Educational research [Cognomi A-L] (2014/2015)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Chiara Sità
Chiara Sità
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. IA dal Oct 1, 2014 al Nov 16, 2014.

Lesson timetable

Sem. IA
Day Time Type Place Note
Monday 11:50 AM - 1:30 PM lesson Lecture Hall T.5 from Oct 6, 2014  to Nov 16, 2014
Thursday 11:00 AM - 12:40 PM lesson Lecture Hall T.5 from Oct 6, 2014  to Oct 30, 2014
Thursday 11:00 AM - 12:40 PM lesson Lecture Hall T.1 from Nov 6, 2014  to Nov 16, 2014
Friday 2:00 PM - 3:40 PM lesson Lecture Hall T.5 from Oct 6, 2014  to Nov 16, 2014

Learning outcomes

What does "doing research" mean in educational contexts?
How is it possible to generate knowledge from practice in education?

The course aims to help students to get to know qualitative research logic and practice in educational settings. It particularly focuses on epistemological issues and potential implementation of educational research results.

1. Research theory
Students attending the classes and studying the texts will learn to:
- know the main aspects of qualitative research in education and the actual debate on the topic
- identify and cope with validity issues in educational research
- read a research report becoming able to recognize its structure, logics and implementation potential in educational settings

2. Research practice (optional)
For those who choose to get to know research in action, further aims are:
- being able to build a research design in a specific educational context (context analysis, research questions, research project)
- being able to prepare an interview (focus, conversational structure, questions), do an interview and self-evaluate as an interviewer.


1. Research theory
The course is focused on the following topics:
- qualitative research and its epistemological foundation
- the research design and the process of development of a research idea
- qualitative research methods in educational context, their potential and limits: ethnography, discourse analysis, narrative inquiry
- The interview as a research tool: foundation, technique, applications in educational field

2. Research practice (optional)

a) research design workshop
The students who are interested can engage in writing a research design with the teacher’s supervision. This implies:
- observation in educational setting
- discussion on draft research questions
- writing a research project

b) interview workshop
Students also can (in addition or as an alternative to research design workshop) take part in a workshop on interviewing, including:
- focalizing the topic
- formulating and discussing the frame and the questions
- conducting and transcribing an interview
- self-evaluate as an interviewer

The texts are:

a) P. Sorzio, La ricerca qualitativa in educazione. Problemi e metodi, Roma, Carocci, 2005.

b) P. Milani, E. Pegoraro, L'intervista nei contesti socio-educativi. Una guida pratica, Roma, Carocci, 2011.

c) A few articles containing research reports in educational field. The titles are going to be posted on the website.

Assessment methods and criteria

Basing on each student’s choice, there are different forms of exam.
1) for students not attending the course, or attending it without taking part to any workshop: multiple choice test aiming to certify knowledge and comprehension of the course’s contents
2) students who choose the research design workshop are going to be evaluated on the research project they produce and on a written essay with consultation of the texts
3) students who choose to do both research design and interview are going to be evaluated basing on the interview and on the essay (see n. 2) but don’t have to study the book on interview
4) Students who choose to do interview workshop and not to do research design workshop are going to be evaluated basing on the interview and the multiple choice test (only the part concerning Sorzio’s book and the articles)