Our House Style - AA.VV. - ebook
Opis

Firstly, I would like to extend my thanks to all those who have made this meeting possible. Specifically, I would like to mention Professor Cesare Kaneklin who, several years ago, first came up with this idea of a common, shared reflection on the quality of learning. I must also underline the contribution of my colleague, Michele Faldi, who coordinated all those involved in the process – teaching staff, tutors and outside bodies – and who helped me develop and implement this idea. Finally, recognition goes to all those individuals, both inside and outside the University who, with great dedication, have put their professional skills and experience at the service of this project.The path we have chosen is an innovative one; our research focuses on how the functions of a tutor may be fulfilled with an area characterized by the dearth of accepted norms, that of the “Specializing University Master”.There are many different types of Master. Each is related to a particular market and has its own specific teaching needs and organizational characteristics. Over the years, our University has met, and continues to meet, a considerable number of students through these Masters.What does the Università Cattolica transmit through these Masters? What methods and tools does it use to communicate? This has been the focus of our research, and is what we have attempted to present here. What emerges is that the University possesses what we might call a certain “House Style”, – a feature which, over time, has become a sort of claim.Specializing Masters are titles conferred by the University and have, therefore, their own type of organizational framework of learning paths. At a certain point, and within this framework, a new function, that of the tutor, came to light, which gradually took shape and grew in importance. It is seen as a function, rather than a profession, as it implies a much more interactive channel of communication than we might imagine. These new connections between the student and the organizational framework of the Master represent an interesting and worthwhile research area.It is satisfying to see the development of an idea which forms an integral part of our University, an aspect which our postgraduate students will have learnt, almost by osmosis.Excerpt from Introduction

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Quaderni delle Alte Scuole, 2b

April 2015

The contents of this booklet were first presented at the workshop “Tutorship e qualità nei master universitari: lo Stile della casa”, held in Università Cattolica, June 27, 2013.

Cover: Pino Pedano, L’Incontro (The Encounter), 2011, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

© 2015 Università Cattolica del Sacro CuoreVia San Vittore 18 - 20123 Milano, Italy | tel. +39 02.7234.8325 - fax +39 02.7234.8330 - e-mail: coord.altescuole@unicatt.it

Published byEDUCatt – Ente per il diritto allo studio universitario dell’Università CattolicaLargo Gemelli 1, Milano | tel. 02.7234.2235 (prod.) - 02.7234.3226 (distrib.) e-mail: editoriale.dsu@educatt.it - librario.dsu@educatt.it - web: www.educatt.it/libri

AIE – Associazione Italiana Editori (Italian Publishers Association) member

Printed in April 2015, by Litografia Solari, Peschiera Borromeo (Milan)

ISBN: 978-88-6780-722-2

Men do not learn

when they believe

they already know.

Barbara Ward

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction

Mario Gatti

PART ONE. Focus on teaching withinSpecializing Masters and relations with the working world

A dialogue between different worlds

Michele Faldi

When the brand becomes tangible.The functions of tutorship, professional learning and the capacityto plan

Giuseppe Scaratti and Silvio Ripamonti

PART TWO. When the specializing masteris a transforming experience. Empirical Evidence

SMEA. Master in Agro-Food Management

Davide Mambriani

ALMED. Master in cultural event creationand project management (MEC)

Luca Monti

ALMED. Culture management Master. Art interventions,culture and design for cities, companies and geographical areas

Ivana Vilardi

ASAG. Master in family and community mediation

Costanza Marzotto e Paola Farinacci

PART THREE. Comparing knowledge and experiences

Round Table. Learning paradigms and the world of work

Mauro Meda, Emilia Rio, Francesco Mantovani, Cesare Kaneklin

Conclusions.Much to cast down, much to build,much to restore

Michele Faldi

Introduction

Mario Gatti

Firstly, I would like to extend my thanks to all those who have made this meeting possible. Specifically, I would like to mention Professor Cesare Kaneklin who, several years ago, first came up with this idea of a common, shared reflection on the quality of learning. I must also underline the contribution of my colleague, Michele Faldi, who coordinated all those involved in the process – teaching staff, tutors and outside bodies – and who helped me develop and implement this idea. Finally, recognition goes to all those individuals, both inside and outside the University who, with great dedication, have put their professional skills and experience at the service of this project.

The path we have chosen is an innovative one; our research focuses on how the functions of a tutor may be fulfilled with an area characterized by the dearth of accepted norms, that of the “Specializing University Master”.

There are many different types of Master. Each is related to a particular market and has its own specific teaching needs and organizational characteristics. Over the years, our University has met, and continues to meet, a considerable number of students through these Masters.

What does the Università Cattolica transmit through these Masters? What methods and tools does it use to communicate? This has been the focus of our research, and is what we have attempted to present here. What emerges is that the University possesses what we might call a certain “House Style”, – a feature which, over time, has become a sort of claim.

Specializing Masters are titles conferred by the University and have, therefore, their own type of organizational framework of learning paths. At a certain point, and within this framework, a new function, that of the tutor, came to light, which gradually took shape and grew in importance. It is seen as a function, rather than a profession, as it implies a much more interactive channel of communication than we might imagine. These new connections between the student and the organizational framework of the Master represent an interesting and worthwhile research area.

It is satisfying to see the development of an idea which forms an integral part of our University, an aspect which our postgraduate students will have learnt, almost by osmosis.

PART ONE Focus on teaching withinSpecializing Masters and relations with the working world

A dialogue between different worlds

Michele Faldi

My contribution aims to give a brief history of the years that have led us to this point. Today we are concentrating on the theme of “Tutorship”, as the outcome of a path we started along five years ago. We haven’t yet reached our goal as the workshop today is merely a stage along the path, and will lead to further steps. What we were aiming for, however, was, in some sense, already present when we started. In 2008, within the framework of the Summer Schools, which turned out to be the most forward-looking educational experience of recent years, the Università Cattolica decided to dedicate one of these Schools to the tutors of its own specializing Masters. This was an unusual choice. It was funded by one of the last instalments of finance provided by the Lombardy Region, which had to be destined for training purposes (The European Social Fund). Rather than seeking to train people from outside its walls, however, the University designed an innovative course for a certain category of its own personnel.

This was the first implementation of an idea the University had been considering for some time, not only in connection with postgraduate study, but rather with reference to the student body as a whole. Attention to the individual through various forms of accompaniment, such as Group Tutors, was something the Università Cattolica had first considered when the University 3 + 2 reform was introduced. The intention was to help students deal with the most significant personal crises when first attending university, feelings of isolation and disorientation.

Working from this perspective, it was decided to launch a Summer School entitled “The identity and role of trainers in Specializing Masters and relations with the working world”. The school was initially experimental in nature and benefitted from the scientific contribution of Professors Cesare Kaneklin, Giuseppe Scaratti and the considerable help of Mauro Meda, the General Secretary of ASFOR, who brought in new ideas from outside the university (ASFOR is the Association which gathers together the most important training foundations in Italy, the best Business Schools and Corporate Universities). Mauro Meda’s contribution enabled us to avoid being too self-referential and to think beyond ourselves and our typical university activities.

We began in 2008 with the tutors of our Specializing Masters. It was unclear at first that we had entered a tunnel and were unable to see the end of it. The first Summer School represented the initial steps along a path that we are still travelling today.

It led to a second edition in 2010, whose title translates as “Tutorship functions and Quality in Specializing Masters. Professional learning and planning in the workplace”.

The complex titles given to these two summer schools were not meant to sound daunting: we thought them up carefully, and wanted to keep the post-Master phase, the world of work and the working context within our sights.

From these two experiences and our reflections, which came about during a series of meetings in which we were able to exchange ideas and hypotheses in a free and open atmosphere, the idea of a training course for the tutors on our Specializing Masters emerged, which could help them share their experience and also become the basis of academic research.

The aspect that I like to remember most is that this was an interesting example of collaboration between worlds, two entities which, while being present in the same context, are usually conceived of as separate entities: the academic world and that of the administrative staff and managers.

The path we started out upon, as well as the ensuing research and training, focused on the tutors of the Masters and their professionalism. It focused on their aims and functions, critical issues and problems. We have come a long way since then, and this booklet presents some of the results of the analysis carried out with a number of tutors from the Graduate Schools. The Università Cattolica is proud to have seven Graduate Schools spread across all of its centres, of which four are in Milan, one in Piacenza and Cremona, one in Brescia and one in Rome.

As mentioned previously, our attention was concentrated on Specializing Masters which had grown out of reflections on both the academic and training aspects. We sought to understand whether there is a House Style, whether a Specializing Master from the Università Cattolica offers any characteristic element or indicator which makes it different from other products of training and formation, which have continued to multiply and diversify.

This booklet presents the results of this reflection, obtained firstly by working with the tutors. Secondly, with the help of two great figures from the professional world of work, we compare what we offer with the outside world, looking at the challenges facing great educational institutions like the Università Cattolica, who have a responsibility towards the young and not-so-young who are served by this University in its human and professional adventure.

While the origins and aim of all this are clear, it is also quite evident that the reflections and work laid out here will be continued.

I am firmly convinced that the experience that we recount here can be broadened to include other Specializing Masters, and other Postgraduate Schools. This would help make the service we provide fit the needs of those who enrol in our Specializing Masters, as well as guide those who create and plan new ones.

When the brand becomes tangible.The functions of tutorship, professional learning and the capacity to plan

Giuseppe Scaratti and Silvio Ripamonti

Premise

Talking about “brands” and “style” is a way of referring to dimensions that are defined in work and organizational psychology as ‘immaterial’; they exist and have their own substance, but concern aspects that are symbolic, cultural, related to values, meanings and knowledge, present in a certain context. More generally, the concept of ‘style’ refers to “the constant form – and sometimes the constant elements, qualities and expression – in the art of an individual or a group. The term can also be applied to the overall activities of an individual or a society; one talks of the style of life or the style of a civilization”. It is as if, from a semiotic perspective, the style of action in the field of training and formation of a university organization could be understood, like a work of art, in the relationship that it entertains with its context, be recognized in a group’s particular vision of the world, represent common terrain in relation to which the innovation and originality of single works can be evaluated. (cf. Schapiro 1953)

Therefore, the immateriality of the brand and the style provides an interesting, important and evocative way to get a better grasp on the quality of the learning processes within postgraduate education at the Università Cattolica. From this perspective, training processes may be compared to weaving or tailoring, processes where threads are connected and interwoven. Clothes are made bespoke, and even become a habit, or routines which are consolidated into a sort of characteristic, connotative style. Bourdieu (1990) describes a habit as a practical sense, incorporated into the subject’s action in an interweaving of mental and social structures, while Giddens (1984) underlines the awareness of a habit in practical terms, determining social action on the basis of consolidated transformative actions and repeated social practices. Postgraduate professional education can be seen as a social construction which connotes the forms of commitment and action of certain people in ordinary situations, in such a way as to make these forms reproduceable, recognizable and recursive. On the other hand, precisely because they are intangible, these immaterial aspects may sound merely like vague verbal declarations, abstract and distant from the concrete experience of the individuals to whom they are directed.

This is the root of the challenge we are facing – attempting to make the distinctive characteristics of quality and excellence, with regard to our University’s educational proposal at tertiary level, visible and recognizable. We accepted this challenge, knowing that it might be a fruitless task to try and find specific elements that are peculiar to our method and recognizable from the outside. Like many other Universities, ours proposes a series of Specializing Masters, presuming to propose something efficacious. Asking questions about the meaning, actual quality and importance of our own investments in education and training means that we do not take the answer for granted, but will accept the proof, if it emerges, of its material nature. We also welcomed the challenge because of a deep-rooted and widespread perception (linked to our awareness of working well) that we offer good, valid educational and training experiences, and we set up meaningful, promising professional paths. This sense is both deep-rooted and balanced, and we are also aware of existing contradictions, and possible improvements that could be brought about.