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This paper presents a project carried out by INDIRE (National Institute for Documentation, Innovation and Educational Research of the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research), called “Educational Avant-Garde” (“Avanguardie Educative”) and aiming at changing the lecture-based teaching and learning routines into student-centered, hands-on and collaborative practices. Changes in teaching and learning practices are especially relevant due to the high dropout rates in secondary education and the recent PISA low-test results.
Since 2013, INDIRE has been carrying out research activities with the goal of identifying practices that could represent a disruptive and radical change in the traditional classroom pedagogy.
Among all the innovative teaching models, (twelve identified at present), INDIRE selected the practice adopted by a network of Italian schools and imported by the Massachusetts of Technology (MIT), in Cambridge, MA. This practice, whose acronym is TEAL (Technology Enabled Active Learning), proved to be effective in changing the classroom routines and in improving students’ learning achievements. In particular, similar to the US studies on the impact of TEAL, Italian schools have pointed out that by using TEAL, students improve their learning experience and outcomes, feel more engaged, satisfied, aware of ICT pros and cons, and take more responsibility over their learning. Teachers remark that a TEAL-style pedagogy helps them work closely with their colleagues because the problem-solving approach forces them to rethink their subject curriculum. Moreover, by using TEAL, the education setting is rearranged, the uses of technologies require making conscious pedagogical choices and flipping the classroom becomes more natural.
This paper analyses the original TEAL model at MIT and the derivative practices observed in the Italian schools with reference to the three main strands of INDIRE research, implementing a radical reappraisal of the concepts of time, space and teaching/learning processes in the Italian school system. Even if other publications describe the TEAL Model, this paper reflects on the positive results of its impact on the Italian school system, underlying strengths and weakness of the process of innovation in schools.


Innovation TEAL active learning Avant-Garde

Article Details

Author Biography

Letizia Cinganotto, Indire

Researcher at Indire, Rome, dealing with Clil, foreign languages, elearning, technology enhanced learning, etc.
How to Cite
Cinganotto, L., Panzavolta, S., Garista, P., Guasti, L., & Dourmashkin, P. (2016). TEAL as an innovative teaching model Insights from “Educational Avant-Garde” Movement in Italy. Journal of E-Learning and Knowledge Society, 12(2).

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