The lab's research activities address several areas:
1. Educational processes and cognitive and language development:
developmental trends in emergent literacy skills, construction of an explanatory model of this construct, and study of its predictive relevance;
processes of reading and writing acquisition during primary and secondary school investigated also in a cross-linguistic perspective;
production and comprehension of written text (text processing) in children and adolescents, critical reading;
development of concepts and meanings and the relationship between semantics and spelling;
development of logical thinking and learning of formal logic (classifications, relations, Cartesian product, connectives, quantifiers);
development of inferential thinking; promoting inferential thinking; exploring its relationships with the narrative structure.
2. Acquisition of symbolization and communication systems in different cultural contexts:
development of the pictorial representation, also investigated in a cross-cultural perspective, with particular attention to the cognitive and cultural variables underlying its learning and the methodological aspects involved in developmental studies;
ecological investigation on the construction of learning in different communities.
3. School learning and studying method:
design, testing and verification of curricula aimed at basic and advanced learning competences;
effectiveness of scientific and mathematical conceptualization learning units (conceptual change);
Development of metacognition.
4. Learning difficulties and inclusion of students with disabilities:
school learning difficulties, specific learning disorder with an impairment in the written language (dyslexia and dysorthography), identification of predictors of these specific disorders; construction of evidence-based interventions.
behavioral disorders: attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and oppositional/provocative disorder, diagnostic criteria, treatments and psychoeducational paths;
autism spectrum disorders, early diagnosis and treatment of syndromes from global alteration of psychological development.
5. Role, function and professional profile of the school psychologist.
Strategies, skills and abilities in the areas of training, teaching and organizational level;
training of management, teaching and administrative staff in schools;
strategies to optimize performance and relationships and to support the student's process of identity construction;
pathways for school and career guidance and promotion of a collaborative climate within the school and between school and family;
development of interventions aimed at the promotion and evaluation of motivation and cognitive skills of the student in terms of diagnostic, preventive and promotion;
construction of tools for the evaluation of general educational standards of the institute with particular reference to teaching situations and to assess parameters of verification of the school organization as a whole and in its articulations, as well as to identify potential skills and abilities, in order to improve the school organization.
The laboratory has built and experimentally validated the following tools:
PASSI for the enhancement of the "notational factor," (i.e., conceptual knowledge of the writing system), identified by the lab as the main predictor of learning disorders with reading and writing impairment.
Laboratorio di Lettura e Scrittura (Reading and Writing Lab), for the reinforcement of emergent literacy skills.
Lessico ed Ortografia (Lexicon and Spelling), for the enhancement of vocabulary, effective for the treatment of learning disorders with reading and writing impairment.
In the laboratory there is a rich book repository including scientific volumes, materials for evaluation (tests) and intervention (interventions, parent-training, etc. ..); in the Laboratory all research protocols are stored, both in paper and digital format. There is also a large body of scientific articles that is gradually updated, and a growing number of thesis related to research topics.
There is video-recording equipment, stations for coding and analyzing material, networked computers with electronic programs for statistical data processing, content analysis of recorded material and bibliographic archiving.
Currently, the components of the School Psychology Laboratory are:
Giuliana Pinto (Full professor), Lucia Bigozzi (Full professor),
Chiara Pecini (Associate professor)
Christian Tarchi (Researcher),
Giulia Vettori (research fellow), Claudio Vezzani (research fellow),
Oriana Incognito (PhD student),
Linda Vagnoli, Chiara Malagoli, Stefania Tesone, Alda Picozzi, Gabriele Dimitrio (assistant lecturers),
Irene Del Monte, Maria Pia De Sandro, Chiara Fusi (Promopsi spinoff partners).
Collaborations with: University of Genoa, ASL 10 Florence, Italian Association of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorders, Italian Association for Research and Intervention in the Psychopathology of Learning, Italian Association of Psychology – Section of Educational and Developmental Psychology, Center for Democratic Initiative of Teachers of Florence, Regional School Office (formerly Provveditorato agli Studi), Center for Research on Culture and Human Development at St Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia, Canada.
The Laboratory promotes consulting, training and research-action interventions aimed at educational institutions, teachers, and children.
Specifically, the laboratory implements three types of intervention through the services of the university spinoff Promopsi:
1. training and educational intervention with schools of all levels and with the University: improving the study method in university students, administration of tests to analyze and evaluate the teaching-learning process and to assess the level of pupils in specific areas of intervention, collection of evidence of effectiveness for interventions already designed with teachers for the whole class, for groups and for individual students;
2. training and professional development for teachers and other professionals (e.g., psychologists, pedagogists): courses, seminars, workshops, training in the use of tools and techniques; design of curricula aimed at basic and advanced training;
3. intervention on specific cases: study and development of strategies to be implemented in school for cases of school learning difficulties, specific learning disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorders and other neurodevelopmental disorders.
Each year we activate:
a Master of II level in "School Psychology and Learning Disorders" (coordinator prof.ssa Giuliana Pinto).
a specialization course "When school becomes difficult: tools for evaluation and intervention" (director prof.ssa Lucia Bigozzi).