Keywords: Educational Policies; Lifelong Learning; Organizational Cultures; Third Sector; Cultural Change.
This paper proposes a theoretical-empirical reflection on the arising of the Italian Third Sector as a new protagonist of the national educational system. This study is based on the analysis of an emblematic case study, which is the Training Project for the Executives of the Third Sector of Southern Italy. After having traced the social and cultural role of the Third Sector in the recent Italian history, the authors introduce the case study, which is considered like an opportunity to investigate the criticalities and potentialities of the new educational policies and methods experimented by the Third Sector in the last ten years. The research has involved scholars for three years; it has been carried out by integrating different actions and methods of research: participant observation, both in classroom and in e-learning activities; interviews focused on privileged witnesses; secondary analysis of documents, educational and communication materials, evaluation reports.