The Production of
Educational Formats team aimed at:
concept of educational formats;
building a digital
library of educational formats;
analyzing the way
formats affect how educational activities and
settings are designed; and
development of new formats and the related enabling
The overall purpose of the Team
build a multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary network of researchers and
Educational Formats: The network investigated the concept of format as opposed to
the more consolidated notion of lesson plan, which dates back
to the first half of the 20th century and is still largely applied
in educational contexts. It mostly implies the notion of
knowledge as an explicit content that needs to be chunked
and organized in a linear process.
A format is instead
conceived as an open structure. It works as a guideline to
support the design of educational activities encompassing
elements that go beyond this traditional view of knowledge,
by including also those constituents that implicitly affect the
way knowledge is appropriated and substantiated.
A format, for example, includes the description of the
organizational and cultural context, as well as of the pedagogical
stance. It also includes the definition of the spatial settings and the time duration in
which the activities take place. In education, time and space settings are taken for granted
and remain implicit in the design of the learning activity, as the result of a long sedimentation
process of administrative decisions and of physical limitations imposed by the existing
infrastructures devoted to institutionalised learning. However, these dimensions deeply
affect the way knowledge is built, and consequently the very concept of knowledge itself.
A format, works also as a heuristic instrument to prompt the design of
specific tools to be used in the design of an educational activity.
The way in which the elements of educational formats
(technology, spaces, etc.) mediate the teaching/learning
activity and how those can be composed to enhance the
learning experience is the research theme we are investigating.
The research team was exploring the way in which educational
activities with respect to the educational formats are at work
in six European Countries, in different educational settings
(school, university, leisure centre, etc.) and for different
contents (math, history, law, medicine, sports, etc.).