Ethnography in the educational contexts (2018/2019)

Course code
Name of lecturers
Leonardo Piasere, Stefania Pontrandolfo
Leonardo Piasere
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 1B dal Nov 19, 2018 al Jan 12, 2019.

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

Learning outcomes

1. To have a basic knowledge of the methodologies and main scientific plausibility criteria of anthropological ethnography.
2. To understand the construction and analysis processes of qualitative, empirical and inductive data in anthropological field research.
3. To have a basic knowledge of ethnographic methodologies in educational contexts in order to understand the deviation between regulations and practices in an educational context; between implicit and explicit components of teaching-learning processes and to recognize and analyze the cultural constructions produced in particular educational contexts.
4. To be able to conduct ethnographic research in various educational contexts in order to recognize and analyze ideas and educational practices observed in the field as particular socio-cultural constructions.
5. To be able to activate educational strategies that would improve the educational contexts observed, bearing in mind the empirical knowledge produced by anthropological field research.
6. To be able to programme, create and evaluate educational projects in a social inclusion and intercultural dialogue perspective.


- The ethnographic method according to Malinowski;
- Participant observation;
- Ethnographic conversation;
- Ethnographic census;
- Triangulation and iteration;
- Ethnography as experience;
- The concept of resonance;
- Context observation and description;
- One-sited and multi-sited ethnography;
- Productivity of ethnographic failures;
- Self-ethnography;
- Ethnographic research initiation in the educational field.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
A. M. Gomes "Vegna che ta fago scriver". Etnografia della scolarizzazione in una comunità di Sinti (Edizione 2) CISU 2017 978-88-7975-203-9
F. Cappelletto Vivere l'etnografia SEID 2009 978-88-89473-11-5

Assessment methods and criteria

Learning levels will be assessed by one of the following means:
Attending students will be able to choose between:
a) writing a report based on the ethnographic survey proposed during lessons;
b) written examination on the mentioned texts;
Non-attending students will sit a written examination on the mentioned texts.
Students must be able to demonstrate:
- to have understood the basic elements of ethnographic methods;
- to have understood how to apply ethnographic knowledge to educational contexts;
- to be able to express their own reasoning in a precise manner, identifying and selecting the essential elements;
- to be able to critically analyze the relationship between pedagogical-educational thought and ethnographic practice.