Steam and digital technologies in the school curriculum. Dialogue with Sports Director Allega and Angelini

In the light of the latest data and statements by Minister Bianchi on the difficulty of finding mathematics and science teachers, a cultural debate is opening up on the need for an increasing number of students in scientific and technological disciplines also because of the characterization and meaning of the professions of the future.

The more consistent introduction of technologies and scientific disciplines in school curricula allows for a closer link between competency profiles resulting from education and training courses, and the demands of the world of work.

The provision of an extended learning environment in a scientific and technological sense enables the best use of innovative and engaging learning methodologies, which place the student at the center of their learning path, and increase their motivation. This is one of the crucial points of the question: this is the preference, still majority in the teaching staff, for the transmissive modality of learning / learning vis-à-vis scientific evidence that shows how innovative modalities are more effective.

In order to create a school and teaching staff that is closer and closer to the world of science and technology, the vertical curriculum, which encompasses different levels of schooling, must be built on the concept of Research and depend on the path of research.

In other words, research must become the main learning method in the school environment, a common and engaging procedure in which students fully participate in the construction of the curriculum and, through the use of innovative teaching methods, also in the creation of new content , in a logic of “learning by doing”, always under the expert guidance of the teacher.

But what is the elective learning environment for implementing the research method?

Laboratory lessons.

Prepare classroom laboratories and use the problem-solving method, stimulate the multiple intelligence of the student, who is actively involved in their teaching and research pathways, to approach scientific disciplines in an effective and up-to-date manner.

This discourse also applies to First Cycle schools, in the sense that it is imperative to awaken and stimulate interest in science, mathematics and technology, from early childhood onwards, by addressing children who are in themselves characterized by a mind.more absorbing, and the sciences. in an always realistic and practical way, so that disciplines like mathematics can be understood and connected to reality. Scientific and technological competences certainly represent the viaticum of elective learning for the society of the future, the key that provides a turning point in the world of education and employment, which in this way is increasingly interconnected and correlated.

Scientific research, now mostly the prerogative of boys (the percentages quoted by Istat report of 36.8% of male graduates in STEM disciplines versus 17% of women) must be an area of ​​employment for the female world as well, whose contributions to scientific research are already relevant. Therefore, from childhood, the curiosity of girls and boys must be stimulated to bring them closer to the world of science with passion, motivation and a spirit of research. These disciplines, combined with innovative and engaging methods, stimulate creative thinking, critical and problem-solving skills from an early age.

But in order for school innovation to become a system, we must proceed with a ‘contagion from below’, that is to say between schools. Each school should have access to the necessary funding to implement the innovations we are talking about in its curriculum, and should benefit from a certain stability of the internal teaching staff, in order to be able to carry out both adequate training and innovative planning activities.

A school’s planning ability is essential for it to adopt didactic innovation and catalyze the best resources and energies to use it to create a scientific and technological curriculum, the result of a shared vision and the participation of the whole school community.

Today, there are enormous potentials that the school world can meet, welcome and activate, from the world of digital technologies, pedagogical robotics and coding, to the logic of teaching staff renewal, both in terms of curriculum and methodology. of increasingly innovative.

In addition to the need for education, which is derived from the characterization of contemporary society, didactic innovation is also so in view of the professions and competencies of the future. Exactly in line with these needs, an ever-increasing strengthening of the education chain represented by ITS (Higher Technical Institutes) is considered necessary, which represents a huge opportunity for technological education, because the ever-current areas on which their education offer is based are extremely interconnected. with the productive world, both in terms of experience and education, and then in terms of employment (the Ministry of Education’s monitoring reports that 80% of ITS graduates find a suitable job within a year). In short, the future of leading the education and training system is shaped by an important presence of culture and related skills in the scientific and technological fields (STEAM). The addition of the letter A in the acronym indicates how much the scientific and technological approach stimulates creative thinking and allows all students to put their creativity and problem-solving skills into play and also refers to the digital art for which it is of pedagogical Robotics travels to computational travel. Thinking, to integrate science with digital technologies for the visual arts.

To better achieve this progressive and effective approach between students, from the outset, in scientific disciplines, an appropriate and adequate training of teachers is required. For example, to of Perlasca Comprehensive Institute of Rome, DS Angelini reports that: “An important training project is launched, in response to Action 25 of the PNSD, addressed to all teachers of all levels and levels, providing for the creation of a team of experts, both from one point of view of content and methodology, in the STEAM field, selected by public announcement, for which between 40 and 50 teachers are chosen, who on the one hand become recipients of an initial phase of methodological training and then become tutors for colleagues of the same school order, and a later phase, in which the content is combined with the methodology with the ancillary activity for all the other colleagues, in a kind of cascade formation, where the content and the methods merge, because, as said Minister Bianchi, a diploma in mathematics Those who are interested in this choice in education must refer to the notes given at the above-mentioned school. Website published “.

Peer-to-peer training between more and less experienced colleagues is an extremely effective method, unfortunately hampered by the turnover of teachers, who on the other hand with more stability and continuity are a great internal resource for expanding skills on laboratory methodologies of the whole school community. The integrated and interdisciplinary approach of STEAM subjects (Sciences, Technologies, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) lends itself particularly well to their familiarity from childhood, as they meet the infant brain which is more open and permeable to this type of stress.

Unfortunately, the shortage of STEAM teachers, as the Minister himself points out, presents an increasingly urgent problem that needs to be addressed both by intervening in accessing the university faculties of the STEAM disciplines and with one step thereafter. or specific training on the teaching method, which provides, for example, the figure of the teacher-researcher with an adequate professional development. For example, specific university departments of science didactics can be set up (for example mathematics didactics or physics didactics). Instead, the faculties of science today are exclusively oriented to conduct research, in the sense of forming the profile of the researcher in their own ways. But not many university students are able to work in the field of scientific research, so many of them can reach the school world without learning an adequate education about the teaching method or about HOW mathematics for example. “The solution we want”, says the DS Allega “is to institutionalize the figure of teacher-researcher, giving schools the opportunity to build such profiles that can do research in their own school, the fundamental aspect of this discourse nourish and support: that is the Do research to learn. “

The fight against the dominance of the transmission method takes place through the implementation of didactic innovation and the use of the laboratory method, which allows all schools to conduct research, to train their teachers, who can then train the students in turn.

Curated by Olga Naples and Angela Ferraro

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