The research was conducted within a professional development-research project with 24 Italian teachers from primary and middle schools. With the professional development-research project we wanted to improve the quality of the institute’s curriculum by qualifying the instructional design and the didactic practices of the teachers. The main objective was to promote the development of “learn to learn” skills in students, which characterizes the European framework and, in Italy, the National Guidelines for the Curriculum (Ryjchen & Salganik, 2000; MIUR, 2002; Asquini, 2014; Marcuccio, 2015). The research hypothesis is that the use in the didactic practices of assessment tools that require students to solve “real-life” problematic situations for an “authentic assessment” could promote the development of reading comprehension and problem solving skills. To ensure students gain familiarity with these types of tests, innovative teaching approaches are required. In this perspective, teachers have to utilize the didactic practices’ appropriate assessment tools and reflect with students about the decision-making processes required by these type of tests. The teachers' professional development-research project focuses on the need to establish a continuous balance between instructional designing, operating contexts, and skills assessment. These skills are consolidated through reflection, comparison, and discussion between teachers and students (Weeden, Winter & Broadfoot, 2002; Felisatti & Rizzo, 2007; Domenici et al., 2016). With the support of experts from Roma Tre University, teachers were involved in heterogeneous working groups. These groups elaborated semi-structured tests that propose to students problematic situations related to “real-life”. (Wiggins, 1998; Tessaro, 2014; Moretti, Giuliani & Morini, 2015), explained grids with the right answers to use in the assessment process and conducted the try-out in the classrooms, to review the tests on the basis of the evidence showed by the try-out phase. The exploratory research was conducted with a mixed-method approach and used both qualitative and quantitative tools (Baldacci, 2001; Johnson et al., 2007; La Marca, 2014). These tools involved semistructured tests based on “real-life” and “authentic” problems, dialogical reflection with students, focus groups and a questionnaire. The aim was to find out the opinions of teachers on the professional development-research project. The results of the professional development-research project confirm the possibility to improve students’ development of reading comprehension and of problem solving skills through the use of tests based on “real-life” and “authentic” problems. The group-works created for the construction of tests and the reflection about the results of the students, represent a strategy that can enhance the effectiveness of teacher professional development courses. Keywords: Assessment, Problem solving, Reading comprehension, Semistructured tests, Skills, Teachers’ professional development

Moretti, G., Giuliani, A., Morini, A.L. (2017). How to improve reading comprehension and problem solving skills in students. A professional development-research project with teachers. In INTED17 Proceedings. Valencia : IATED Academy.

How to improve reading comprehension and problem solving skills in students. A professional development-research project with teachers

MORETTI, Giovanni
;
GIULIANI, ARIANNA
;
MORINI, ARIANNA LODOVICA
2017-01-01

Abstract

The research was conducted within a professional development-research project with 24 Italian teachers from primary and middle schools. With the professional development-research project we wanted to improve the quality of the institute’s curriculum by qualifying the instructional design and the didactic practices of the teachers. The main objective was to promote the development of “learn to learn” skills in students, which characterizes the European framework and, in Italy, the National Guidelines for the Curriculum (Ryjchen & Salganik, 2000; MIUR, 2002; Asquini, 2014; Marcuccio, 2015). The research hypothesis is that the use in the didactic practices of assessment tools that require students to solve “real-life” problematic situations for an “authentic assessment” could promote the development of reading comprehension and problem solving skills. To ensure students gain familiarity with these types of tests, innovative teaching approaches are required. In this perspective, teachers have to utilize the didactic practices’ appropriate assessment tools and reflect with students about the decision-making processes required by these type of tests. The teachers' professional development-research project focuses on the need to establish a continuous balance between instructional designing, operating contexts, and skills assessment. These skills are consolidated through reflection, comparison, and discussion between teachers and students (Weeden, Winter & Broadfoot, 2002; Felisatti & Rizzo, 2007; Domenici et al., 2016). With the support of experts from Roma Tre University, teachers were involved in heterogeneous working groups. These groups elaborated semi-structured tests that propose to students problematic situations related to “real-life”. (Wiggins, 1998; Tessaro, 2014; Moretti, Giuliani & Morini, 2015), explained grids with the right answers to use in the assessment process and conducted the try-out in the classrooms, to review the tests on the basis of the evidence showed by the try-out phase. The exploratory research was conducted with a mixed-method approach and used both qualitative and quantitative tools (Baldacci, 2001; Johnson et al., 2007; La Marca, 2014). These tools involved semistructured tests based on “real-life” and “authentic” problems, dialogical reflection with students, focus groups and a questionnaire. The aim was to find out the opinions of teachers on the professional development-research project. The results of the professional development-research project confirm the possibility to improve students’ development of reading comprehension and of problem solving skills through the use of tests based on “real-life” and “authentic” problems. The group-works created for the construction of tests and the reflection about the results of the students, represent a strategy that can enhance the effectiveness of teacher professional development courses. Keywords: Assessment, Problem solving, Reading comprehension, Semistructured tests, Skills, Teachers’ professional development
978-84-617-8491-2
Moretti, G., Giuliani, A., Morini, A.L. (2017). How to improve reading comprehension and problem solving skills in students. A professional development-research project with teachers. In INTED17 Proceedings. Valencia : IATED Academy.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11590/324007
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