Giuseppe Paschetto

Scuola Secondaria Di I Grado "A. Garbacci, Veglio, Italy

Giuseppe  Paschetto

Giuseppe was often bored at school when he was a pupil – so he decided to try and make school a more gratifying and exciting experience for his students. He has now been teaching for more than 30 years, starting each year with the same enthusiasm, always focusing on innovation and finding new sources of inspiration.

His school is located in a mountain environment and is characterised by a high proportion of immigrants with their own cultures, religions and languages. Like all countries in the Alpine region, the area where Giuseppe teaches has fewer services and opportunities than the big cities and residential areas.

Giuseppe tries to turn these challenges into opportunities. He discovered that his other interests (cooking, ecology, hiking and astronomy) could become a useful part of his scientific teaching, and this has contributed to his passion for teaching. His mountain climbing group and “Stars Hill” astronomy group allow students to make observations of the constellations from a nearby hill where light pollution is low. With contributions from the Moroccan students, they learn the Arabic names of the constellations, making the study of astronomy a vehicle for inclusion. Science teaching also includes the contributions made to science by the Arab world.

Giuseppe’s commitment has never wavered and, like many teachers, he has found himself teaching many hours more than required by his school contract. He helps train other teachers and manages events outside the school timetable, including a large number of special classes on food and environmental education. This has felt natural for Giuseppe, though, because teaching has always been a passion. His efforts have won first prize at the Parliament of the Republic national contest for Alpine crafts, and first prize at two national contests in computer science.

If awarded the Global Teacher Prize, he would like to set up an international network of schools committed to fighting climate change – starting with his twin schools, the Navodaja school in Nepal and the Tibetan Children's Village in Sumdo-Puga. He would provide these schools with equipment to monitor the effects of climate change locally and from an educational point of view. He would also start a mountain schools convention to tackle the particular problems faced in rural areas.