Contextual, organisational and strategic background
Multilab is a physical space within the Faculty as well as a space for project planning. It aims to promote excellence, to create synergies among academics inside the university while fostering strong external links with schools and educational institutions (local, national and international networks). It was conceived as a way to cultivate active and transformative didactics and to carry out research for and with schools.
The educational programme (CV) of the Master degree in Primary Education places particular importance on the following points related to joint projects:
- The realisation of shared projects (carried out by lecturers, lab instructors, training leaders) able to foster a virtual circle or network. It is envisaged that training leaders would coordinate themselves across the distinct disciplinary areas;
- The adoption of a student portfolio, which would have the double function of documenting processes and products while encouraging reflection on actions taken through the inclusion of an individual development plan, would accompany each and every student – from the first to the fifth year of the MEd degree course.
- Tutoring sessions will be provided by lecturers and peer tutoring will be shared among students.
Thematic Multilab nuclei are:
- Children’s Literature
- Adult and permanent education: strategies, educational/ training paths and processes
The fundamental aim of the MultiLab is the promotion of active, participative and generative learning for future teachers in primary schools and nurseries, and more generally of in-service teachers from different school levels. In short: learning by doing/ hands on/ minds on/ transformative and generative learning for different audiences and communities.
With whom, for whom and with which goals?
MultiLab is characterised as:
- An equipped project space available to single labs; active and participative learning opportunities; training sessions with future teachers and with in-service teachers;
- An interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary academic team engaged in project making, in monitoring of research projects and didactic training in collaboration with schools and with other cultural and educational institutions;
- A point of reference in a network of intentional training with educational agents (school administrators, museums, libraries, media libraries, cultural associations) that co-design and realise educational pathways and cultural events in partnership.
How? The theoretical-methodological framework
As the etymology “laboratory” suggests, MultiLab is centred on labour, an activity performed in the first person by its participants. MultiLab adopts didactic and technical methodologies that are coherent with both the syntax of the cultural object of the lab and with an active and participatory approach by members.
This entails the creation of learning contexts in which:
- space is given to forms of solidarity which link the subject to the context through action, discovery, understanding and collaboration;
- forms of relation are privileged that facilitate the comparisons of different points of view and competencies (skills);
- the value of coordinating one’s own action with those of experts (through imitation, observation, comparison) is recognised.
- Achieving high quality of teaching in the University and schools; high quality of research for and with various educational bodies (school authorities)
- Developing a network and integrated project planning; developing a culture and a way of working able to generate human and cultural capital and to connect the University to society (schools – families – communities)
- Comparing and exchanging models of intervention and teaching methodologies
- Developing an integrated and interdisciplinary training programme, educational courses and cultural events with schools, regional authorities and various contexts.
Monitoring Evaluation (assessment for learning)
Monitoring activity, self-evaluation, assessment, documentation are linked with individual learning pathways and initiatives and the ways in which MultiLab evolves as a whole.
We consider the following process indicators:
- Generativity of the created training system in place: network development; interdisciplinary institutional teamwork; increase of citizens’ and families’ participation in promoted initiatives; engagement of students in the form of peer tutoring and/or in the form of collaboration in research and in team working groups
- Maintenance of student presence in courses where attendance is compulsory and maintenance of students’ attendance above 75% in laboratories
- Keeping regular meetings with school teachers who participate in research projects.
We consider the following product indicators:
- Number of classes involved in research/discovery pathways, games and national and international competitions;
- Number of teachers (nursery, primary school and high school) linked with Projects and Research teams;
- Satisfaction expressed by students in relation to courses, labs and training (to be assessed through anonymous questionnaires compiled when registering for the exam);
- Satisfaction expressed by teachers who are responsible for welcoming students, by trainees and institutional leaders at different organisational levels (data to be collected through questionnaires, focus groups, interviews).