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Accreditata MUR con D.M. 02/12/2005
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Scienze e tecniche dell’educazione e dei servizi per l’infanzia, classe L-19

Experimental activities for early childhood


Anno accademico: 2021/2022



Crediti: 6 CFU

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Prof. Francesca Storai

She has been a researcher at INDIRE, since 2000. She has worked on teachers’ training, online learning environments and models. Currently, her interest lies in the topics of school design, assessment and improvement.


The course aims to address issues related to the identification, selection, planning and evaluation of experimental activities aimed at early childhood, by offering a theoretical, methodological and operational framework of the main models available in the educational research and the specific research on childhood. Particular attention will be paid to the methodologies and tools for observing children in their educational contexts, as well as to the monitoring of the activities proposed to them.


The course is divided into two modules:

  • Module 1 – Training and educational models for early childhood:
  • Models and experimental activities in early childhood education.
  • Interrelationships between affective and cognitive dimensions in the planning of activities in early childhood education services.
  • Module 2 – Planning, monitoring and evaluating in early childhood’s activities
  • Planning elements of early childhood activities.
  • Tools and methods.

The teaching has the main objective of encouraging the acquisition of theoretical, methodological and technical knowledge, useful for educational activities, especially those aimed at children, in various formal, non-formal and informal contexts.

The course aims to provide interpretative and application tools in relation to the design and evaluation issues addressed.

The main objective of the course is to foster the acquisition of theoretical, methodological and technical knowledge useful for educational activities, particularly those aimed at childhood, in different contexts: formal, non-formal and informal.

The course aims to provide interpretative and applicative tools related to the design and evaluation issues adressed.

A. Knowledge and understanding of the main training and educational models in relation to early childhood

Knowledge and understanding of the most significant aspects of reflection on training and educational models in relation to planning and evaluation.

B. Applied knowledge and understanding

Ability to contextualise the main educational and didactic models in one’s own educational and/or study context

To be able to apply theories, methodologies and procedures of observation, planning and evaluation to one or more educational fields related to early childhood.

C. Autonomy of judgement 

To problematise and argue the main issues addressed in the course.

Knowing how to collect, process and interpret data, identifying theories and procedures in relation to the tasks proposed by the teachers (discussion, forum, problem solving, choice of thematic paths on the web, peer review).

Being able to provide a critical and written reading of one of the recommended course texts.

D. Communication skills 

To be able to explain in a clear way what has been studied during the e-activities.

To be able to interact in groups, face-to-face and on the web, being able to manage data, problems, hypotheses and solutions, choices concerning themes and situations of planning and evaluation of educational activities.

E. Learning ability 

To be able to explore the main issues involved in planning, designing and evaluating educational activities. To be able to select concrete problems, theoretical aspects, disciplinary and interdisciplinary insights in the proposed discussions and exercises, also with a reasoned sitography and bibliography.


A. Use of advanced textbooks, knowledge of some cutting-edge topics in the context of the subject studied. 

Students will be trained to use not only traditional bibliographic resources (paper) but – through a critical analysis of online resources – also digital ones.

Being able to argue about the contents of the main educational models


B. Professional approach to their work and possession of appropriate skills to devise arguments, support them and solve problems within the subject studied. Ability to collect and interpret data useful for making independent judgements.


C. Ability to contextualise research in one’s own work and/or study environment.
Ability to communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions to specialists and non-specialists.

Students are provided with useful indications and methodologies to organise a multimedia presentation and to be able to present it using vocabulary and communication methods appropriate to the target audience. Ability to collect and interpret data useful for making independent judgements.

Ability to set up a research hypothesis


D. Ability to communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions to specialists and non-specialists.

Ability to share themes, contents and problem solutions with interactive teaching supported by digital platforms.


E. Ability to undertake further studies with a high degree of autonomy.

Ability to acquire study skills, thanks to methodological tools that facilitate in-depth study, analysis and individual study also with the help of digital resources.


  • 4 hours of recorded video lessons available on the platform.
  • 2 synchronous meetings on the platform.
  • Podcasts of all the above-mentioned video lessons.


  • 1 course orientation forum.
  • 2 thematic follow-up forums (1 per module).
  • Possibility to carry out group assignments.
  • 2 structured e-activities (as described in the section “in itinere assessment methods”).



Teaching materials are provided for each module: in-depth thematic studies, articles and slides by the lecturer, open access readings, online resources, reference bibliography, etc.


  • M. Baldacci (ed.), 2015, I modelli della didattica, Carocci, Rome, 2004 (part one and a chapter to be chosen from part two)
  • A. Mariani (ed.), 2018, Educazione affettiva. L’impegno della scuola attuale, Anicia, Rome (Part two: chap. 4 and 5. Part three: chap. 2. Part four: chap. 1 and 2 M. d’Alliance, Che rabbia! 2000, Babalibri, Milano

Web resources

Access to the final examination is subject to the following 2 e-activities: 

  • E-activity 1 – Setting up an early childhood project.
  • E-activity 2 – Exercises proposed by the professors on the basis of the content provided in the video lessons and in the recommended material (texts and websites).

The assessment of learning will take the form of an oral interview on the course contents and on the final report submitted, if any. The grade (min 18, max 30 with possible honours) is determined by the level of performance for each of the following dimensions of the oral interview: mastery of contents, appropriateness of definitions and theoretical references, clarity of argument, command of specialist language.