Teacher Education in Italy: challenges and perspectives

Time Tuesday, 04/Sep/2018: 17:15 - 18:45pm
Location D1.03
Speakers Giuseppe Tacconi; Ira Vannini; Maurizio Gentile
Chair Umberto Marigotta

Teacher quality has been recognised as the most school-related factor that influence the quality of students learning (Hattie, 2009). Therefore, has been given a special attention on policies, curriculum, and practices in teacher education programs all over the world. In Italy, for a long time, the professional preparation of teachers was one of the weakest points of the educational system. In the last years, the Italian government implemented different reforms in order to improve the initial teacher education and to support both the working insertion and the life of Italian teachers. The assumption is that the quality of the whole system is assured by the quality of preparation of people working in it. The papers in this symposium present and reflect on the initial and continuous teacher education programs that are following such reforms.

Teacher Education of kindergarten and primary school teachers: some Italian research perspectives on teacher change studies

Starting from an overview of international studies on teacher change, some Italian research studies on the beliefs and practices of pre-service teachers are presented. In the teacher education of kindergarten and primary school teachers it is fundamental to analyse how beliefs and practices evolve in order to orient the curricula and improve the training methodologies in higher education programs. The contribution presents a brief overview of Italian empirical research in this area and some specific results.

Initial Teacher Education of high school teachers: some Italian experiences

For a long time, in Italy, teacher education programs of high school teachers privileged subject matter knowledge. Up to the threshold of the year 2000 the Italian system did not foresee any didactic preparation for the future teachers; in fact courses focused mainly on the content knowledge. The idea on the basis of teacher education system was that “to know” it also meant “to know how to teach”. After a first experience of biennial specialization for the future high school teacher, in year 2011-12 have been organized new annual courses for the initial teachers’ training. A recently approved law (n. 107/2015) defines a new system for teacher education and recruitment. The contribution aims to analyse this development focusing the attention on the necessary balance between practical experience and theoretical knowledge and on what research suggests for the initial teacher education.

Continuing Professional Development (CDP) for teachers is the heart of the European strategy to improve the instruction quality. A high-quality CPD is critical to warranty relevant knowledge and competencies to be efficacy in today’s classrooms. The contribution shows two in-service training models which apply adult learning approaches based on support for effective and innovative teaching methods. The first model consists in a two-level training: the first one is based on courses, the second one is based on support activities delivered by facilitators. This approach aims to disseminate the use of Cooperative Learning in K-12 classrooms. The second model proposes the videotaping to encourage the development of pedagogical knowledge about one of the high effect-size factors in teaching and learning processes: the formative feedback.

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