analyse the employment of Thinking Routines in all the classes that were included in the experimentation, in order to look at what types of thinking and thinking skills teachers were more interested in and therefore tried to develop in their students. Each school participated with a different number of classes of different age levels, with a total number of 15 classes and about 300 students, which is the outreach of the first year.

The project is still in place, at present facing Phase 2, whose main purpose is disseminating its promising initial results to other upper secondary schools in Italy (25 schools). In Phase 3, Indire plans to scale-up, through a cascade model, to other schools, potentially all interested ones, of lower levels too.
Learning, thinking skills, group learning, collaborative research, documentation, thinking routines.