PhD Course

Pedagogical, Educational and Instructional Sciences

Thematic area Humanities
Duration 3 years
Language Italian
PhD Programme Coordinator Andrea Porcarelli

The PhD Course is underpinned by a wide area of pedagogical scholarly researches, experimentations, and applied practices present in national and international specialized literature, concerning the following aspects:

  • educational processes;
  • educational systems and teaching methodologies, within the frame of reforms required for the European dimension development in education;
  • training models and practices aimed at developing new knowledge and suitable behaviours for institutional, productive and social contexts.

Knowledge is required about key theories justifying an informed and disciplined approach to research issues, to be deployed in order to develop research projects, experimental designs, inquiry methods, aimed at informing educational, teaching and training practices in all fields.

The importance to develop educational studies are increasingly called upon, in order to promote knowledge, competences and actions aimed at human and social development, as well as the evolution of cultural and material production processes, facing globalization in time of crisis in complex societies.

The PhD course offers two curricula: Curriculum 1: "Pedagogical Sciences",  Curriculum 2 "Research on Inclusion, Well-being and Sustainability in Education" (in English- NEW!)
The final PhD qualification achieved is unique.

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Three training paths have been identified within which the research choices of the doctoral students are placed and which guide the training offer of the three-year period, with common teaching modules and distinct in-depth studies:

It concerns the following research areas:
1) educational and training processes between tradition and innovation;
2) the methods of construction of the pedagogical language;
3) the development of a "practical" pedagogy, capable of translating theoretical positions into operational choices and procedures;
4) the development of educational professionalism (teacher, manager, educator, trainer) and direct impact methodologies such as job analysis in organizations;
5) professional ethics, for the qualification and social recognition of educational-training professions;
6) social and intercultural pedagogy and the creation of educating communities.

It concerns two complementary and deeply integrated research areas.
The areas of teaching are:
1) reflection on the theoretical and operational aspects related to the definition of the various curricular systems and their comparative analysis;
2) educational processes, starting from a didactic centered on the student and on meaningful learning;
3) the general teaching methodology, disciplinary teaching, interdisciplinary approaches;
4) class and group dynamics, considering the interactions and communication strategies and techniques involved in the creation and management of "learning communities";
5) the study and definition of teaching methodologies and tools capable of relating to a modular and differentiated perspective, with a view to integrating diversity in its many forms and manifestations and promoting well-being and scholastic and social inclusion;
6) the construction of innovative teaching/learning environments.
The areas of communication technologies concern:
1) the architecture of educational sites and communication environments for the management of training activities, favoring human-centered technologies;
2) the representation of knowledge through ontologies, the passage from the Web-archive of documents to the semantic Web and the connected search for information on the net;
3) the design of multimedia and interactive learning objects-materials, within the framework of an integrated on-site-on-line teaching;
4) methodologies of social communication on the net and models of cooperative and situated learning to build skills and knowledge;
5) the evaluation of the processes and of the integrated technological training system (in presence and online);
6) The analysis of the development of Artificial Intelligence and its impact on learning processes and teaching practices in schools.

The proposed research fields concern:
1) the epistemology and methodology of pedagogical research;
2) the methods of investigation in educational contexts
3) the methods of comparative analysis;
4) analysis and design of research designs;
5) qualitative, quantitative and mixed research methods;
6) historical analysis of educational systems;
7) methods of educational documentation;
8) the assessment of learning and skills, of training systems and compared;
9) the ethnography of interacting systems;
10) research and evaluation procedures supported by information and communication technologies, analysis software


Educational Offer

The main goal of the curriculum “Research on Inclusion, Well-being, and Sustainability in Education” (SH4_11 Education: systems and institutions, teaching and learning) is to train high-level PhD students and future researchers in the field of Educational Sciences and Pedagogy, with the aim to enable them to increase their knowledge and competences. Particular attention will be given to these three main dimensions: Inclusion, Well-Being, and Sustainability. Interdisciplinarity among the different domains and approaches in educational research is strongly encouraged and promoted.
The PhD program is organized in classes, seminars, winter and summer schools with the aim of offering to the PhD students a precise advanced and detailed picture of the state of national and international research in relation to the different domains and dimensions. These classes and seminars are both held by the professors and by external national and international scholars and faculty who represent, within the international scientific community, a reference point for their specific expertise in the field. The program is designed across three main areas:
Inclusion: human diversity, vulnerable adults, disability, storytelling, digital inclusion, data literacy for social justice, assessment for accessible and inclusive learning. The research activity proposed by this topic is aimed at developing methodological approaches, advanced theoretical and experimental models in relation to inclusion processes in the broadest sense, including the complexity of the human diversity-digital-literacy-assessment-learning and relationship. (SH5_6: Philosophy, history of philosophy; SH4_4 Cognitive and experimental psychology: perception, action, and higher cognitive; SH5_10 Cultural studies, cultural diversity).
Well-being: The research activity is aimed at the fine-tuning of theoretical models (equality, diversity and education) promoting among others also intervention and action research methodologies (organizational and pedagogical well-being). This research is mainly addressed to the development of pedagogical, professional, physical well-being skills and competences. (SH4_5 Social and clinical psychology; SH3_9 Health, ageing and society; SH1_10 (Organizations studies: theory & strategy; industrial organization; SH3_9 Spatial development and architecture).
Sustainability: The research activity is aimed at addressing aspects related to sustainability in the field of educational policies, Adult Learning Education (ALE), higher education and sport pedagogy. In this framework the research activities are related to theories and practices from the theoretical frameworks of transformative and intergenerational learning, assessment and feedback and collaboration and community development to promote sustainability. (Social aspects of learning, curriculum studies, educational policies; SH2_7: Political systems and institutions, governance; SH2_11 Social studies of science and technology; SH3_2 Environmental change and society


  • Pedagogical Sciences
  • Research on Inclusion, Well-being and Sustainability in Education (in English)