Researching schools vs. researching with schools. An urban research laboratory experience in an Italian high school

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We have tried to develop an innovative way to approach educational practice to promote synergies between school teaching, academic research and society. Through a transdisciplinary approach we have tried to prepare high school students to the challenges of researching, thinking and therefore planning about their own territory. This experience was conducted with a group 23 teenagers from a high school in the periphery of Rome, elaborating an original project of work-based learning inside the school. As tutors of their work, we tried to guide the students divided in five research groups, each one with a specific focus related to the territory where their school is located to the creation of a research project. Students were introduced to different tools with the aim of creating an interdisciplinary methodology, like interviews, focus groups, production of emic maps. Besides the nonetheless interesting results of all the research projects carried on by the five groups, what the participants learned has been a more complex way to reflect and argue upon urban territory, trying to manage change. In our view, this approach to deutero-learning can be seen as a way to give future citizens the tools to imagine and design the future of cities.
educational practices, work-based learning, interdisciplinary methodology, deutero-learning