Andrea Canevaro Expert in Humanity

In memory of Andrea Canevaro internationally renowned scholar, professor emeritus of the University of Bologna; a true master in the field of educational science.
Pier Michele Borra

The news of Professor Andrea Canevaro’s death on May 26th is now sadly known. In newspapers and magazines specializing in the issues of education and inclusion of persons with disabilities, it is emphasized that Canevaro, 82 years old, professor emeritus of the University of Bologna and internationally renowned scholar, was the father of special education, the field of research focusing on the education of persons with disabilities, and that his thinking has nurtured and shaped generations of educators and university students over many decades. A true master in the field of pedagogy. Many of us who have been his students can testify to the importance of his lessons, about both life and education. But they certainly do not forget his contribution to their personal growth, accepting and overcoming the objective difficulties and issues that disabilities imply. School integration is largely the result of his research and commitment. His scientific approach did not only consist of collecting data or technical aspects: as Patrizia Ceccarani said in Vita, “He always put the person at the centre, even when this expression was not commonly used.”



Andrea Canevaro

In an interview in Orizzonte Scuola, he said, referring to school leaders, that they should be pathfinders: “We need to see that value in others that we do not possess, and, gently but decisively, bring together our respective values. Intertwining paths.” In Settimananews, José Jorge Chade wrote that he was a man like the one described by Primo Levi: “fair, simple, human, helpful, flexible,” who “knew how to reach out to everyone, accompanying them in difficult moments, supporting them when necessary without taking their place.” And in the list of the wonderful things we remember about him with great affection and infinite esteem are the many occasions he wanted to work with the Cavazza Institute’s Managers and Operators to analyze, deepen, clarify and better organize the support services for the integration and academic, cultural and social inclusion of children and youth living with vision loss. The last important occasion of this key collaboration took place in 2011 on the occasion of the 130th anniversary of the foundation of our Institute, when we organized, with the essential contribution of Andrea Canevaro, the conference “Mostrare la Rosa al Cieco” (show the rose to the blind). In his keynote speech, analyzing the words “integration, inclusion, sharing,” he succeeded, as always, in moving and involving the audience, once again offering us a solid demonstration of his great expertise, knowledge and profound humanity. Unfortunately, all that remains for us today is to thank Andrea for the great contributions he has left us, which we can fortunately find in his books, essays, and articles. But we are also left with the heavy task of trying to realize and make effective and concrete results of his many teachings and insights and indications for a real school and social inclusion of persons with disabilities.


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