The aim of the Special Pedagogy course is to provide students with in-depth knowledge of some relevant issues of the discipline: a) the history and evolution of Special Pedagogy (epistemological dimension); b) research in the perspective of Special Pedagogy; c) the debate on the ongoing transformation of the Italian educational system from the model of integration to the model-system of inclusion; d) the evolution of school policies referring to people defined with Special Educational Needs; e) school and social inclusion as a litmus test of cultures, policies and practices in our society; f) the social position of disabled people within society; g) the social representations of diversity and disability mediated by art (in particular by literature and cinema).
By studying the Special Pedagogy Course the student will be able to achieve the following educational objectives.
In terms of knowledge and understanding:
- knowledge and understanding of the salient aspects of the History of Education for the Disabled;
- knowledge and understanding of the evolution of Special Pedagogy from its beginnings to its present day;
- knowledge and understanding of the contribution of Special Pedagogy to Educational Research;
- knowledge and understanding of the current state of the school and educational system with regard to inclusive processes;
- knowledge and understanding of social phenomena related to disability and diversity, including through the use of narrative mediators.
In terms of application of knowledge and understanding:
- ability to identify synchronously the salient stages in the history of disability education;
- ability to analyse, on a diachronic level, the elements of past models still operating in the present;
- ability to connect the different analysis plans proposed: historical, epistemological, normative, socio-cultural;
- ability to identify the problematic nodes emerging from the interaction of the different perspectives analyzed;
- ability to identify the implications and operational consequences in the field of education.
In terms of autonomy of judgement:
- ability to produce a personal and original critical analysis of the topics dealt with, placing it in the current socio-cultural context and in reference to the profession of educator.
In terms of communication skills:
- be able to discuss - even in a virtual environment (forum) - the issues covered, supporting their positions with facts, personal experiences, significant considerations;
- be able to carry out analysis and synthesis of the topics dealt with, both through personal exposure and through networking;
- be able to argue in an original way the personal elaboration of the topics dealt with.
In terms of learning ability:
- demonstrate openness and interest in the topics covered;
- be willing to investigate the repercussions that the issues raised in the analysis may have on the personal repertoire of knowledge, expectations, values and beliefs;
- demonstrate active involvement and participation in collective reflection and analysis;
- show a degree of ability to transfer the topics dealt with to the professional reality.
teacher profile | teaching materials


The course is divided into three parts.
The first concerns the historical and epistemological dimension of Special Pedagogy.
The second focuses on the debate inherent in the transformation of school and society from a system centered on integration to one oriented by an inclusive vision. In this perspective, the theme of independence (and housing independence) of people with impairment is also introduced, such as focusing on inclusion issues beyond school and in relation to the different seasons of life
The third part has to do with the representations of disability mediated by the arts, particularly by movies and novels.

Core Documentation

1. F. Bocci (2011). Una mirabile avventura. Storia dell'educazione dei disabili da Jean Itard a Giovanni Bollea. Firenze: Le Lettere.

2. F. Bocci (2013). (a cura di). Altri sguardi. Modi diversi di narrare la diversità. Lecce: PensaMultimedia.

3. I. Guerini (2020). Quale Inclusione? La questione dell’indipendenza abitativa per le persone con impairment intellettivo. Milano: FrancoAngeli.

4. An essay or a fiction book on the subject of disability or diversity chosen from the following list (or proposed by the student but agreed with the teacher):
• Fabio Bocci, Alessandra Straniero, Altri Corpi. Visioni e rappresentazioni della (e incursioni sulla) disabilità e diversità, Roma Tre press, scaricabile gratuitamente al link http://romatrepress.uniroma3.it/libro/altri-corpi-visioni-e-rappresentazioni-della-e-incursioni-sulla-disabilita-e-diversita/
• Ines Guerini, Scuola e Inclusione. Riflessioni teoriche ed esperienze di didattica, Edizioni Conoscenza, Roma, 2022
• AA.VV, Ritorno a Barbiana. Scritti critici su don Milani (con una saggio introduttivo di F. Bocci e G. Crescenza), Edizioni Conoscenza, Roma, 2023.
• Alessia Cinotti, Sorelle e fratelli nella disabilità. Dimensioni esistenziali e scenari educativi, Scholé
• Philippe Pozzo di Borgo, Il diavolo custode, Ponte Alle Grazie
• Temple Grandin, Pensare in immagini, Erickson
• Candido Cannavò, E li chiamano disabili, Rizzoli
• Gunilla Gerland, Una persona vera, Phoenix
• Daniel Tammet, Nato in un giorno azzurro, Rizzoli
• Mark Haddon, Lo strano caso del cane ucciso a mezzanotte, Einaudi
• Massimiliano Verga, Zigulì, Mondadori
• Gabriella La Rovere, Hallo Harry! Hy, Benny, Mursia
• Giorgia Würth, L’accarezzatrice, Mondadori
• Alessia Brunetti, Giorno dopo Giorno, Erickson
• Marco Paolini, Ausmerzen, Einaudi
• Giuseppe Pontiggia, Nati due volte, Mondadori
• Christy Brown, Il mio piede sinistro, Mondadori

Reference Bibliography

The same indicated in the program

Type of delivery of the course

The course is mainly in distance mode (by on-line lessons on dedicate platforms, videos, commented power points, podcasts, exercises, forum interactions)


Attendance not compulsory

Type of evaluation

The evaluation takes place by means of a written exam (objective multiple choice test with one or two open questions) and takes place on a platform (at the Department's Telematic Place). The voting criteria are linked to the number of answers to multiple choice questions and to the qualitative evaluation of the open question (s).