As part of the political action in Italy for the general reform of the education system at all levels to make it more easily adaptable to the needs of a rapidly changing modern society, an important topic of discussion is teacher training. This issue is accompanied by two separate problems that need to be addressed separately. The first concerns the initial professional training and licensing of teachers. This issue should concern universities, which are the trainers of educators (and this also applies to elementary school teachers if, as seems likely, the Magistral Institute is abolished and replaced by a minimum two-year university program). Therefore, the problem of training should be addressed in the new (now imminent) university system. The second problem concerns updating the methods and knowledge of the working teacher. The importance of this second aspect of “updating” a teacher’s training is well known. It involves keeping the general interests of teachers alive and providing accurate information on the development of new ideas and practical methods and applications in the discipline taught.
This is especially true in science and psychology subjects. It is not uncommon, although it is difficult to admit, for teachers in general to keep up to date while teaching. Only in part is this compensated for by the acquisition of so-called “professional experience.” This, however, is due more to the inadequacy of the sources available to teachers for their cultural development than to their reluctance. This is especially true for teachers who do not reside in university centers. Although some publishing houses have attempted to make up for the mentioned shortcomings, they are inadequate because they only rarely succeed in initiating group activities. And in fact, when such activities do take place, they are unofficial and only in university centers. An initiative has been taken to organize review courses, limited to mathematics and physics courses, but only in the central and northern regions of Italy (excluding a program with two short courses in Bari and one in Salerno). These are the permanent courses at the Museum of Science and Technology in Milan and regularly scheduled courses in various locations in the north. The refresher workshop for science teachers organized by the Ettore Majorana Center for Scientific Culture addresses the need to establish in southern Italy the equivalent of the Museum of Science and Technology in Milan. A program in the South should not be an unnecessary or excessive duplication of the center in Milan. This is dictated by the geographical separation of the two Centers and the need and desire to see the South become autonomous both culturally and economically.