27928 - Laboratory (1) (LM)

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Vittorio Caporrella

  • Credits 6

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in History and Oriental Studies (cod. 8845)

  • Course Timetable from Nov 12, 2021 to Feb 24, 2022


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the Laboratory students are able to collect and organize complex information in a coherent way, can apply methods of critical analysis and of preservation and enhancement of historical memory. Students are able to identify a significant problem with respect to historical research and can analyze it with appropriate information and methodology.

Course contents

History school textbooks: editorial projects and comparative analysis in international perspective

The workshop, led by Vittorio Caporella and Giovanni Isabella, has two main aims:

1) To present the editorial organization and the editorial process leading to the implementation of school-textbooks for upper secondary schools, with a focus on professional skills in the publishing field.

2) To analyze - in a comparative perspective - how the same historical research topic is presented by textbooks produced in different countries and by different publishers, by looking into the analogies and differences.

The students are asked, after enrolled in the Laboratory, to send an email to the teacher communicating their registration: vittorio.caporrella@unibo.it


The bibliography is closely connected with the topic being compared by the students. Essays and scientific articles will be chosen by the students or by the teachers during the workshop, according to the needs of the specific themes chosen.

As a general bibliography:

- Giuliano Procacci, La memoria controversa : revisionismi, nazionalismi e fondamentalismi nei manuali di storia,
Cagliari, AM&D, 2003

- Ian Davies, Debates in History Teaching, 2° ed., Routledge, 2017

- Karel van Nieuwenhuyse, Joaquim Pires Valentim, The colonial past in history textbooks : historical and social psychological perspectives,
Charlotte, NC : Information Age Publishing, 2018.

- La storia è di tutti, a cura di Antonio Brusa e Luigi Cajani, Roma, Carocci, 2008

- Vito Loré; Riccardo Rao, Medioevo da manuale. Una ricognizione della storia medievale nei manuali scolastici italiani. "Reti Medievali Rivista", v. 18, n. 2, p. 305-340, dic. 2017. http://dx.doi.org/10.6092/1593-2214/5353 .

- Walter Panciera, Andrea Zannini, Didattica della storia. Manuale per la formazione degli insegnanti, Milano, Mondadori Educational, 2013.

- Paolo Bernardi, Francesco Monducci, Insegnare storia. Guida alla didattica del laboratorio storico, 2. ed. aggiornata, UTET Università, 2012, pp. 332.

- Falk Pingel, L'Europa del 20. secolo nei manuali di storia, Sapere 2000, 2001.

Teaching methods

The laboratory is organized into two training activities:

a) A presentation and discussion of the process leading to the creation of a school textbook from initial design to editorial processing through the different phases: comparison with school curricula; choice of periodization; creation of indexes of volumes; documentary, historiographic, iconographic and cartographic apparatus; didactic apparatus.

This training activity will include meetings with experts from the field of school publishing.

At this stage there are planned:

1) a visit to a publishing house where will take place a training workshop;

2) a workshop with high school teachers regarding the use of the manual in the classroom.

b) Students individually or groups will select with the teachers a specific historical theme on which they will carry out a comparative analysis of two or more scholastic manuals (preferably edited in different countries). The selection of the themes and of the textbooks will take into account the study curricula / chronological paths selected by the students and known languages. The analysis will take place in form of workshops with the active participation of students and with support of the teachers. The final product of individual/group work will be in the form of a power point presentation and will be presented and discussed at a final meeting.

Assessment methods

Assessment will be based on the essay/alternative digital product as described above, on the presentation of the work during the laboratory. Will be evaluated:

1) Understanding the stages of the editorial process of creating a school textbook

2) the ability to critically analyze the various factors that contribute to the re-elaboration of a historical theme for educational purposes

3) the ability to identify, organize and collect information within the individual or group work.

In the assessment of attending students, active and regular participation in class will also be taken into account.

The pass threshold corresponds to the active participation in the laboratory meetings, the achievement of the first two points and the production of the final elaboration demonstrating critical analysis capabilities, synthesis in the organization of complex information in a coherent way.

The structure of the course is designed for classroom work based on presence and active participation, which is why it is strongly recommended to intervene.

NB: Students who are unable to attend the activity (Students who attend at least 75% of the lessons are considered to be attending) are asked to contact the teacher before the laboratory begins to agree on an alternative and equivalent activity evaluated in an oral exam.

Teaching tools

School textbooks in paper or digital edition, beamer, slides, photocopies, presentation tools, computer laboratory.

Office hours

See the website of Vittorio Caporrella