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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

Theories and techniques of communication in childhood


Anno accademico: 2021/2022



Crediti: ECT: 12 CFU

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Luca Toschi is full professor of Sociology of Cultural and Communicative Processes at the University of Florence, Director of the Center for Generative Communication (CfGC) of the Department of Political and Social Sciences of the same University and coordinator of the first level master’s course in Medical-Scientific Communication and Health Services.

At the CfGC, Toschi studies and experiments, together with a group of collaborators with various skills and backgrounds, the paradigm of generative communication, carrying out research projects with numerous public and private companies and institutions.

He graduated in Italian philology at the University of Florence, he began his academic career in 1971 at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). Even after returning to Italy, he continued to collaborate with several American universities, including Harvard University, Stanford University, University of Connecticut, and Brown University.

Toschi teaches in the Master’s degree course in Communication Theories and in the Bachelor’s degree courses in Humanities for Communication and Agricultural Science and Technology, as well as in several master and postgraduate courses.

Toschi is editor-in-chief of the series ‘Scientia atque Usus’, published by Olschki and the journal ‘Officine di scientia’ (



The course is organised in 4 modules, which cover the following topics in detail:

  • Module 1 – A school for complexity

Introduction to the course; Generative communication; The didactics of the future, with reference to today public speaking and communication in the classroom in its different meanings: school, communication, new technologies, creativity. An unprecedented communication for an unprecedented situation; From the Pestalozzi City School experience to today; from the war for fire to the war for complexity

  • Module 2 – Creativity and expression. Prototypes

Identity and ghosts of communication; what communication is thought to be today and what it really is in technical terms; the role of creativity in educational communication; creativity – history of the idea of creativity (“Quel flusso inenarrabile della creatività”, cap. 7 of the book Comunicazione generativa); creativity and prototypes of digital texts – Promessi sposi and Commedie by Goldoni; Pirandello and Verga: cinema, photography and literature. Prototypes of digital texts.


  • Module 3 – Elements of generative communication

“Gli algoritmi del potere” (ch. 5 of the volume Comunicazione generativa); “Scuola di comunicazione” (ch. 4 of the volume Comunicazione generativa); “La società sceneggiata” (ch. 1, of the volume Generative Communication); “Essere e comunicare” (ch. 2, of the volume Comunicazione generativa); comparison of the different communicative paradigms that can be used in educational and children’s communication.


  • Module 4 – Robots come from afar

The communicative drift (ch. 3, of the volume Comunicazione generativa); History of the concept of communication: from classical rhetoric to robots; public speaking: from eloquence to communication in the classroom and with children; the challenges of the future: education to complexity; generative writing techniques.

The course in “Theories and Techniques of Communication in Childhood” aims to promote the acquisition of theoretical, methodological and technical knowledge on the paradigm of generative communication and its application in the educational field.

The aim of the course is to foster the acquisition of theoretical, methodological and technical knowledge about the generative communication paradigm and its application in education, with particular attention to the field of educational communication for children.

The course aims to provide a general view of the generative communication paradigm and a set of application cases, including the didactic use of new information and communication technologies, in order to promote its appropriation by the students and stimulate reflection on its application in specific work and training contexts, especially with regard to educational services for children, but also for adolescents and adults.

Above all, the course aims to stimulate students towards reflective, individual and shared paths regarding the profound meaning of communication in contemporary society and its concrete effects in everyday life and work contexts.

A. Knowledge and understanding
Understanding and internalising the generative paradigm of communication.

B. Applied knowledge and understanding
Ability to apply the generative communication paradigm to one’s own professional and working environment.

C. Autonomy of judgement
Ability for critical judgement and for making relationships between theoretical concepts and their possible applications to real contexts.

D. Communication skills
Ability to communicate effectively, being ble to express the relationship between what has been studied and what practised on a daily basis.

E. Learning ability
Ability to learn and to study in-depth also autonomously, through a correct use of the sources and the contents discussed in the lessons and in the reference volumes.

A. Use of advanced textbooks, knowledge of some cutting-edge topics within the subject studied.
Knowledge of the most advanced research and applications of the generative communication paradigm

B. Professional approach to 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.
Through the analysis of “case studies” and practical examples taken from everyday life, the socio-psycho-pedagogical mechanisms at the basis of our critical thinking, which underlie the ways in which we formulate judgements and opinions, will be highlighted. The application of what has been learnt to concrete work contexts, represents one of the main objectives of the course. The ability for critical and autonomous judgement, by means of a correct use of sources, is a fundamental competence that the course aims to provide to the students.

C. Ability to communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions to specialists and non-specialists.
Students will be provided with useful indications and methodologies to prepare a multimedia presentation and to know how to present it using vocabulary and communication methods appropriate to the target audience.
The ability to modulate one’s own messages according to the context, the means, the recipients and all the elements of the communication process is one of the skills that the course aims to provide to the students.

D. Ability to undertake further study with a high degree of autonomy.
Students will be helped to organise their study in a fruitful way by means of tools and methods conducive to the ‘learning to learn’.
The course provides the tools to independently continue both the study and application of the course contents.


  • 16 recorded video lessons available on the platform.
  • 4 synchronous meetings in videoconference for in-depth analysis and discussion.
    The synchronous lessons are prepared in the forums, through the collection of suggestions and questions from the students based also on the stimuli offered by the tutor.
  • Podcasts of all the above-mentioned video lessons.



  • 1 course orientation forum;
  • 4 in-depth thematic forums (1 per module);
  • Possibility to carry out work in
  • 4 structured e-activities (as described in the section “in itinere assessment methods).



For each module, and according to the specific requests of the students, teaching materials are provided: thematic in-depth studies, articles, open access readings, web resources, reference bibliography, etc

  • Luca Toschi, La comunicazione generativa, Milan, Apogeo, 2011
  • Alessandra Anichini and Pamela Giorgi, Lo straniero di carta. Educare all’identità tra Otto e Novecento, Rome, TAB Edizioni, 2020


In order to respond flexibly to the specific needs of each student, the teacher reserves the right to recommend alternative or additional readings during the lessons to students who ask for them.

Access to the final examination is subject to the following 4 e-activities:

  • 2 reports,
  • 1 mindmap,
  • 1 webquest.

Students will be invited to develop one of the cruxes of the volume “La comunicazione generativa” (Generative Communication), agreeing individually or in small groups on the theme, format and method of drafting the paper with the tutor.

The assessment of learning will take place through an oral interview on the course contents and on the paper(s) presented. 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.

Oral interview in presence.