00978 - History of Pedagogy

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 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student: - knows the historical development of the major pedagogical theories and teaching models, starting from the eighteenth century to today; -has tools of interpretation on the main theories and methodologies of pedagogy of century, in order to build educational projects in primary and secondary schools ; - is able to use the skills acquired in the field of history-teaching,to manage and organize the progression of learning, adapting to different times and modes of individual pupils; - is able to choose and use in different situations the tools most appropriate (individualized, mutual aid, group work, etc..); - has interpersonal skills and managerial procedures to facilitate the democratic coexistence of individuals from different cultural contexts,using the knowledge and tools to analyze the main classic in the pedagogical literature, independently promoting the continuos updating of their knowledge.

Course contents

The program includes the study of the major pedagogical theories that have developed between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries, even considering the impact, which occurred over time, teaching kindergarten and primary. In particular, although not exclusively, we will focus on teaching the history of the twentieth century, which has opened many directions and perspectives in today's world due to its complexity and versatility. The course also aims to read some "classics", which represented a "turning point" not only with respect to their frame of reference, but also with regard to schools today.


For a general historical background, the following authors should be read in depth: J. Locke; J. Rousseau; Froebel; Pestalozzi; Herbart; Aporti; Owen; Spencer; Gabelli; Ardigò; R. e C. Agazzi; M. Montessori; Decroly; Dewey; Freinet; Bruner (recommended text Manuale di Storia della Pedagogia, a cura di F. De Giorgi, Brescia, Scholé-Morcelliana, 2021; another text may be adopted to study the authors listed).

And the following volumes:
- T. Pironi, Percorsi di pedagogia al femminile, Carocci, 2014.

And one of the following volumes: Ellen key, Il secolo del bambino (1900), a cura di Tiziana Pironi e Luisa Ceccarelli, Edizioni Junior, 2019; L. Borghi, Educazione e autorità nell'Italia moderna, a cura di C. Betti e Cambi , edizioni Junior; J.J. Rousseau, L'Emilio (any edition). M. Montessori, Il metodo della pedagogia scientifica, or, L'autoeducazione, or La scoperta del bambino (any edition). J. Dewey, Scuola e società, oppure Democrazia ed educazione (any edition). J. Bruner, Verso una teoria dell'istruzione (any edition). C. Freinet, Nascita di una pedagogia popolare (any edition). M. Lodi, Il paese sbagliato (any edition). Don Lorenzo Milani, Lettera ad una professoressa (any edition).


Texts are the same for both attending and non-attending students.

For Erasmus students it is possible to set a personalized program, in Italian or English.

Teaching methods

Lectures with discussion; individual or group work on the issues discussed in class.

Assessment methods

To pass the exam students must sign up through AlmaEsami website, within the indicated deadlines. If some technical problem prevents the registration within the deadline, students must promptly get in touch with the didactic administration, in any case before the deadline. It will be up to the professor to decide whether they can try the exam or not.

Criteria to assess the exam are the following ones:

  1. ability to analyse a text and elaborate its parts in a synthetic yet exaustive way.
  2. critically re-elaborate and make personal considerations
  3. debate with clarity, with reference to the theoric frame
  4. support and enrich the discussion also with proposals and highlights revealed during the frontal lessons

The final score will be in 30/30.The exam consists in a written paper for which 90 minutes will be given. In the paper students must answers 4 questions in the short essay form.Aim of the exam is to verify competences in terms of analysis and comprehension of texts, where conceptualization and ability to discuss learned contents in an organic way will be assessed. Particularly appreciated will be the student's ability to move among theoric references and bibliographic material in a personal and consistent way, to highlight the most important aspects of the subject matter. An organic view of the themes dealt with in the classroom and their critical use, and mastery of a specific language will be excellently valued. Mnemonic or mechanic knowledge of the discipline, unarticulated ability of analysis and synthesis and a poor language will be assessed as fair or decent, gaps in knowledge of the main themes and inappropriate verbal expression will be considered barely sufficient. Gaps in knowledge, inappropriate language and the lack of ability to move among bibliographic references will lead to an insufficient evaluation. If students fail one round, they can try all the following ones.

Teaching tools

Videos related, power point, photos to course content.

Office hours

See the website of Tiziana Pironi