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The Italian School-Work Alternating System

A Model of “Responsible Research and Innovation” at the Istituto Superiore di Sanità
  • Paola De CastroEmail author
  • Cristina Agresti
  • Elena Ambrosini
  • Maria Cristina Barbaro
  • Roberta De Simone
  • Eugenio Sorrentino
  • Sandra Salinetti
Chapter
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Research and Innovation Governance book series (BRIEFSREINGO)

Abstract

The Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS, Italian National Institute of Health) is the main governmental research institute for public health in Italy. A recent challenge for ISS is communication of scientific knowledge to different targets, outside the research area, to promote healthier behaviours and improve healthcare. In this framework, schools are a privileged place to promote life-long learning programs and health literacy. The paper reports the results achieved by an innovative approach to health communication addressing school students and teachers. The objective is to stress how responsible research needs a holistic approach involving different stakeholders. School-Work Alternating System (SWAS). The Italian Law 107/2015 introduced the SWAS in educational programs, requiring alternation between school and work during school time. This system was designed to improve students’ motivation to study through the logic of “learning by doing” and develop their basic knowledge and skills for a successful and critical transition from school-to-job. In this context, as part of its health promotion activities, the ISS started a pilot project in 2015–2016; it produced enthusiastic reactions among students, teachers, and researchers, and lead to the development of a wider project in 2016–2017, involving 13 public schools, 260 students, about 200 researchers and 13,500 h of activity. Fifty training modules on public health issues were designed to foster students’ involvement in a process of RRI, by attracting their attention towards cutting-edge scientific topics and introducing health issues in a non-formal educational scenario. Based on this experience, the ISS elaborated an organizational model that can be transferred to other research institutes. The adoption of RRI principles within the SWAS and the creation of ad hoc networks of research institutes can contribute to strengthen the institutional commitment towards the promotion of science in and for society and develop innovative and responsible research communication strategies affecting different targets outside the research area.

References

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  2. De Castro P (2014) Communicating science. Experience from a research institute for public health CERLIS international conference the language of medicine: science, practice and academia. University of Bergamo, Italy. 19–21 June 2014. Available from: https://tinyurl.com/y9v8ktl9
  3. De Castro P, Barbaro MC, Salinetti S et al (2013) Information and health literacy for school students: the e-Bug experience in Italy. J Eur Assoc Health Inf Libr 9(1):7–9. Available from: http://www.eahil.net/journal/journal_2013_vol9_n1.pdf
  4. De Castro P, Agresti C, Ambrosini E, Barbaro MC, Salinetti S (2016a) Health information literacy at school to create awareness on planetary health. The pilot project of school-work alternating system in Italy. In: European Conference of Information Literacy, Prague. Abstracts 10–13 Available from: http://ecil2016.ilconf.org/
  5. De Castro P, Agresti C, Ambrosini E, Barbaro MC, Salinetti S, Sorrentino E (2016b) Alternanza scuola lavoro all’Istituto Superiore di Sanità: verso un modello di best practice per gli enti di ricerca. Notiziario Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Suppl. Luglio/Agosto http://www.iss.it/binary/publ/cont/ONLINE_alt.nuovo.pdf
  6. Italia. Legge 13 luglio 2015, n. 107. Riforma del sistema nazionale di istruzione e formazione e delega per il riordino delle disposizioni legislative vigenti. Gazzetta Ufficiale Serie Generale n. 162 del 15 luglio 2015. Available from: http://www.gazzettaufficiale.it/eli/id/2015/07/15/15G00122/sg
  7. La scuola e noi. [School and us]. Section of Istituto Superiore di Sanità website including training material and books produced by ISS researchers for school students and teachers. Available from: http://www.iss.it/publ/index.php?lang=1&anno=2017&tipo=15

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paola De Castro
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cristina Agresti
    • 1
  • Elena Ambrosini
    • 1
  • Maria Cristina Barbaro
    • 1
  • Roberta De Simone
    • 1
  • Eugenio Sorrentino
    • 1
  • Sandra Salinetti
    • 1
  1. 1.Istituto Superiore di SanitàRomeItaly

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