Departmental development project

The Department of Education, Cultural heritage and Tourism of the University of Macerata has been selected among the excellences University departments pursuant to the law n. 232 dated on the 11th December 2016 (Budget Law 2017), article 1, clauses 314-337.

Acronym of the project: 3 I 4 U

Title of the project: “Innovation, Internationalisation, Inclusion for the University”

  1. Goals of the project
  2. Development strategies of the project
  3. High qualification didactic activities
  4. Project Management and monitoring


The project aims at 4 macro-objectives:

building a theoretical and historical frame that enables to grasp both the meaning and the value of training in the existing society and to re-think the role of University in the 21st century, starring from the analysis of the current socio-cultural reality, even the extra-universitary one, both synchronic and diachronic. The starting point is the industrial society of the second World War II aftermath, to move later to the critique marked by post-modernism and get to the present situation;

re-thinking the conceptualisation processes even according to the contributions of the researches in the neuro-scientific field and, most of all, conveying in a non-deterministic way the same researches in effective and generative terms for the pedagogical and training field. In particular, it is thought that the 4.0 “world” (as thought by Luhmann) is changing the ways of analysis and of the elaboration of reality even for the relationship with what is digital. Such a reflection can but be interdisciplinary and diachronic, to include the relationship between the conceptualisation models and the external socio-cultural-productive dimension;

rethinking the action-knowledge relationship recovering the studies characterising the history of pedagogy, from Dewey onwards, to understand the constants and the diversities, to analyse, finally, how they affect the training of the current professionalisation processes;

rethinking the personalisation-inclusion relationship. A university that has as its objective the training of at least 40% of the new generations must elaborate personalised suggestions suited to specificities and the valorisation of every and each one. Therefore, the term “inclusion” must not be conceived as referred only to specific students (from those with disabilities to the so-called excellent ones), but careful to every student’s peculiarity, in the certainty that only a valorisation of the individual resources enables a progress of the system. At the same time, a path completely individualised devoted to each student could cause the loss the added value for the social production of knowledge. Hence inclusion is outlined as a path able to connect different trajectories.

The previous macro-objectives are furtherly applied in the following research objectives:

1. developing a diachronic analysis of the relationship between University and Industry, which enable to grasp how such a relationship reified in the past, to understand its structured and structuring role;

2. building an analysis of the theory-practice relationship as it has developed in the last two centuries in order to understand how to re-think the conceptualisation processes in an embodied vision, coherent with the latest propositions of neurosciences and the pedagogical knowledge;

3. testing the innovative didactic models that are suggested today by the international research about the university didactics and the professional one;

4. singling out, testing and formalising didactic models that we know can create a dialogue between personalisation and inclusion;

5. planning, realising and testing technological devices that make the processes of aggregation, sharing, synthesis and production easier.

The achievement of those objectives foresees:

1. an increase in the scientific production at a qualitative-quantitative level:

– defining both criteria and methods for the evaluation of the impact of the models of pedagogical intervention on the university didactics and their sharing with the national and international scientific community of reference;

– proposing calls on the research topic in the journals of the centres;

– increasing the ranking of the same journals;

– increasing the number of the scientific productions of the ISI and SCOPUS professors;

– increasing the number of the scientific productions realized in cooperation with foreign researchers;

– increasing the quotational impact level, bearing in mind that the pedagogical field and the Area 11a are not evaluated through bibliometric criteria;

2. a strengthening of the national and international networks, even attracting excellent students and foreign researchers:

– organizing the excellence weeks, that is to say events with seminars and workshops that can enable to help the processes for sharing the research with international experts and with the visiting professors/scholars;

– building a data bank of research materials and information resources produced by the project and by other university data bank;

– increasing the presence of visiting professors/scholars;

– increasing the number of PhD scholarships co-funded by companies;

– favouring the strengthening of a network among the Italian universities that are investigating on university didactics;

– realizing seminars and conferences even connected with international projects;

– organizing specific sessions within international conferences.

3. the availability of new resources for the research:

– collecting and organising bibliographic and instrumental materials, which enable to document the activated processes in their diachronic development;

– realizing and equipping workshops to test the aspects concerning university didactics, the conceptualisation process analysis and the problems related to inclusion;

– realizing materials for the teachers’ training even online, by sharing them with other universities;

– planning, realising and testing digital artefacts that support personalisation and inclusion, evaluation and monitoring of the quality in the university didactics, starting from the implementation of new functions in the already existing university management dashboard.

2. Development strategies of the project

The Department already has 2 research Centres and 2 journals. The Centres rely on consolidated national education networks and on 5 European on-going funded projects on pedagogical-didactic topics. The Department has activated in the last 10 years agreements with 205 European bodies and third Countries and with 53 national bodies.

Along the project the Department commits to:

– acquisition and testing of technological tools to support personalization in the teaching/learning processes for the whole students’ component (from those with disabilities to the so-called excellent ones);

– acquisition and testing of technological tools to support inclusion.

The Department, due to this project, will activate actions for attracting talents, improving the structures and activating highly qualifying didactics activities and PhD scholarships co-funded by companies, even with the support of regional financial assets.

Therefore, the project should enable to:

– build a national network that, coherently with the Ministry objectives, has the goal of activating and evaluating innovative practices for the university didactics;

– widen the international network, already active, mainly with UCL University of London (Institute of Education), of Seville (Grupo de Investigación, Evaluación y Tecnología Educativa), of Geneva (Théories, actions, langages et savoirs en formation à l’enseignement) and of Sao Paulo (Laboratório de Investigação dos Desvios da Aprendizagem), with the International Standing Conference for the History of Education, the Sociedad Española de Historia de la Educación, the Sociedad Española para el Estudio del Patrimonio Histórico-Educativo and the Centro Internacional de la Cultura Escolar.

3. High qualification didactic activities

The qualifying point of the project will be the realisation of didactic activities that favour processes for sharing the research with international experts.

Some “excellence weeks” will be organised when the international experts could face an issue concerning their research topic in the framework of workshops and seminars that enable to deepen the topic and to gain the related expertise and skills. The didactic activity is open, in addition to the interested professors, to PhD students and students attending the 2-year specialisation courses selected according to the credits gained, the average of their marks and a specific interest for the topic. During every week a meeting opened to the national community will be foreseen, along which some foreign experts could be able to meet the Italian professors interested in the topic and eventually start shared research paths.

The documents concerning the excellence weeks will enable to build a document archive that collects, through videos and written documents, what is produced in the different activities.

4. Project management and monitoring

The management of the project will be entrusted to a Steering Committee (SC), made up of professors representing pedagogical education areas of the Department and by an E.P. that will be in charge of the technical administrative coordination. The project’s monitoring and evaluation will be implemented by two bodies: the SC, entrusted to the project management, and the External Board of Evaluation (CEV), made up of international experts.

The SC, which will be chaired by the Director of the Department and will meet on a biannual base, will have a strategic role of systematization of the internal-external initiatives to the project, it will ensure the involvement of all the education sectors, monitor the impact of the activities and discuss further opportunities of development aimed at the excellence objective, performing the following tasks:

– monitoring the state of progress report and bringing about corrective measures, wherever necessary;

– considering the directions received by the CEV in the implementation of the following biannual activity;

– evaluating new opportunities that could contribute to the strengthening of the Department, in addition to those already singled out when defining the project and their own sustainability;

– planning the activities of the following semester in detail. The planning will consider the need of coordinating all the project activities with the Department’s activities on the whole.

The criteria used for the monitoring and the biannual evaluation of the project, including the economic-financial ones, will be:

– relevance: measuring the processes and products that are relevant for strengthening the Department;

– efficiency: measuring the resources used for achieving the results;

– effectiveness: measuring the coherence between the planned and the achieved objectives;

– impact: measuring how the results of the project affect both the national and international scientific community and the university education sector;

– sustainability: defining the degree of sustainability of the results and the activated process in terms of both human and financial resources.

The SC work documents will be shared with the Professors and the technical administrative personnel/staff of the Department in a workspace suitable set in the support digital environment of the University and shown during the Department Meetings. The access to the documents and the planning will enable the implementation of the activities coordinated processes, favouring the synergies among the education sectors in terms of research and a more productive exchange in terms of information about new opportunities which could either favour or strengthen the achievement of the objectives.