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Italy:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

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Overview Italy

Contents

Italy:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Italy:Historical Development

Italy:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Italy:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Italy:Political and Economic Situation

Italy:Organisation and Governance

Italy:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Italy:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Italy:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Italy:Organisation of Private Education

Italy:National Qualifications Framework

Italy:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Italy:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Italy:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Italy:Funding in Education

Italy:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Italy:Higher Education Funding

Italy:Adult Education and Training Funding

Italy:Early Childhood Education and Care

Italy:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Italy:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Italy:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Italy:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Italy:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Italy:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Italy:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Italy:Primary Education

Italy:Organisation of Primary Education

Italy:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Italy:Assessment in Primary Education

Italy:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Italy:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Italy:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Italy:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Italy:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Italy:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Italy:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Italy:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Italy:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Italy:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Italy:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Italy:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Italy:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Italy:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Italy:Higher Education

Italy:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Italy:First Cycle Programmes

Italy:Bachelor

Italy:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Italy:Second Cycle Programmes

Italy:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Italy:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Italy:Adult Education and Training

Italy:Distribution of Responsibilities

Italy:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Italy:Main Providers

Italy:Main Types of Provision

Italy:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Italy:Teachers and Education Staff

Italy:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Italy:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Italy:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Italy:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Italy:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Italy:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Italy:Management and Other Education Staff

Italy:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Italy:Management Staff for Higher Education

Italy:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Italy:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Italy:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Italy:Quality Assurance

Italy:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Italy:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Italy:Educational Support and Guidance

Italy:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Italy:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Italy:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Italy:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Italy:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Italy:Mobility and Internationalisation

Italy:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Mobility in Higher Education

Italy:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Italy:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Italy:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Italy:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Italy:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Italy:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Italy:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Italy:National Reforms in School Education

Italy:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Italy:National Reforms in Higher Education

Italy:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Italy:European Perspective

Italy:Legislation

Italy:Glossary

All teachers working in State schools are trained at higher level through programmes leading to a second-cycle qualification issued by universities and Afam institutions (Laurea magistrale or second level Diploma Accademico, respectively). Initial teacher training also includes traineeship activities and is organised differently according to the level teachers will teach at, i.e. either pre-primary and primary level or secondary level.

Teachers of pre-primary and primary levels obtain the second-cycle qualification after completion of a specific five-year single-cycle programme, including traineeship activities. Traineeship activities should start from the second year of the course. Courses have a planned number of available posts and an admission exam. Admission requires also the possession of an upper secondary leaving State exam or any other equivalent qualification obtained abroad. Course ends up with the discussion of a final work and of the final traineeship report. The discussion of the two reports makes up the final exam that also qualifies to teach at pre-primary and primary level. Course started in academic year 2011/2012.

Teachers of the lower and upper secondary levels must complete a two-year programme leading to a second-cycle qualification (Laurea magistrale or to a Diploma accademico di secondo livello for teaching art, music and dance subjects) with planned available posts and an admission exam. After having obtained the relevant qualification, prospective teachers must follow a one-year traineeship period called 'active formative traineeship' (TFA).

All courses for training future teachers include:

  • The acquisition of linguistic competences in English equivalent to the level B2 of the ‘Common European Framework of Reference for Languages’ adopted in 1996 by the Council of Europe,
  • The acquisition of digital competences as foreseen by the Recommendation of the EU Parliament and Council of 18 December 2006. In particular, such competences refer to the capacity of using multimedia languages for representing and communicating knowledge, for using digital contents and, more in general, simulated environments and virtual labs;
  • The acquisition of didactic competences suitable to favour the school integration of pupils with disabilities.

Teachers willing to work as support teachers of pupils with disability are required to acquire, beside the basic training common to all teachers, also a specific specialisation qualification, released by universities. Courses have a planned number of available posts and admission exam.

Initial education and recruitment for secondary teachers is currently under reform, within the reform process started in 2015 with law 107 that has delegated the Government to issues specific decrees on some sectors of the education system.

The Government is expected to issue the delegated decrees within 17 April 2017. In particular, the decree on ITE regulates the re-organisation and simplification of the ITE and recruitment system of secondary teachers, in order to make the system more efficient for the increase of the social and cultural value of the teaching profession.

The reform foresees the direct access to the open competitions for teachers after the obtainment of a second-cycle university qualification.

Those who pass the open competition start a three-year training, which includes a paid traineeship, aimed at the obtainment of a specialisation qualification and to the acquisition of teaching competences. The positive conclusion of the three-year training, gives the teacher the right to a permanent contract.

Institutions, Level and Models of Training

Initial teacher education is organised at higher level, both at universities and at institutions belonging to the High level arts, music and dance education system (Afam).

These latter, train future arts and music teachers at lower and upper secondary level. Courses may be organised by one or more faculties within the same university, or faculties belonging to different universities, also involving Afam institutions.

Teaching at the pre-primary and primary levels, requires a second-cycle qualification (Laurea magistrale) obtained after completion of a specific course organised by the faculties of educational sciences, or other faculties upon authorization of the Ministry of education (Miur). The course of study is organised as a single-cycle course, lasting five years (300 CFU credits). Starting from the second year of studies, students also carry out training activities, for an overall duration of 600 hours (24 CFU credits).

Teaching at secondary level, requires a second-cycle qualification (Laurea magistrale or second level Diploma Accademico), obtained after completion of a two-year course (120 CFU credits). After being awarded the qualification in the relevant field of studies (e.g. laurea magistrale in mathematics), future teachers complete their initial education by carrying out a one-year traineeship period (TFA). The traineeship period ends up with a final examination which, if passed, qualifies to teaching.

Support teachers working with special needs undergo a specific training organised at universities and aimed at obtaining at least 60 credits. Training also includes at least 300 hours (12 credits) of traineeship activities and it must be organised differently according to the different education level. Training activities are organised and regulated by each university in compliance with general criteria established by the Ministry of education. 

Admission Requirements

Admission to teacher training courses is subjected to the same conditions of all second-cycle programmes of the higher education level.

For entering a single-cycle course, aimed at teaching at pre-primary and primary levels, students must hold an upper secondary education leaving certificate, or any other qualification obtained abroad recognised as equal. 

For entering a two-year course, aimed at teaching at secondary level, a first-cycle certification, obtained either at a university or at a Afam institution, is required (Laurea or first level Diploma Accademico).

In addition to the required qualification, students must also pass an admission exam. In fact, admission to courses is limited and the Ministry of education establishes the number of posts available every year at national level, based on the need of teaching staff in State school, as calculated at regional level.

Each university organises its admission tests to second-cycle courses..

Moreover, also the admission to the Active formative traineeship (TFA) for prospective lower and upper secondary teachers is limited. In this case, the preliminary test for the admission to the TFA is organised at central level and is the same throughout the country. Those who have passed the preliminary test sit for written and oral tests that are organised by universities and Afam institutions.

Also admission to specialisation courses for support teachers working with special needs is limited. Students must pass an admission exam organised by each university.

Curriculum, Level of Specialisation and Learning Outcomes

In general, teacher education programmes, at all levels, are aimed at the acquisition of competences on specific subjects as well as pedagogic, didactic and organisational competences. In addition, teachers also acquire competences necessary to work within the school autonomy system.

These general objectives are reached through two different programmes organised at higher level and both leading to a second-cycle qualification:

a)    a five-year university programme (300 CFU credits) for teaching in pre-primary and primary schools, including traineeship activities to be carried out starting from the second year of studies;

b)    a two-year university or Afam programme (120 CFU/CFA credits) for teaching at lower and upper secondary level, followed by a one-year traineeship period, ending up with a qualifying examination. 

Both programmes foresee the acquisition of competences on ICT, languages (English language at least corresponding to the B2 level within the European common framework of references for languages) and didactic competences to help the integration at school of pupils with special educational needs.

Those willing to specialise in support teaching for pupils with disability should carry out a specific training which foresee the acquisition of at least 60 CFU credits, including at least 300 hour (12 CFU credits) of traineeship. Training activities should be organised differently according to each school level. Each university organises the activities according to general criteria established by the ministry of education.

CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) is compulsory at licei and at technical institutes. In order to provide teachers with the competences necessary to teach their subject in a foreign language, universities may start courses addressed to qualified teachers with language skills corresponding to the level C1 of the European common framework of references for languages. Courses correspond to at least 60 CFU credits, including at least 300 hours (12 CFU credits) of traineeship (Ministerial Decree no. 6/2012).

Five-year programme for teaching at pre-primary and primary level

Programmes  for teaching at pre-primary and primary level, called ‘Primary education sciences’ programmes (scienze della formazione primaria), provide teachers, beside the necessary subject related competences, with the ability of adapting their teaching to different age groups and cultures ad of planning the teaching activities.

Programmes are organised in general and specific training activities. The former aim at the acquisition of knowledge in the fields of pedagogy, didactic, psychology, sociology and anthropology. These studies correspond to 78 CFU credits.

Specific activities are both activities related to the acquisition of subject related knowledge and competences and activities related to the integration of pupils with special educational needs. These latter include studies in the fields of infantile neuropsychiatry, psychology, law and health and studies correspond to 31 CFU credits.

Future teachers acquire competences in the following subject areas: mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, Italian language and literature, English language, history, geography, sports, arts, music, children’s literature. Studies correspond to 135 CFU credits.

The remaining 56 CFU credits come from traineeship activities, laboratories, the language examination and the final exam.

Traineeship activities start from the second year of studies for 600 hours (24 CFU credits).

Two-year second-cycle programmes for teaching at lower and upper secondary level

All programmes have the following organisation:

  • a two-year course leading to a second-cycle qualification (Laurea magistrale or Second level Academic Diploma for teaching arts, music and dance subjects);
  • one-year traineeship period (60 CFU credits) ending up with a final qualifying exam.

Study plans vary according to the different subject areas teachers will be teaching at school.

The traineeship period (TFA) is a course preparing for teaching ad addressed to those holding a second-cycle qualification for teaching at lower and upper secondary level. Traineeship ends up with a final exam that, if passed, qualifies to teach at secondary level.

Traineeship activities are organised by the relevant university faculty or Afam institution and may involve more faculties of the same university, faculties of different universities, also in collaboration with Afam institutions.

Traineeship includes teachings on educational sciences, on the didactic of teaching and laboratories. It also includes ‘indirect’ (observation phase) and ‘direct’ activities (active teaching phase) in accredited schools included in a list kept by the Regional school office. The practical phase lasts a total of 475 hours (19 CFU credits).

Attendance is compulsory.

At the end of the traineeship period, the trainee draws up a report on the activities carried out with the support of the reference tutor.

The traineeship period ends with an exam qualifying to teaching at secondary level.

Teacher Educators

Educators are teaching staff of the higher education system, i.e. professors and researchers.

During the one-year traineeship period, trainees are supported by a tutor, a teacher of the school, who has the task of guidance for all the aspects related to the organisation of the school and the didactic work in the class. The tutor has also organises and monitors the trainee’s teaching activities.

Qualifications, Evaluation and Certificates

At the end of both single-cycle and two-year university programmes, successful students are awarded the second-cycle qualification (laurea magistrale). Two-year programmes at Afam institutions lead to the Second level Diploma Accademico for teaching arts, music and dance subjects at lower and upper secondary level.

Procedures for obtaining these qualifications are the same of all second-cycle programmes.

At the end of the one-year traineeship, that is part of the initial training of teachers of the secondary level, trainee must pass a final qualifying examination. To be admitted to the exam, a minimum attendance of 70% of teachings and 80% of practical training activities is required.

The qualifying examination consists of the evaluation of the whole activity carried out, the oral description of a lesson on a theme chosen by the examination board, the discussion of the final report drawn up by the trainee with the collaboration of the tutor.

The examination board awards point to each examination test: a maximum of 30 points for the overall activity, a maximum of 30 points for the oral exam, a maximum of 10 points for the final report. The examination is passed with a minimum score of 50/70. The final score is added to the average of the marks obtained at the exams during both the course of studies and Traineeship to obtain the final mark.

Those who pass the final examination at the end of specialization programmes for support teachers, are awarded a Specialization Diploma.

Alternative Training Pathways

The teacher initial training pathways are only the ones described above.

Legislative References

DM 10 September 2010, no. 249 (Teachers initial education)