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Giuseppina Speltini

Alma Mater Professor

Alma Mater Studiorum - Università di Bologna

Adjunct professor

Department of Mathematics


The first line of research is in the framework of studies on adolescence. The current research regards school experience in adolescents, particularly the feelings of classroom justice, teacher's interpersonal behavior  and their influence on learning motivations and class membership of students.
A second line of research is in the field of social representations. A current research regards representations of clean/dirty, pure/impure shared by groups who differ for politics, values and religion.

As regards the first line of research, i.e. adolescence, a study carried out with the aim to1) analyze secondary school students' and their teachers' ideal representations of classroom justice, 2) deepen the topic of students' sense of injustice, and 3) explore the links between students' perceived injustice and their psychological engagement in school, measured on different aspects (identification with one's own class, learning motivation, dialogue with teachers). A questionnaire was distributed to 400 Italian secondary school students and their 79 teachers. Results show that the representations of ideal classroom justice refer to communication, principle of equality and principles of effort/need, and that the positions of teachers and students on these representations differ. Moreover, students report a rather diffuse and shared feeling of being treated in an unjust manner by their teachers, and this affects their psychological engagement in school. A second reserch, in progress, concerning 600 secondary school students explore the associations between teachers' interpersonal behavior and students' outcomes (motivation, school mark, class membership), with the mediator role of the perception of classroom justice (distributive and interactional).

As regards the second line of research concerning the social representations, a research on representations of clean/dirty, pure/impure is done. A questionnaire with closed-answer questions and a free association task were distributed to 450 subjects. Results show how, in effects, the concepts of dirt/cleanness, purity/impurity skip from their daily praxis connotations and assume a symbolic function for discriminating between individuals and social groups.