Course Unit Page


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

Quality education Gender equality

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

Students at the end of the course will have acquired:

- a proper methodology in historical and educational research regarding formal and informal contexts of pedagogy

- an historical development of different extra-curricular services (distress, deviance, childhood, handicap etc..) identifying their changes in particular in terms of Welfare policies as well as initiatives ‘from below' (local associations, feminism etc..)

- the history of Italian school system and its connections to social policies towards different categories (teenagers, young people, women, etc...)

Students will also know how:

- to master historical knowledge of various types of educational services in order to plan, manage and evaluate new actions in this field.

- to evaluate educational centres in the light of their educational implication and their historical perspective

- to use the historical knowledge of services so that to analyze critically their quality and prepare an action plan.

- to use their skills in terms of historical and educational research to broaden autonomously their personal background.

Course contents

Our course involves a deep study of issues regarding educational extra-curricular institutions in our society from the 19th to the 20th Century. A special attention will be paid to crucial topics such as the transition from the idea of school as something philanthropic or charitable to something social-assisted. We will underline the important contribution of feminism to the birth of new educational institutions.

The purpose of this section on history of childhood’s imagery is to show some of the most significant connections between imagery, children's literature and education: starting from the pedagogical renewal of Pestalozzi and the birth of literary romanticism, the fairy tales collected by the Grimm brothers, the legends reworked by von Schmid and the unsettling stories of Heinrich Hoffmann have contributed to the consolidation of some significant representations of childhood that have had a rapid diffusion - and reworking also in the opposite direction - in Europe as evidenced by the writings of Emma Perodi, Ellen Key Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and Roald Dahl.


The following texts are suggested for different topic areas from the course

1) For the history of educational services:

-T. Pironi, Percorsi di pedagogia al femminile. Dall'Unità d'Italia al secondo dopoguerra, Carocci, 2014.

- R. Raimondo, Discoli incorreggibili. Indagine storico-educativa sulle origini delle case di correzione in Italia e in Inghilterra, Milano, Franco Angeli, 2014.

- R. Raimondo, "Pagine di vita vera": l'impegno pedagogico di Alessandrina Ravizza, Carocci, 2021.


- Ellen Key, Il secolo del bambino (1900), a cura di Tiziana Pironi, Luisa Ceccarelli, Edizioni Junior, 2019.

- E. Becchi, a cura di, A. Freud. Infanzia e pedagogia, Morcelliana 2021.

2) For the historical evolution of the childhood imagination:


- M. Negri Pierino Porcospino. Prima icona della letteratura per l’infanzia, FrancoAngeli, Milano, 2019;

- A. Ascenzi, R. Sani, Storia e antologia della letteratura per l'infanzia nell'Italia dell'Ottocento - Volume II, FrancoAngeli, Milano, 2018, pp. 123-255.


- H. Hoffmann, Pierino Porcospino, Hoepli, Milano (vari anni di edizione).


- E. Beseghi, Verso nuovi percorsi ermeneutici. Immaginario, letteratura per l'infanzia, storia dell'educazione. In "Rivista di storia dell'educazione, n. 2, 2016, pp. 45-56.

- A. Giallongo, Riflessioni pedagogiche sull’immaginario medievale. In “Il bambino medievale”, Edizioni Dedalo, Bari, 2019, pp. 77-88.

- W. Grandi, Prima dei Grimm: per madri e per bambini. Il romanzo "Genoveffa di Brabante" (1810) del canonico Christoph von Schmid (1768-1854) "Annali di storia dell'educazione e delle istituzioni scolastiche", 2020, 27, pp. 208-222.

- W. Grandi, La letteratura per l'infanzia nelle riflessioni di Maria Montessori: tracce di una pedagogia della narrazione come espressione di logica, estetica e cambiamento sociale, in: La responsabilità della pedagogia nelle trasformazioni dei rapporti sociali. Storia, linee di ricerche e prospettive, Lecce-Rovato (BS), Pensa MultiMedia, «SOCIETÀ ITALIANA DI PEDAGOGIA», 2021, 8, pp. 954 - 961 

- A. Faeti, Il crepuscolo dell’orco pedagogico. In “I tesori nelle isole non trovate”, Edizioni Junior-Bambini srl, Reggio Emilia, 2018, pp. 99-147.

- W. Grandi, Uno scaffale di libri in ogni casa. Ellen Key (1849-1926) e la letteratura per l'infanzia. In “Scrivere, Leggere, Raccontare... La letteratura per l'infanzia tra passato e futuro. Studi in onore di Pino Boero”, Milano, FrancoAngeli, 2019, pp. 94 – 109.

- E. Beseghi, Il pilota e il bambino. Itinerari ermeneutici. In “Lo sguardo della memoria. Rileggendo il Piccolo Principe”, Pisa, ETS, 2014, pp. 31-48.

- W. Grandi, I cento anni di Roald Dahl. Riflessioni storiche, narrative e pedagogiche sul principale autore britannico di letteratura contemporanea per l'infanzia. In “Rivista di Storia dell’Educazione”, 2016, 3, pp. 157 – 171.

- F. Borruso, La famiglia e la scuola nella letteratura per l’infanzia. Metamorfosi di un immaginario. In S. Barsotti, L. Cantatore (a cura di) “La letteratura per l’infanzia. Forme, temi e simboli del contemporaneo”, Carocci Editori, Roma, 2019, pp. 325-342.



Teaching methods

Lectures with discussion; proposal of group work and individual on the issues addressed during the course.

Assessment methods

For what concern, the exam of history of education services consists on an ORAL exam. It aims to evaluate the acquisition of knowledge, with a critical awareness on the aspects and the cultural areas of the discipline. The achievement by the student of an organic vision of the topics covered in the course, joint to a critical capacity, in addition to the proof of possession of a mastery of expression and specific language will be assessed with a mark of excellence. The knowledge expressed with capacity for synthesis and analysis not fully argued and / or correct language but not always appropriate assessments will lead to a discrete evalutation; training gaps and / or inappropriate language on the minimum content of the program will lead to marks that will not exceed the sufficiency. Training gaps and lexical inappropriate will only be evaluated negatively. Failure to respond to a question not allow you to successfully pass the exam.

The examination on history of childhood’s imagery consists on a oral exam: learning will be assessed by oral examinations with individual interviews. Interview is designed to test the knowledge of the contents, the linguistic fluency , the ability to organize information that every student is able to master at the end of the course about the topics discussed during the lessons and shown in the texts. Attending students Part 2 can replace the oral exam by sending a written report (15.000 to 25.000 characters) on topics agreed with the professor of the course.


Final score based on ../30 (18 is considered the minimum to pass the exam).

Inscription to the exam on Almaesami website.

If rejected at the exam, it is possible to have a second chance.


Teaching tools

Use of power point, dvds, ecc.

Office hours

See the website of Tiziana Pironi

See the website of William Grandi