Epidemiological surveys and statistical manuals of psychopathology (DSM-5, ICD 10) recognize that social phobias has a prevalence of 7% across general population and 13% of had at least one episode. Social phobias affect significantly the work of educators which faces different audiences and public situation in the daily work, reducing significantly their performance at work and satisfaction for life. Morever, to practice a public speaking situation with a real audience is very stressful for educators with social phobias, it involve a serious risk for the psychological condition of the educators or also discourage their involvement in future work in education.
Our project has the goal to increase the competences of VET trainers and reduce their public speaking phobia through the Virtual Reality Therapy (VRT), an innovative approach that has been demonstrated to be effective for reducing phobias through gradual exposition to phobic stimuli. The Virtual Reality Therapy (VRT) allow participants to simulate a session of public speaking, giving to users tailor-based suggestions for improving their speech and reduce phobia and anxiety of public speaking. We performed a need analysis in the participating countries crossing information regarding, scientific research about VRT applied to phobias, criteria to access the education professions (namely VET trainers, school teachers, university professors), epidemiological surveys, policies and rules related to education professions in the participating countries and we identified the following common needs.
The European Commission's support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
Target GroupsPrimary target groups: VET trainers, School Teachers, University professors, Educators, SpeakersSecundary target groups: psychologists, students, policy makersNeeds Analysis:- VET trainers is an unregulated profession, formal criteria of access are undefined in vast majority of cases.- High School Teachers and University professors access to the profession through public selection, which necessarily do not consider social skills.- public speaking skills are learned in the vast majority of cases on the job with no training and this can increase stress and reduce performance- Education profession is an increasing sector, this factor can be an opportunity for participating countries, which share a common problem with high percentage of Young NEETs- psychotherapy offers several methods for the reduction social phobia, most of them based on systematic desensitization, which require the participants to gradually expose to socialcontact. This can be too risky and stressful for the credibility of the educator, do not prevent from error and may even discourage participants in the access of profession of educatorsMoreover, it is difficult to organise and manage. Virtual Reality offer immediate exposition and complete control on contextual factors in a protected environment, making easier theapplication of psychotherapeutical approaches to the reduction of social phobias
The partnership will produce 3 Intellectual Outputs in 7 languages (EN, IT, PT, RO, RU, FR, TK) open and accessible 24/7 for the following goals
Increasing public speaking competences and decreasing public speaking phobias
O1 - Manual - a 300 pages manual translated in 7 languages designed to help VET trainers and all target groups to improve their skills in public speaking and reducing phobias. The Manual is designed as an action guide, specifically based on practices and exercises for increasing the quality of the speech and favouring the access to teaching and training professions. It includes a model of competences for effective public speaking described with the EFHTSPS terminology and under EQF recommendation
O2 - E-learning Platform - a web-based Platform including 10 hours of public speaking lectures, translated into 7 languages about public speaking techniques, phobia reduction techniques, stress and anxiety management, exercises for increasing the attention of the audience. The Platform is able to report automatically improvement
O3 - VR System - an immersive VR system which simulate scenarios of public speaking at increasing difficulty, allow self-evaluation of psychological states and gives tailor based suggestions on phobia and anxiety management Transnationality
TM1 - Paris [France] 03-06 November 2021
TM2 - Istanbul [Turkey] 22-24 February 2022