Laurea Magistrale a ciclo unico (Single cycle degree/Combined Bachelor and Master - 300/360 ECTS) in Primary teacher education

Degree programme

Programme type Laurea Magistrale a ciclo unico (Single cycle degree/Combined Bachelor and Master - 300/360 ECTS)
Academic Year 2014/2015
General policies and regulations D.M. 270
Code 8540
Course class LM-85 BIS - Primary Teacher Education
Years in which the programme is being held I - II - III - IV
Mode of study Convenzionale
Admission typology Restricted access
Place of teaching Bologna
Programme Director Maurizio Fabbri
Teachers Teachers
Language Italian

Programme profile

Specific learning outcomes of the Programme

The degree programme in Science of Primary Education is structured as a single curriculum without division into options. It aims to provide advanced theoretical and practical training in the subjects – psycho-pedagogy, teaching methodology, technology and research – that concern the professional profile of a pre-school and primary school teacher. The curriculum contains prescribed course units covering theory and teacher training for the levels of schooling mentioned. It also provides specific training in handling and integrating cases of special needs pupils.

The single-cycle degree programme in Science of Primary Education aims to produce all-round teachers who can combine the creativity, flexibility and young-learner-motivating approach needed for pre-school, with the subject-by-subject approach typical of primary school. The purpose is to ensure greater continuity between the two school levels as the teachers are proficient in both settings.

Teachers trained by the single-cycle degree programme will also be competent at including special needs children; they will learn to make a positive feature of the difference, work to bring out the personal qualities and set up an enhanced climate of cooperation between the class teacher and the teaching assistant. Teachers need to learn how to note and cope with learning differences and obstacles by deliberate strategies based on recent research in educational psychology. The class teacher will also need to know how to turn differences of cultural background to good effect.

The programme includes in-depth learning of the subjects to be taught, as well as the most effective teaching strategies to encourage genuine learning and keep school children motivated. The professional training covers both cognitive learning and the relating-feeling side, with the teacher helping to mould the child as a whole in a positive atmosphere conducive to individual and group wellbeing.

The curriculum is made up of “basic educational subjects” developing psycho-pedagogic, teaching-methodology, socio-anthropological and digital skills, and also a core area devoted to the teaching syllabus at both school levels (“school learning”) and the learning of English.

A third area concerns special needs pupils and how to integrate them.

The tuition includes course work and laboratories enabling students to apply what they have learned in class, for instance by producing teaching materials, devising techniques and using group-work and discussion to hone teamwork skills and critical thinking.

A) SPECIFIC LEARNING OUTCOMES AND DESCRIPTION OF CURRICULUM AND BASIC TRAINING: PSYCHOPEDAGOGY AND TEACHING METHODOLOGY.

Specific learning outcomes

Graduates are expected to:

- master the rudiments of developmental and educational psychology so as to understand the factors involved in education and have an informed critical approach to the main teaching and pedagogical models;

- know about child development with reference to sensory input, attention, the language process, memory, thinking, reasoning and problem solving;

- learn about the emotional sphere and the socialization process;

- hone the ability to observe child behaviour;

- possess teaching resources (ability to organize the classroom as a setting for learning and group relating; mastery of a range of teaching methods suitable for a constructive social approach to learning; ability to use a combination of flexible teaching strategies according to the real needs and learning processes at work among the pupils; ability to liaise with the other class teachers over teaching plans and projects, adapting application and assessment of these in an open flexible manner tailored to different degrees of learning difficulty);

- build up professional receptiveness concerning their own and colleagues' teaching experience, within a developing dynamic understanding of the teacher profile;

- recognise the didactic potential of new technology and integrate it into the learning environment they create;

- be familiar with the basic tenets of educational research and its strategies, and try these out or innovate with them in educational practice;

- be able to conduct educational research in the field, by a process of observation, documentation, innovation and assessment of their own teaching performance and its results;

- know about the historical and social contexts in which their profession has been practised;

- understand their own work in relation to education system rules, and compare it with developments in education policy in Europe and the wider world;

- cope with classroom differences and mixes, learning to include pupils from different origins or with special educational needs, in the name of equality and fairness at school.

Forms of teaching to achieve these goals

Teaching will consist of direct classroom work, including multimedia technology (software, video recordings, films...); guided practical lessons; laboratory work and project analysis; educational intervention; the production of group projects; methods of assessment; role play; review with experts; group work and discussion.

B) SPECIFIC LEARNING OUTCOMES AND DESCRIPTION OF CURRICULUM CONCERNING CORE AREA TUITION

I. Area 1: school learning

1. Language and literature

Specific expected learning outcomes

The language syllabus to be covered includes:

- knowledge of how the Italian language developed and the varieties of it found throughout the country;

- awareness of the variety of linguistic and cultural forms generated in Italy by pressure from other tongues;

- clarity as to the essential structures of the Italian language, above all its morphology and syntax;

- distinction between different registers and understanding of the range of linguistic variables;

- knowledge of the phases at which language is acquired in the natural state and under tuition;

- developing an ability to talk about language according to models of language teaching;

- creating an ability to manipulate language, and how this reflects on specific primary school teaching;

- knowledge of the processes underlying reading and writing, towards the development of textual skills (from the first learning stages to sophisticated models);

- broadening lexis and use of modern tools to this effect;

- developing an ability to choose teaching materials suited to the pupils' capacities, via objective criteria such as legibility and comprehensibility.

In training future pre-school and primary school teachers, the literature syllabus is designed to:

- instil the habit of reading as a lifelong learning mechanism, channelled through specific children's literature;

- teach how to interpret the literary message, picking up the ideas and feelings;

- provide criteria by which to judge the aesthetic qualities and values contained in texts and choose passages or works for the children to read, thus forming their taste;

- help students understand the narrative idea and how it is structured;

- teach how to analyse and comment on a text;

- familiarise students with the Italian literary tradition and how it has come down to us.

The forms of teaching include:

- classroom teaching with auxiliary material;

- practical lessons and application in the laboratory;

- use of electronic reference works for language (linguistic corpora, e-dictionaries, tools of stylistic analysis, grammar tables) and for reading/analysing literary texts;

- use of hard-copy reference works (historical and etymological dictionaries, dictionaries of usage, grammars, dictionaries of idiom)

- use of specific aids for primary school teaching (children's dictionaries, legibility indexes, teaching software)

- analysing grammars (historical, normative, descriptive)

- reading and analysing literary texts.

2) Foreign language (English) Specific expected learning outcomes

The English language goals are:

- a B2 knowledge of the language (in terms of the Common European Framework) by the end of the programme;

- glotto-didactic and practical know-how as to planning and conducting English classes;

- ability to find professional update sources in L2 and to understand Council of Europe documents on recent language-learning policy tailored to young learners and to in-house training.

Forms of teaching to achieve these goals

- language laboratory work (with mother-tongue teachers and self-access facilities)

- communicative-style contact lessons practising English language contents.

3) History and geography

Specific expected learning outcomes

To acquire a knowledge of basic history (at various epochs) and geography, including: characteristics of the landscape and land, and the natural, socio-cultural, economic and political systems that underpin organizations, relations, processes of transformation and identity-building.

The focus will be on:

- developing methods of history research and inductive formation of historical knowledge via document search and analysis; verifying the authenticity of sources; collating sources in a process of historical reconstruction;

- developing methods of forming historical knowledge via direct observation, use of questionnaires, interviews and data collection;

- practice with using the tools of geography by analysis of general, theme-based and mental maps, statistical and ICT sources, subjective, literary and iconographic sources;

- devising educational projects connected with the environment and sustainability, the landscape, the cultural heritage, human rights, intercultural processes and globalisation.

Forms of teaching to achieve these goals

The methods of teaching include:

- classroom work with multimedia aids;

- supervised practical work;

- laboratory work to explore the subject more deeply;

- use of software, video-recordings and films;

- outings to places of local interest.

4) Mathematics and science (ecology, biology, physics, chemistry) Specific expected learning outcomes

The specific aims behind the scientific syllabus are:

- to acquire a selection of basic scientific notions that are important and accessible to pre-school and primary school children, bearing in mind any specific regional relevance;

- to learn about the complex ecosystem of nature, affected by the interdependency of living creatures and the chemical and physical context;

- to learn about and learn how to teach the interconnected scientific subject areas (learning how to: pick out the key scientific concepts and the tie-ups among them, cope with cognitive barriers, devise supplementary classroom activities to develop a systemic approach);

- to learn how to arrange practical projects and the critical follow-up to them.

The specific aims behind the mathematics syllabus are:

- to acquire the rudiments of mathematics in its various domains (arithmetic, geometry, logic, probability calculus and statistics);

- to pick up teaching know-how on the subject;

- to become aware of problem solving as the all-important guiding thread of mathematics running right through the school career;

- to learn how to arrange practical projects and the critical follow-up to them, as well as inventing suitable marking strategies.

Forms of teaching to achieve these goals

Teaching will consist of direct classroom work, follow-up laboratory sessions and outings to local places of interest.

Students will also be expected to do lesson plans and experiment with simple natural materials such as can be used in class, to help the children grasp scientific laws and check the correspondence with phenomena they have observed for themselves.

5) Music, art, motor education and law

The teaching plan is designed to develop skills in art, music, motor education, and a basic grounding in law.

Specific learning objectives

- to learn how to plan teaching programmes for art, music and motor education according to current national guidelines;

- to get to know the main educational models in the three spheres of art, music and motor education/sport;

- to learn the basic concepts and techniques used in practising art, music and sport/exercise;

- to learn about development of movement (motor control, movement in play, education towards sport);

- to learn the rudiments of school legislation and constitutional law.

Forms of teaching to achieve these goals

Classroom work, video projection, analysing documents, dispensing bibliographic material, lessons with artists, musicians and motor science experts

II. Area 2: Tuition in coping with special needs students

In general the specific educational aims and teaching activities scheduled will tend to produce teachers who can combine their basic training with more in-depth knowledge of the special pedagogic, psychological and legal framework required for teaching pupils with special educational needs, and in particular special needs pupils mixed in with ordinary classes. This calls for extra specialization in the science of special needs teaching combined with the relevant health & safety disciplines.

Building on this common educational bedrock, future classroom teachers will have to learn awareness of the special learning needs of the most vulnerable pupils; how to interpret these in an educational framework and with a capacity for cognitive mediation; appropriate handling of the activity programme, exploiting the individual student personality and resources, and using specific monitoring systems as well as documentation of the processes being stimulated and the results achieved.

This academic curriculum draws on diverse specialist experience and training activities, which give students a chance to develop the socio-relating skills needed for team work, primarily with colleagues, but also with families and other health professionals. The challenge is to cultivate a propensity for building meaningful educational relationships in classes including special needs pupils; the job calls for self-assessment monitoring one's own ethical attitude in relation to the canons of professional practice. One's professional decisions will have to be clearly reasoned and socially legitimated; the overall personality of all the children has to be fostered, and special attention paid to the most vulnerable.

Specific learning outcomes

To acquire knowledge and skills serving to:

- make use of the resources offered by the legal framework and the past practice of integrated schooling in Italy and abroad;

- interact with health specialists and families to learn the diagnosis and function profile of the special needs pupil, so that a joint personalized education plan can be worked out, applied and assessed, and tailored to the projected life plan;

- liaise actively with the teaching assistant over the design, execution and monitoring/assessment of the personalized education plan, integrating it fully with the class programme so as to achieve continuity of education extending to teachers of other grades and types of schooling;

- adopt specialised strategies in the various subject matters, tailored to the special needs pupil; integrate verbal and non-verbal language; know and use multimedia and ICT technology, specific aids and structured material;

- keep constantly updated, reading up and critically applying research developments in special needs teaching, psychology, health and law;

- be familiar with theoretical, diagnostic and intervention models in the special needs area, and the strategies to include the special needs pupil;

- know how to respond to the originality of each pupil, especially their learning and thinking patterns, relational and emotional traits, and any specific learning or behavioural problems, or disabilities;

- cope with and exploit the differences within the class where some pupils have special educational needs;

- recognise such needs and offset them by specially planned intervention and modes of assessment.

Forms of teaching

Classroom work will be supported by multimedia products (images, films), practical lessons, open-door lessons (combined with group discussion, dialogue with experts and families); seminars on specific topics; laboratory work (case study, supervised teaching; role play; creation of individual and group projects and materials to focus classroom intervention in a specialised and personalized way; analysis and critical assessment of devices, techniques, methods, specialist intervention); oral and written presentation of training experience (reports on laboratory work participation; internship; documentation of episodes from teaching experience).

Some of the activities proposed will be largely based on simulation and dramatization, to develop and refine the handling of non-verbal language, enhancing communication, self-expression and learning. There will be practice in accessing and using the sources of information and professional updating, including special needs teaching and the main ICT resources. Observation of lessons, analysis of technique, self-analysis based on experience in the field, and reports drawn up during internship are fundamental training ingredients rounding out the classwork.

Contact lessons are also supplemented by e-learning platforms serving both for documentation of lesson contents and for individual homework or small group revision.

c) Internship

Following the experience they gain in their intern ship, students in class need to develop: a capacity for critical analysis of their own and others' teaching experience; an ability to plan their lessons and gauge the results; an ability to measure their own performance against a teaching yardstick measuring classroom management, target level awareness when planning and assessing, and one's own professional role; an ability to handle teaching technology in a way that enhances the teaching performance and educational purpose; an ability to criticise their own performance especially with reference to integrating special needs pupils and those with learning difficulties and disability.

d) Assessment

Progress in the various subjects will be tested by final oral and/or written exams (structured, semi-structured, open-ended). Special projects and original student work will be appreciated (deepening of issues, written reports, continuous assessment -from a training perspective - and final summing up on training projects, or work-up of teaching materials), including how these are proposed, analysed and discussed. How students perform in group work may also be assessed.

Expected learning outcomes

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Course units

Consult the course units in the study plan Link to course structure diagram

International mobility

Exchanges are possible through agreements with various universities as part of the Erasmus programme or other conventions.
For additional information go to the International Office page

Access to further study

It gives access to third cycle studies (Dottorato di ricerca/Scuole di specializzazione) and master universitario di secondo livello.

Career opportunities

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