Clotilde Pontecorvo, Ph.D. has been a professor at the interdisciplinary Department of Social, Developmental and Educational Processes at the Univeristy of Rome “La Sapienza”, since 1983, when the Department started. She actively contributed to the birth of this new Department and became the first Director of the Department in 1983 (1983-1985; 1997-2000). Her primary background is in philosophy, as she got her ‘laurea cun laude” in philosophy and wrote her dissertation on the political liberalism of Benjamin Constant. After completing a perfezionamento in Philosophy of the Law, she then devoted her scholarly attention to Developmental and Educational Psychology. In this field she completed a two year graduate course in psychology, c/o the foreign University PAS (Rome), where the course was active. She became full professor in Education in 1976 at the University of Salerno and then in 1978 she was called back to the University of Rome “La Sapienza” in the former Institute of Psychology.
She has been teaching Educational Psychology since 1984 and the Psychology of Language and Communication since 1997. She also contributed to the founding of the CARFID (an interdisciplinary Center aimed at research on teaching and teacher training) where she was director from 1990-1994. Pontecorvo has been the recipient of numerous grants (National Research Council, Ministry of Research and University, and European Science Foundation). She is author of about 30 books and of about 100 articles or chapters in different languages. She co-edited three books in English and a fourth is now in print with the Jacobs foundation. Most of her research project have been carried out with video-recordings (both in family and school contexts), in order to get detailed analysis of everyday discourse.