69514 - Anthropology of Education (1) (LM)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course the students will have learned the main theoretical frameworks of the discipline, and the methods of application of anthropology to various contexts and processes of learning in present-day world.

Course contents

The course will begin on the 27th of September 2018

Lectures timetables:

Thursday h. 13:00-16:00 and Friday h 9:00 - 12:00 Room 1 - Via Zamboni, 33

The course deals with the topic of learning process in educational and working contexts, from the point of view of its social interactions.

The theories analyzed during the course are based on the assumption that the learner is an active agent that acquires abilities in a meaningful and inter-relational environment. Hence the study of the situated learning process is conducted in a systemic and social perspective, and is therefore no longer centered on individual characteristics that would favor or harm personal developments.

During the course, the theoretical approach will refer systematically to the ethnographic methodologies, with special reference to the practices and activities in learning and working contexts of complex and intercultural organizations. It will refer to the acquisition of abilities (and the various ways of conceiving of them) in the learning process.

The course entails the possibility to carry out research activities and group works, both inside and outside the classroom, for acquiring abilities through the application of the notions acquired during classes, so that the traditional learning context can be transformed in a veritable learning setting. Through activating an interdisciplinary dialogue between anthropology and design, and though the use of active and participative methodologies students will be invited to imagine and experience creative solutions for the projecting of a flexible learning context, with the aim to foster and enhance the communication and learning processes.


For students who attend regularly the course (mandatory readings):

Engelke Matthew 2018, Pensare come un antropologo. Torino, Einaudi. 

Dei Fabio (a cura di) 2018, Cultura, scuola, educazione. La prospettiva antropologica. Pisa, Pacini Editore.

Bonetti R. 2019. Etnografie in bottiglia. Milano. Meltemi. 


For students who cannot attend classes (mandatory readings):

1. Bonetti R. 2019. Etnografie in bottiglia. Milano. Meltemi or

Engelke Matthew 2018, Pensare come un antropologo. Torino, Einaudi.

2. Dei Fabio (a ura di) 2018, Cultura, scuola, educazione. La prospettiva antropologica. Pisa, Pacini Editore.

3. Dolci D. 2011, Dal trasmettere al comunicare, Ed. Sonda.


Suggested further readings (not mandatory):

Anderson-Levitt K. M.(Ed.) 2012, Anthropogies of education. New York: Berghahn.

Batini F. e Santoni B.(a cura di) 2009. L'identità sessuale a scuola. Educare alla diversità e prevenire l'omofobia, Liguori.

Benadusi M. 2012, Il segreto di Cybernella. Governance dell’accoglienza e pratiche locali di integrazione educativa. Enna:Euno.

Benadusi M., 2008, La scuola in pratica. Prospettive antropologiche sull'educazione, Città Aperta.

Bonetti R., a cura di (2014), La trappola della normalità. Ricerche etnografiche nella scuola italiana. Firenze: Seid Editore.

Boumard P. Des ethnologues à l’école. Paris: Téraèdre.

Capello C. 2016 Antropologia della persona. Un’esplorazione.Torino: Franco Angeli.

Dewey J. 2014. Esperienza e educazione. Milano: Raffaello Cortina.

Dolci D. 2011, Dal trasmettere al comunicare, Ed. Sonda.

Gillen J. and Cameron A. 2010, International Perspective on Early Childhood Research. Palgrave Macmillan.

Giorgis P. 2013, Diversi da sé, simili agli altri, CISU.

Knowles M. 2008 Quando l'adulto impara, andragogica e sviluppo della persona, Milano, Franco Angeli.

Lancy D. F., Bock J., Gaskins S., 2010 (Ed. by), The Anthropology of learning in childhood. Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press.

Lave J., Wengers E. 2006, L'apprendimento situato, Trento, Erickson.

Mc Dermott K.A. 1999. Controlling Public Education. University Press of Kansas.

McDermott R., Varenne H. 2008, Successful Failure, Westview Press.

Novara D. 2011. La grammatica dei conflitti. Sonda.

Pescarmona I. 2012, Innovazione educativa tra entusiasmo e fatica, CISU.

Piasere, L. 2010, A Scuola. Tra antropologia e educazione. Firenze: Seid.

Sorzio P. 2011, Apprendimento e istituzioni educative, Roma, Carocci.

Rogers C. 1973, Libertà nell'apprendimento, Firenze, Giunti Barbera.

Sansoé R. 2012, Non solo sui libri, CISU.

Simonicca A. a cura di (2011), Antropologia dei mondi della scuola. Questioni di metodo ed esperienze etnografiche. Roma: CISU.

Schön D. 1993, Il professionista riflessivo, Bari, Dedalo.

Sclavi M. 2003, Arte di Ascoltare e mondi possibili, Mondadori.


Teaching methods

A wide range of methodologies of teaching will be used to meet a varied set of needs and requests of students. The course will be conducted in a seminar-like fashion, with readings, presentations of ethnographic cases and film watchings. An active participation of students is requested, together with their willingness to contribute to the discussion of texts to be studied for the final exam.

Assessment methods

The student will have to hold an individual oral exam on the basis of the suggested bibliography, of the notes from the lectures and of the contributions made by their fellow classmates in class. The final evaluation is cumulative and will keep into account the students' involvement in any phase of the formative process. Active participation in class and in the lab activities is integral part of the final evaluation.

In particular, the following items will be tested:

command of theoretical and methodological basic knowledge as taught in lectures and seminars;

command of elements of theoretical knowledge as provided by the bibliographical leads;

capacity to critically scrutinize, observe, describe and analyze the various topics debated in the course;

the student's ability to critically integrate any topics debated in class, their critical use and the command of the scientific language will award them notes of excellence.

Office hours

See the website of Roberta Bonetti