USI and DECS join forces to provide continuing education for high school teachers


Institutional Communication Service

13 December 2019

The fast development of technologies and the ongoing changes in today's society have a strong impact on the future of work, leading to the need to keep up to speed and learn new skills that can be useful both at work and for our personal growth. In this context, the Department of Education, Culture and Sport of the Canton of Ticino (DECS) and Università della Svizzera italiana joined forces to offer high school teachers the opportunity to attend USI Master’s and PhD courses as part of a lifelong learning and continuing education programme.

This initiative answers to the call of the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Directors of Education (EDK), which stressed the importance of making university courses accessible to high school teachers, with the aim of strengthening cooperation between high schools and universities. "Teachers play a key role in passing on knowledge to the younger generations of students, and in accompanying them in a society that is radically changing," says Manuele Bertoli, Director of DECS. "To do so, they need tools and opportunities to keep up to date and collect new ideas. With its strong vocation for research, the university remains the main place of production of an ever new knowledge, from which even high school teachers will now be able to draw".

The agreement between DECS and USI involves the preparation by the University of a four-year plan (2020-2023) of continuing education for high school teachers. In this plan, each Faculty proposes to open one or more Master and PhD courses offered to university students. Specifically, from next spring semester (February to May 2020) teachers will have the opportunity to attend, without having to take the final exam, courses related to the following disciplinary areas: mathematics and experimental sciences, language, dialectics and literature, human sciences and economics, religion and the arts. At the end of the course, a certificate will be issued to prove that the teacher has fulfilled the obligation to follow recognised continuing education activities for at least a total of eight days over a four-year period, as indicated in the Regulations on the continuing education of teachers.

As USI Rector Boas Erez points out "Our University is always on the lookout for changes in our society and promptly responds to such changes by taking on new challenges. Today, one of the main challenges it faces is the so-called "fourth industrial revolution": the pervasiveness of technology and digitisation and their rate of evolution are reflected in continuous innovations in the economy, in the workplace and in society. The world of education is called upon to respond to new needs with a renewed approach and thus to offer opportunities to learn new skills and live new experiences". It is the concept of "Lifelong Learning", a challenge for USI that is linked to its commitment to contribute to the development of its territory by providing a contribution to the transfer of knowledge from the academic world to society.

More information on the courses offered to teachers and enrolment procedures are available here