Teacher education and training

Key terms: Recognition of teacher qualifications / Mobility and exchange / Bologna Process / European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) / Coordination in the area of universities of teacher education / Coordination in the higher education sector

Training of teaching staff

The training of teaching staff for the pre-school level, primary school level, lower-secondary education, Baccalaureate schools and professions in the field of special needs education is provided by universities – mostly universities of teacher education. In the 1990s, a comprehensive reform of teacher education and training led to the establishment of universities of teacher education. Since then, the education and training of teaching staff for all educational levels has been provided by university institutions. Beforehand, the education and training of teaching staff for the pre-school and primary school levels mostly took place at upper-secondary education institutions.

Due to their practice-oriented degree programmes and their research which is oriented towards occupational fields, the universities of teacher education are typologically classed as universities of applied sciences. However, they are governed differently. The legal basis at the national level are the recognition regulations issued by the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK). The remit of the universities of teacher education comprises initial education and training and continuing education and training, application-oriented research and development, and services for third parties.

The degree programmes in teacher education and training provide professional qualifications and include scientific components, teaching-specific components, educational science components and practical training components. They combine theory and practical work and teaching and research. The goal is to impart adequate knowledge and competence for educating and teaching pupils and students at the various educational levels, as well as children and adolescents with special needs. Teacher education and training is realised within a two-tier model with Bachelor's and Master's degree programmes, in accordance with the Bologna Declaration. The study attainments and performance of students are measured with ECTS credits. The duration of studies depends on the selected degree programme. Graduates receive a teaching qualification for the specific educational level, or a professional qualification in the field of special needs education, as well as a Bachelor's or Master's degree. (Exception: Teachers for Baccalaureate schools only receive a teaching qualification. The Master's degree is obtained through their scientific study.). The teaching qualifications and professional qualifications are recognised throughout Switzerland.

  • teacher for the pre-school level and/or primary school level

  • teacher for lower-secondary education

  • teacher for Baccalaureate schools

  • education and training in the field of special needs education: specialisation in the fields of early remedial education and remedial education at school

  • education and training in speech and language therapy and psychomotor therapy

Training of VET/PET professionals

The education and training of vocational trainers in training companies, of teachers at VET schools and PET colleges, and of trainers in job-related continuing education and training, takes place at university institutions and other educational institutions. The education and training of VET/PET professionals is regulated by the Confederation within the framework of vocational and professional education and training. The programmes vary according to the level to be taught at and the teaching workload (part-time or full-time).

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Last update of this page: 26.01.2017

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