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Social Health Education and Training

Conference language: ENGLISH AND ITALIAN

The Conference will take place in Rovereto, from January 30th to January 31st, 2015, at the Department of Psychology and Cognitive Science of the University of Trento.

For the professions of Italian Social Health Educators, the Conference has been recognized as ECM event with 15 credit. Please see this page for more informazion. [I crediti ECM possono essere richiesti solo dalla categoria degli educatori professionali Italiani, l'evento è stato accreditato con 15 crediti. Per maggiori informazioni vedere la pagina segnalata.]

Social Health Education and Training

The Italian university research in the field of Social Health Education is still at an early stage, yet internationally oriented.

In this sector expertise and creativity in the practice are widespread and regard various sectors involved in the social-educational activity aiming at protecting the fundamental rights of individuals facing social and health difficulties, independently on their age and gender. Such fundamental rights regard the right to access: education, health, subsistence, training, social inclusion, culture, vocational training and work. Today these goals seem to be harder and harder to achieve, not only in Italy but also in other areas of the world, because of economic policies and financial globalisation factors which have worsened the economic and social inequalities at global level.

Figures describing the Italian situation show a high number of people involved in supporting people in difficulty: 5 million volunteers, 25,000 social health educators,40,000 social workers, 37,000 psychotherapists. The Non-profit sector relies on the working contribution of more than 1 million people including trainers, educators, psychologist, social workers, animators, technicians, administrative, religious, young in civil service.

However, during the last two decades, the Italian national policies have almost completely neglected this widespread movement of citizens and professionals who devote their time, every day, to achieve the common good. Mass-media have continuously focused on the sensational news rather than on the best practices regarding personal care services and attention to the local communities. The priorities on their agenda have always been different.

Research, education and development have always been implemented in difficult circumstances, marked by the impossibility to organise activities in multi-annual plans. The world of education has always worked in a difficult environment, marked by misunderstandings, legal obstacles, broken promises, job instability and negligence of the policy makers. Only 13 degree courses in Social Health Education have been activated in Italy and investment in the relevant research is still very limited.

This conference aims at starting a comparison among the research activities carried out in Italy and in various European countries, to facilitate the academic internationalization processes, both in the field of training and of research.

Explorans is a new lab, within the university, aimed at supporting people who are continuously devoting their enthusiasm to the human being and try to reinstate their efforts through their personal activity and the rigorous research of methods and contents for educational activities.


Suitable topics for abstract submission (Poster and Workshop presentations) are:

1) research and best practices in intervention for and with people in difficulties

  • Innovative experiences in various fields of Social Health Education and Social Work (minors, addictions, mental health, disability, migrations, social exclusion, new poverties, etc.)
  • Health Promotion and Community Welfare
  • Helping relationship
  • Person-Centered educational interventions
  • Non-violent actions for social, cultural and political change for the development of human rights and social justice of vulnerable people
  • Research methods in Social Health Education and Social Work

2) research and best practices in university education/training for students and professionals:

  • University training of social pedagogue; social worker; youth and community worker; special educator; child welfare worker; educador social; sozial pedagogisk; sozialpedagog; educateur spécialisé; animator; sozial padagogik; educatore professionale; social health educator…
  • Social Health Education and Social Work disciplines
  • Experiential Learning: diversified methods
  • Didactic organization of teaching (theory, traineeships, experiential learning, student services and support, etc.)
  • Personal and professional identity
  • Training and organization of traineeships
  • Continuing training for professionals,  young people doing Civil Service, national and international NGO volunteers…
  • Research methods in Training and University education/training for student and professionals

The initiative is part of the Action-Research Project Mappes (University of Trento – Autonomous Province of Trento)

Keynote Speakers

  • Benny Andersen (AIEJI, International Association of Social Educators)
  • Silvia Gherardi (RUCOLA Research Unit on Communication, Organizational Learning, and Aesthetics - University of Trento)
  • Juliet Koprowska (Department in Social Policy and Social Work, University of York)
  • Fabio Salviato (FEBEA - European Federation of Ethic and Alternatives Bank)
  • Alberto Zucconi (World University Consortium - IACP Istituto Approccio Centrato Sulla Persona)


The preliminary program of the event is available here.
The brochure of the event is available here.
Paper and Workshop programs are available here.

Scientific Committee

  • Marco Dallari (Department in Psychology and Cognitive Science, University of Trento)
  • Dario Fortin (Department in Psychology and Cognitive Science, University of Trento)
  • Antonio Samà (Department of Health and Wellbeing, Canterbury Christ Church University)


  • Dario Fortin (Department in Psychology and Cognitive Science, University of Trento)
  • Roberto Gris (Department in Psychology and Cognitive Science, University of Trento)

Information about Rovereto and Conference Venue

See the information and the map of Rovereto to reach the conference Venue.