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Leonardo Piromalli – Short presentation and paper proposal outline

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    Profile photo of Leonardo Piromalli
    Leonardo Piromalli

    Institutional affiliation
    I am a first year Ph.D. student in Applied Social Sciences at “La Sapienza” University of Rome (Italy), Department of Social Sciences and Economics (DiSSE).

    Training background
    –– 2017 | Master’s Degree in Applied Social Sciences at «La Sapienza» University of Rome (Italy);
    –– 2017 | Internship at «La Sapienza» University of Rome (Italy), DiSSE (topics: «Density of the formative experiences in the university path»; «Inquiry on Applied Social Sciences’ first-year students»);
    –– 2016-2017 | Internship at CNR-IRPPS (topic: «Migrants’ representation on media and textbooks»);
    –– 2014 | Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology at «La Sapienza» University of Rome (Italy).

    Main themes of investigation
    In my PhD project (Bridging Boundaries in Higher Education: from Ideas to Practices, from Global to Local. Curricula, Didactic Practices and Assessment in a Changing Landscape) I try to make my research interests come together and hold together fine.
    The first purpose of the project is to explore and tentatively define the ‘new vision of learning’ (NVL) which, I believe, is nowadays widely spreading through the changing contexts of the Western higher education (HE) systems. In my hypothesis, the cross-cutting theme of the NVL in HE is that of boundaries bridging – i.e., integration – declined in multiple articulations through teaching and learning practices: inter/transdisciplinarity, competencies approaches, work/practice-based learning, individualization of the learning processes, lifelong learning, etc.
    The second aim is to explore how these global ideas get translated and enacted into local practices. I argue that these translation processes occur within, and by means of, three interwoven networks – or, more specifically, through three «action nets» (Czarniawska, 2004) – in which they become visible: those of curriculum designing, teaching practices, research and didactics assessment. What happens, then, when these new global ideas are translated and stabilised in the local contexts of university practices and governance? How do the curricula and their design practices change? How do teaching and assessment practices transmorph? What are the margins of (dis)alignment between procedures and practices, and what (re)actions on the part of the actors enrolled in the networks?
    On the one hand, the policy documents most relevant to the various scalar levels will be analysed using content analysis techniques. On the other hand, a multi-sited shadowing strategy will allow me to follow the translation of the NVL within the three action nets identified so far.

    The paper I intend to write
    I am very interested in writing a paper aimed at:
    –– providing a first review and systematization of the various meanings and dimensions that make up the ‘new vision of learning’ that I briefly sketched out earlier;
    –– analysing the processes and the effects of the translation of these global ideas in the local discourses and practices for the action net of curriculum designing, within a specific case study (e.g., an Italian HE course of study).

    The starting knowledge-base (empirical materials, theory, methodology, etc.)
    To fulfil these purposes, I can mobilize knowledges related to:
    –– higher education studies (e.g., Barnett, Ball, etc.);
    –– curricula theory and practice (e.g., Stenhouse, Young, etc.);
    –– sociology of translation/actor-network theory (e.g., Czarniawska, Latour, etc.), practice-based approaches to knowledge and learning (e.g., Gherardi, Viteritti, etc.);
    –– competence/skills theories (e.g., Le Boterf, Benadusi, etc.).
    At a methodological level, I have skills in policy content analysis, ethnographic observation, interviewing.

    The knowledge needed to complete the paper
    A more thorough knowledge about the European governance of education will certainly prove useful for my purposes. In fact, it will provide me with valuable tools both for consolidating the systematization of the NVL that I propose to carry out, and for exploring the genealogy and the effects of the NVL on HE policies at different scalar levels.
    I will also attend with great pleasure the lectures about evaluation – one of the action net in which, I argue, the NVL becomes more visible – and about the digitalization of education, a fairly new global trend with important implications on learning representations and practices.

    Profile photo of Jarmo Kallunki
    Jarmo Kallunki

    Hi Leonardo – check my proposal. I think we might have a common ground to work from. Your “new vision of learning” comes close to what I mean by creation, dissemination and use of knowledge in education policy, and in addition we share the interest in analysing the translation of global into local. It would be interesting to have a chat with you next week!

    Best, Jarmo

    Profile photo of Sara Fuller
    Sara Fuller

    Hi Leonardo,
    I’m interested in similar topics and look forward to discussing them with you. Aside from my work on the Italian education system, I’ve also focused on localization and legitimization/translation into local practice, as well as curriculum and the isomorphism of higher education. I look forward to discussing with you and Jarmo how we may be able to combine our skills.

    Profile photo of Leonardo Piromalli
    Leonardo Piromalli

    Hello Jarmo, hi Sarah! Your proposals are very interesting as well – it seems we have a common ground indeed. I’m sure it will be a pleasure to talk and exchange perspectives and suggestions next week.

    Best wishes,

    Profile photo of Danilo Taglietti
    Danilo Taglietti

    Hi Leonardo, even if I’m not focused on HE, I think would be interesting matching our ideas and try to collaborate! Have a look at my proposal! C U on monday

    Profile photo of Leonardo Piromalli
    Leonardo Piromalli

    Hello Danilo, sure! I read your proposal, and I found it very interesting — I think we might share an interest on policy documents as dispositifs (and narratives?). I’m looking forward to discuss with you about your interesting Foucault-based methodological toolbox.

    See you soon!

    Profile photo of Alice Spada
    Alice Spada

    Hi Leonardo, hi everybody! I am also interested in competence-based education, might be interesting to share on it. See you soon!

    Profile photo of Leonardo Piromalli
    Leonardo Piromalli

    Hello Alice! Yes, definitely. I think it might be very interesting to discuss with you about competencies and the way(s) they get translated and performed from ideas (e.g., UE’s) to local didactic practices. See you in monday!



    Hi Leonardo, and all!
    Your approach to the translation of the global to the local sounds really interesting. And I am also (strongly) interested in digitalization in education. Seems like there is a diverse area of interests here that is binding us together, cant wait to meet you all on Monday.

    See you!

    Profile photo of Leonardo Piromalli
    Leonardo Piromalli

    Hi Karmijn! Yes, indeed. It seems to me we also share an interest in applying ANT and sociomaterialism(s) to the study of education and education — we’ll surely have the chance to talk over it. See you soon!

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