Flipped Classroom, C.L.I.L. and Classroom Setting: Innovative Learning Experiences in an Italian Primary School Class
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The present paper briefly illustrates an action research carried out in the school years 2015-16/2016-17 in a full-time primary school, located in Fiumicello, a small town in the North East of Italy. The pedagogical practices adopted have involved a 4th and then a 5th grade class. The elements of innovation have concerned both the introduction of some C.L.I.L. (Content and Language Integrated Learning) and flipped classroom modules and the organization of the classroom setting with the desks shaped as square islands. The choice of both these methodological frameworks has consequently led to a constant use of the cooperative learning and of a teaching approach based on learning by doing, the implementation of tasks in groups and in peer-to-peer mode, in a context of an assisted laboratory, greater use of ICT, a substantial change in assessment practices. The learning design and the learning experiences have been evaluated through the employment of two tools: rubrics for assessment and continuous observations recorded on a logbook. For both the learning frameworks the experience has highlighted pros and cons results, with a large majority of the former, which we can summarise as follows. Firstly, longer periods are needed to run the same amount of content of a "traditional" class, even if pupils develop more skills and competencies, necessary for a lifelong learning. Despite the fact that there are more chaos and noise in the classroom, the sedentary lifestyle at school is reduced and pupils have a more rapid perception of the passing of time. Thus, children are more motivated and involved. Although teachers need longer time to plan the activities, the learning pathways are more individualized. Finally, an improvement of the skills in the foreign language, due to the C.L.I.L. approach only, has been recorded among the majority of the students.
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