TEACHING AND RESEARCHING RELATIONAL AND COMMUNICATION DYNAMICS FOR EDUCATORS THROUGH A BLENDED PROGRAMME
University of Florence (ITALY)
About this paper:
Conference name: 13th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 11-13 March, 2019
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:The paper presents a blended training programme addressing 240 educators working in the social field between formal and non-formal learning systems focusing on one of the key topics of the course, that is relational and communication dynamics for education. The programme was developed by the University of Florence for the academic year 2018-19 through a collaborative process involving faculty staff from different disciplines (e.g. Pedagogy, Psichology, Sociology, Adult Education, Social Research) in a common effort of identifying relevant problems for educators’ professional development rather than concentrating on disciplinary content transmission. In fact, from a theoretical point of view, the program was designed according to the following assumptions (Ranieri & Giampaolo, 2018): experiential learning (Kolb, 1984; Moon, 2013), self-directed learning (Knowles, 1975; Boffo, 2009) and social learning (Dron & Anderson, 2014); and in collaboration with the insiders, that is professionals working in the field. Mirroring these assumptions the learning environment was organised into four main teaching phases: activation, aimed at encouraging learners to mobilise and share previous professional experiences around a certain incidental case; documentation, intended to provide learners with information about the main concepts of the modules; application, oriented to facilitate knowledge appropriation through practice; and final reflection, which is a second step analysis of the incidental case presented at the beginning for further reflection and elaboration of the problem and the solution. This paper illustrates how these phases were implemented through the platform Moodle, particularly describing the already delivered Module dedicated to educational and relational dynamics for educators. Besides discussing the implementation of the model, the paper presents the results of a questionnaire administered at the end of the module as well as an analysis of the forum interactions in order to assess the meaningfulness of the methodological model, as well as its pedagogical effectiveness.
 Boffo (2009). Content Embedded Literacy and Care of the Self in the Workplace. In: P. Federighi, V. Boffo, I. Darjan. Content Embedded Literacy of the Self in the Workplace, pp. 47-58, Florence: University of Firenze.
 Dron, J., & Anderson, T. (2014). Teaching Crowds: Learning and Social Media.
 Knowles, M. S. (1975). Self-directed learning: A guide for learners and teachers. Chicago: Association Press.
 Kolb, D. A. 1984. Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.
 Merriam, S. B., Caffarella, R. S., & Baumgartner, L. M. (2007). Learning in adulthood: A comprehensive guide (3rd ed.) San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
 Moon, J. A. (2013). A handbook of reflective and experiential learning: Theory and practice. New York: Routledge.
 Ranieri, M., & Giampaolo, M. (2018). Educators at university. A blended and problem-based teaching model for the training course of “socio-pedagogical educator”. Form@re, 18(3).
Keywords: Professional training, Educators, Relation, Blended learning, Teaching innovation, Higher education.