Panel G.02 — Being well at school: equity between well-being orientation and student-centred pedagogy

Convenors Anna Granata (University of Milan-Bicocca, Italy); Valerio Ferrero (University of Turin, Italy)

Keywords Equity, School well-being, Student-centered pedagogy, School governance, Teachers


The need to pursue equity in education in order to achieve an increasing degree of social justice is internationally shared (OECD, 2012; UN, 2015; UNICEF, 2013; 2021), but the different definitions that can be given to these terms lead to various interpretations and different educational projects. This panel intends to focus on equity visions that value children’s school well-being (Fullan & Gallagher, 2020; Spratt, 2017) and promote student-centred pedagogies (Berg & Gleason, 2018), accepting both theoretical-conceptual and empirical research contributions.

Shaping a school that recognises and values students’ strengths means ensuring that each person develops their potential through appropriate educational opportunities that aim not only at achieving certain academic standards, but especially concerning personal growth (Clement, 2010). Establishing a positive school climate is an indispensable aspect of making this vision of equity a reality, both at the level of teachers’ educational action in the classroom (Ahghar, 2016; Cohen et al., 2009) and at the level of educational policies formulated by individual schools, also with reference to different models of leadership and governance (Allen et al., 2015; Pepper & Hamilton Thomas, 2002; Smith et al., 2020; Soutter et al., 2014).

Therefore, adopting a student-centred pedagogy proves crucial to guarantee students excellent school paths in terms of well-being (Bremner et al., 2022), with significant repercussions also on learning (Armbruster et al., 2009): it is a matter of considering children’s interests, their cognitive styles and their rhythms from a personalized perspective (Mincu, 2012), not giving in to the temptation of a one-size-fits-all but recognising and valuing everyone’s skills and learning styles.

Cultivating equity understood as the promotion of children’s school well-being through the student-centred pedagogy approach can be done on several fronts in terms of educational action in the classroom and governance choices (Anderson & Graham, 2016; Soutter, 2011), e.g., on school time and spaces, on assessment practices and feedback modalities, on inclusive processes and devices so that they do not produce segregation dynamics or yield to compensatory pedagogy, on overcoming gender stereotypes, on valuing different styles of intelligence and linguistic diversity.

In this panel we delve into this topic by attempting to answer these questions, which are intended to stimulate reflection without claiming to be exhaustive:

  • how can the construct of equity be conceptualised with reference to school well-being and student-centred pedagogy, with attention also to the governance dimension of individual schools?
  • what dynamics make the possibilities of school well-being unequal?
  • what role do school times and spaces play in enhancing the uniqueness of each student and promoting their well-being?
  • which assessment practices cultivate students’ well-being in terms of reducing anxiety and supporting learning processes?
  • how to plan inclusion without creating dynamics of segregation or exclusion?
  • how to value diversity in all its forms (linguistic, cultural, learning styles), without giving in to the risk of a culturalist or differential pedagogy?


Guidelines and abstracts submission