03/31/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 03/31/2021 08:35
Today, we meet Stefania Cefalo, who will help us understand how efficient a mix of methodologies are for teaching both adults and children. As usual, we share a short video in which Stefania presents herself and then an interview with Ilaria Gaudiello. It's our twelfth instalment on professors in 'Our School.'
Stefania Cefalo is a teacher and media education expert. After working in adult education (both e-learning and on-the-job training), she started teaching in kindergarten and primary school. The key to her didactic method is 'learning by projects' with the inclusion of gamification to make the lessons more captivating and inclusive. Her objective is to unlock the full potential of learners, young and older alike. She firmly believes in synergies amongst teachers to innovate school through the media codes loved by the new generations.
Stefania, in your career as a coach and teacher, you have worked both in adult education and with children. What have you brought from one to the other in terms of approaches and methods?
Teaching means developing a project to me. Projects have explicit objectives that must be implemented that provide a concrete quality to the activities that are conducted. Teachers do not impose content but give shape to what is in students' minds. In my line of work, I like to make teaching fun and interesting for all ages. I look for solutions to transform theory into practice, according to the 'playing by learning' pedagogical method. I have always looked for gaming activities and I develop analogical and digital didactic material that stimulates students to learn whilst having fun. My experience as a kindergarten teacher was very useful for this as the learning at that level is based on 'doing and acting' to promote the creativity of children through the development of a project: from the conception of an idea to the creation of a project based on the idea, the experimentation of alternatives, and the logic of group sharing and collaboration.
As a media education expert, what do you believe school should aim at during the pandemic and how can we create continuity with school following the pandemic?
In every didactic experience, both with children and adults, I have always found value in the potential of new information and communication tools. In particular, multimedia provides an excellent conjunction for the various forms and different content of school subjects. It has allowed students to express their creativity through the creation of cultural products, products that develop both the student's and the class's culture, interiorizing and returning what they have learnt in a form that is significant to them.
This year, you have joined the 'Our School' Network. What does it represent to you? How do you feel about collaborating with other teachers?
I accepted the challenge of the Fondazione Mondo Digitale to join the 'Our School' Network and develop new didactic programmes based on creative learning, a set of creative learning techniques that are efficient as they are based on personal motivation, collaboration, planning, the exploration of new teaching frontiers and experimentation. This open-source community allowed me to collaborate with other teachers who also believe in talent, creativity and the potential of every single one of us are values to discover, encourage and develop. This is why in 'Our School' we develop didactic programmes that use accessible digital tools to educate young innovators to a conscientious use of technology as a fundamental tool for self-expression, to invent and develop solutions to real and virtual issues, answering the pedagogical needs required by an active digital citizenship. In the future, our challenge will be to continue using technology to allow the greatest values to emerge in students, not just as learners, but also as individuals.