Italian local network

The Italian open schooling network on engaging secondary school teachers and students, citizens and stakeholders from school and research institutions, universities (teacher education), science centres, teacher associations, families, and companies with educational divisions.

The Italian local network bases its activity on the implementation of modules designed in a previous Erasmus+ project whose aims were to develop skills for imagining the future and aspire to STEM careers and to foster students’ identities as capable persons and citizens in a global, fragile and changing world. The modules are based on an educational reconstruction of cross-cutting scientific topics (such as climate change, Artificial Intelligence, Quantum Computer, Carbon Sequestration) which are likely to be important in students’ futures, both at the personal, vocational and societal level.

These modules were thought to develop special skills through science education, in and out of school: they are called future-scaffolding skills and refer to the ability to construct visions of the future that empower action in the present with an eye on the horizon. The challenge of developing future-scaffolding skills through science topics, combined with the innovative pedagogies based on the action competence, encounters the core of the SEAS project of supporting young people (and others) to develop sense-making resources and transformative engagement in and through addressing complex sustainability challenges.

The Italian network is led by the research group in Physics Education at the Department of Physics and Astronomy – Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna (UNIBO)  in collaboration with Fondazione Golinelli  (FG).

Stay in touch with the Italian Local Network

First year of the ILN

The establishing of the Italian Local Network was a process lasted four months. This phase required to reason both on the design principles and basis that give a project identity to the idea of an open schooling network as well as on how to translate them at a local level by concretely moving for building the network. Many meetings and exchanges took place among the UNIBO and FG and with possible stakeholders. After that, we identified the starting structure of the network.

The ground of the network was formed by Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna (UNIBO) and Fondazione Golinelli (FG). Researchers and experts in education and teacher training from the two institutions represent the steering committee of the local network which meet up on monthly basis in order to guide the activity of the network. Among other stakeholders, two collaborating partners participated in the network: The Euro-mediterranean Centre on Climate Change (CMCC ) and the

Climate-KIC project . The hubs of the Italian network were represented from the schools. According with the SEAS principles, we strongly aimed to put the schools at the centre and to make them the core of transformational change.


Stimulated by the big scopes of the project, we decided to involve students of different ages (i.e. low secondary schools, 11-13 yo, and upper secondary schools 14-19 yo), and with different orientation (from scientific, socio-economic and/or classic Lyceums to technical, professional and/or vocational institutions). The first year of the project the following schools were involved:

  • ITAER Baracca of Forlì (FC): Technical Upper Secondary school which comprises aeronautical curricula
  • Istituto Comprensivo of Meldola (FC) (K-8 curriculum): composed by kindergarten, primary school and lower secondary school 
  • Istituto Comprensivo 12 Bologna (K-8 curriculum): composed by kindergarten, primary school and lower secondary school

Networks’ activities

The official constitution of the network started with the first meeting that took place on January 10th at Opificio Golinelli. At the meeting participated UNIBO, FG, Euro-Mediterranean Centre on Climate Change (CMCC), CLIMATE-KIC and the three schools. During the meeting, UNIBO and FG presented the project and organised an iterative workshop for sharing ideas and planning collaboration and activities within the network.


People in staircase. Photo.
Picture from the first collective network meeting with all the stakeholders (Photo: Raffaella Spagnuolo).

The network also agreed on having a first pilot iteration (Jan-March 2020), a course on Climate Change targeted to secondary school students and implemented by UNIBO, with an activity carried out in collaboration with CMCC. In this activity we decided to try the cCHALLENGE tool and that it would be observed by the members of the network in order to consider this as a case study to be analysed together as subject of a ChangeLab workshop.

The members of the network participated at this first pilot iteration until the end of February, when the activity was suspended because of the lockdown related to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the aim of reflecting on the situation, UNIBO and FG met up online frequently and continued to keep in touch with two schools of the network.

After the end of the school year, UNIBO and FG organised a focus group with the teachers of the two schools for making reflections about the happened and making future plans on the network.

The first year in a nutshell

This small video summarises in few images and words the first year (Video production: Giulia Tasquier and Eleonora Barelli).

Second year of the ILN

The second year started with a reflection about the lessons we have learned from the first year, both concerning a meaningful subsistence of a network and concerning the open schooling concept. The reflections led toward a model of interaction within the network which briefly consist of alternate different dynamics of collaboration and training. Briefly, it includes:

  • Collective synchronised moments of reflection together with all the participants of the network about important issues
  • Selective operative moments of organisation with one school
  • Cherry-picking moments of training offered to all the participants of the network attended in terms of individual aims and interests
  • Collective synchronised moments of training about specific and crucial issues
  • Collective synchronised moments of synthesis and ri-elaboration of the experiences done.

These raw model of interaction within the network has the aim to distribute the accountability across the network and offers the chance to have multiple interaction within the different stakeholders of the network as well as to answers to different needs.

Networks’ activities

Those reflections led to the organisation of a ChangeLab workshop that represented also the re-launch of the project and the chance to include other schools.

This workshop was led online (due to COVID restriction) and consisted of two full afternoons built up around two main themes: I) reflecting on SEAS main concepts; II) reflecting on SEAS tools.

People on Zoom. Photo.
Online ChangeLab workshop (November 4th and 6th, 2020)


The network agreed about a common roadmap with the pace of the activities and a distribution of responsibilities and commitments.

Also this year, there was the same iteration (Jan-March 2021) that was attended as observers by the teachers of the network: a course on Climate Change targeted to secondary school students and implemented by UNIBO, with two activities carried out in collaboration with CMCC (A Role-Play Simulation of Global Climate Negotiations developed by Climate Iteractive at MIT Sloan in Cambridge and a videogame on Climate System developed by CMCC. Within this course a second round of cCHALLENGE was implemented.

Within this “common ground” iteration, it was also developed a paper and pen version of the cCHALLENGE and some reflection about the use of SenseMaker started.


  • The ILN increased its size and included new schools in the project:
  • ITAER Baracca of Forlì (FC): Technical Upper Secondary school which comprises aeronautical curricula
  • Istituto Comprensivo of Meldola (FC) (K-8 curriculum): composed by kindergarten, primary school and lower secondary school
  • Liceo Scientifico A. Einstein (Rimini): Upper secondary school with a scientific curriculum
  • Liceo Ginnasio Statale M. Mighetti (Bologna): Upper secondary school with a classical curriculum oriented toward humanities subjects
  • ITAC Scarabelli-Ghini (Imola): Technical Upper Secondary school which comprises agricultural and chemical curricula.
Tags: Italian local network, open schooling, SEAS
Published Jan. 23, 2020 12:43 PM - Last modified Apr. 13, 2021 1:33 PM