32860 - History of Childhood Theories

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

Students at the end of the course will know : -         a history of the main perspectives in pedagogy, psychology and teaching on childhood from an historical point of view. -         a history of the main range of child-care services on a local , national and European basis. -         a history of children provision, motherhood and family related to its social and cultural context in Italy and in Europe. -         a history of different types of services for early-childhood and childhood in order to evaluate how suitable the given pattern is comparing to requests and to social and cultural changes. Students will also know how: -         to use their knowledge of history and education not only to design projects but also learning activities with reference to the main instances in psychology and education. -         to master topics in history of gender education in order to plan non-discriminatory activities and improve individual skills. -         to use historical and educational research criteria to update and widen further studies.

Course contents

The course will include the study of education for children in terms of theory and practice  from the 17th Century to the present day. Special attention will be paid to the social, historical and institutional context.


As a useful guidebook for a general historical background (from Rousseau to Bruner) we suggest the following  one: Avalle, Cassola, Maranzana, Cultura pedagogica, La Storia; Paravia, Torino, 2000.

On the history of childhood istituition Students are kindly requested to study the book of  D. Caroli, Per una storia dell'asilo nido in Europa tra 0tto e Novecento, Milano, Franco Angeli, 2014, but only the following part: introduction; la nascita e la diffusione delle crechès in Francia (pp. 9-81); la diffusione delle crechès in Italia (pp. 199-346). The book of T. Pironi, L. Zucchi, Maria Montessori al nido. tra storia e attualità, Edizioni Jiunior, 2018. And also: Di Giandomenico, M. C. Iavicoli, Osservare per ripensare il contesto materiale. L'esperienza del Centro Nascita Montessori, nel volume L. Balduzzi, T. Pironi, l'osservazione al nido. una lente a più dimensioni per educare lo sguardo, Franco angeli, 2017, pp. 188-202.

It is important to study more deeply the historical aspect downloading power point material at the following web site: Alm@Dl.

Teaching methods

Lectures with discussion, use of power point.

Assessment methods

Written exam in the formula of short essay.

Teaching tools

Videos related to  course contents.

Office hours

See the website of Tiziana Pironi