Home Education Ministers will increase the mobility of student teachers – POLITICO

Ministers will increase the mobility of student teachers – POLITICO

Ministers will increase the mobility of student teachers - POLITICO

The desire to make more students teachers of international mobile communications should be approved by European education ministers when they meet in Yerevan in May. Civil servants and other stakeholders, who are laying the groundwork for the meeting, conclude in their report to ministers that this “clearly should be a political priority” and the initiative is said to have widespread support.
“Students who train teachers will eventually become teachers and thus become role models for new generations of pupils and students,” the report said. “They need to be mobile because they are going to“ explain ”the world to future generations. So, they probably felt it for themselves. “

Until now, little attention has been paid to student teachers in European mobility campaigns, and teacher training has avoided harmonizing reforms in the Bologna Process. As a result, in Europe there are wide differences in the way teachers are taught, making it difficult for students to find compatible course units in foreign universities.

According to David Parmigani, an associate professor of education at the University of Genoa and a member of the board of the Association for Teacher Education in Europe, language is another barrier. Education faculties tend to work in the national language, so even if the programs are compatible, they may be inaccessible to visitors. “In the Nordic countries, it’s perfectly normal to find a small number of courses taught in English, but enough, but in Italy it’s a problem,” he says.

These and other difficulties mean that student teachers are much less likely than their peers to be mobile. According to a Eurostudent poll, the latest results of which were presented in Vienna in late February, Malta, Finland and France are the only European Union countries to send more than 10% of student teachers abroad. In France it is better than in the total number of students, while in Finland it corresponds to the average. But in most EU countries there is a gap: only 3% of Danish student teachers travel, while 13% of the total student body is mobile. Slovenia, Sweden and Italy also have large deficits.

Parmigiani offers to encourage universities to do more English courses or to encourage “international classes” for visiting students. But ideally part of the teacher training curriculum would be harmonized across Europe. “Perhaps ministers could create a common space, such as 30 or 60 credits, to open up more opportunities for mobility sharing,” he says.

The working group preparing for the meeting in Yerevan stops at such a proposal. He encourages ministers to recognize the importance of student and faculty mobility and to work to improve the framework for it in national systems. This will include encouraging higher education institutions to create “windows of mobility”, place in curricula for student faculty to go abroad, and ensure that experiences abroad are recognized. It also offers joint international projects to train teachers and promote schemes such as Erasmus +, which allow students to do internships as teaching assistants abroad.

Such work experience is necessary, Parmigiani says, so that teaching does not turn into parish. “Student teachers need to experience different teaching and learning conditions. It’s really fundamental. ” But he adds that teaching practice is often part of the educational phase of teacher training rather than something else, and this makes such internships difficult to organize.

Finally, the report focuses on future language teachers. If they seek to teach a foreign language, they must spend at least one semester in the country where the language is commonly spoken. In addition, if they seek to teach their mother tongue as a foreign language, they must spend at least one semester in a country where the language is not spoken. These periods of mobility should be recorded in the curriculum, it says.

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