EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH (UNIT A)
Learning outcomes of the course unit
Starting with a reflection on scientific knowledge as a process resulting from the social construction of knowledge which emerges from the problematic perception of reality, the course aims to: 1) help students arrive at a greater understanding of their own beliefs in relation to scientific knowledge in the educational field; 2) introduce basic historical, epistemological and methodological aspects which characterise empirical research in the educational field. In particular, the lessons will focus on problems relating to the following themes: definition of the conceptual framework and empirical research problems in education; quantitative and qualitative approaches; research design; general characteristics of instruments and data collection procedures; analysis and results evaluation procedures.
Course contents summary
1. History of experimental pedagogy (Its birth/Developments in Europe and in the United States/Areas of current debate)
2. Empirical research in education (Observation research and participation research/ Qualitative and quantitative research/Types of educational research)
3. Stages in quantitative research (Subject/Research aims/Problems/Concept clarification, theory panorama, historical-critical examination of research literature/Hypothesis and variables/Research plan: validity and checks/Sampling/Instruments/Conducting research, survey and data elaboration/Transferability of results/Evaluation of research)
4. Different stages in qualitative research (Action research/Ethnographic research/Case studies)
5. Research instruments (Questionnaire/Interview/Conversation/Testing/Autodescription scale/Direct observation instruments/Learning evaluation instruments).
The following texts are obligatory:
1. G. de Landsheere, Storia della Pedagogia sperimentale, Armando Editore, Roma 2001 [pp. 7-90; 101-139; 152-168; 172-269].
2. C. Coggi, P.Ricchiardi, Progettare la ricerca empirica in educazione, Carocci, Roma 2005.
3. P. Lucisano, A. Salerni, Metodologia della ricerca in educazione e formazione, Carocci, Roma 2004 [pp. 11-147; 289-369]
4. Lecture material
The course will take an active form (interactive lessons, mini case studies, analysis of authentic documents, micro-simulations) and will continually make the most of the direct experiences of the participants and the interaction between the students. Classroom activities will be accompanied by the use of authentic materials and computer presentations.
Assessment methods and criteria
The learning process will be closely monitored during classroom activities through feedback.
The exam will take place in two phases: 1) the first is a written exam which requires students to identify the different aspects of empirical research (duration one and a half hours); 2) the second will be an oral discussion on the outcome of the written exam which students must illustrate and justify based on the texts studied during the course (duration twenty minutes).