Research projects

In-service training for early childhood professionals in Switzerland

The professional education and care of young children is a demanding task. In recent years, the demands placed on those in Switzerland, who have completed their basic vocational training with a federal certificate, have steadily increased. In addition to the traditional tasks, special emphasis has been placed on learning and early support. The institutions have not only an educational mission. They are also ascribed economic, labour market and gender equality policy functions.
Against the backdrop of the increased expectations, early childhood education professionals are increasingly expected to undergo continuous in-service training. Associations, vocational schools, colleges and private institutions offer a whole range of courses and structured programmes. These vary greatly in terms of costs, time, subject matter and form of teaching. So far, there is no overview of the complete range of the courses offered.
The pilot study is therefore dedicated to in-service training programmes for the field of early childhood education and care. On the one hand, it serves to gain an overview of providers, data and sources and on the other hand to develop a methodological toolkit that can be used for further empirical analyses of course programmes. Initial case studies will be carried out in the pilot study and the results will be published.

Work-family issues from a managerial perspective

Educational expansion means that people now stay longer in education. After finishing their initial training, some employees immediately add another level of qualification, be it a on-the-job training, another degree or a course in vocational education. At the same time, new employees aim to gain enough practical experience to qualify for more attractive positions. At a point in life where they have completed their initial education and training, and have found employment, many women face a disruption in their professional careers when starting a family. More and more new fathers now decide to leave work for a period of time or work part-time. By means of problem-centred interviews, the research project focuses on how the consequences of starting a family are perceived by managers and personnel supervisors. Do employers regard an employee’s reduction in workload due to family reasons as a form of dequalification? Or can a new work-family model equip employees with more skills and open up new perspectives?

Educating Capital in the 20th Century

Most companies are not primarily providers and recipients of education; rather, they produce and distribute goods, offer loans, or provide services. Nonetheless, today’s business world often deals with expectations of further socialisation and qualification. The habilitation project explores the legitimisation of an ever stronger commitment to education within the Swiss private sector during the 20th century. It focuses on the justifications for investments into apprenticeships, further education opportunities and executive training.