Practical orientation in teacher training. The more the better?!
Students who want to become teachers require more practical relevance in their studies. The number of possibilities of gaining work experiences has increased but still they are not harmonised among states or HEIs and their impact has yet to be evaluated. This is the result of a new publication Practical orientation in teacher training. The more the better?! It calls (amongst others) for better support by mentors.
Students' "reality shock" when entering the professional world is undisputed. Federal states and HEIs in Germany have taken different measures to tackle this problem. The latest analysis by Monitor Teacher Training, however, shows that no uniform standards have been implemented, yet. Phases of practical training are measured or counted differently in each state: in the 2nd or 7th semester, a length of 14 weeks, or 65 days or covering the amount of30 credit points. Unfortunately, very often responsibilities are not clear: in some states the HEIs are responsible, in others the professional schools or centres for teacher training, which hampers a homogenous training of the teachers to be.
This is one of the core results of the Monitor Teacher Training's latest publication Practical orientation in teacher training - the more the better?! The aim of the joint project by Bertelsmann Stiftung, CHE Centre for Higher Education, Deutsche Telekom Stiftung and Stifterverband is to inject up-to-date facts into discussions on teacher training and uncover the differences between states and HEIs.
Monitor Teacher Training identified one success factor as being improved - the dovetailing of school practice and academic studies. It recommends the use of more experienced teachers from schools as mentors of internships that sponsor the students. Jörg Dräger, board member of the Bertelsmann Stiftung, explained the need for experienced mentors as follows: "Good school education means good teaching and this is achieved by good teachers. Teacher to be students should receive regular personal feedback from experienced teachers as an integral part of their training."
Practical orientation in teacher training. The more the better?! The latest publication by Monitor Teacher Training
Concerning internships, Monitor Teacher Training's project partners are calling for closer co-operation among all the parties involved, as is already the case in North-Rhine Westphalia. There, the aim is for HEIs to be responsible for the practical semesters, which are then conducted jointly by schools and teacher training centres. Monitor Teacher Training initiators also state that the impact of practical phases deserves better evaluation and research.
One key point is the practical experience of internships that take place outside the school system. Dr. Ekkehard Winter, managing director of Deutsche Telekom Stiftung, said: "If we expand the definition of ‘practical experience’ and look at pupils’ future lives, both private and professional, we will notice that there are almost no concepts for integrating this concept into teacher training. We need to broaden the term ‘practice’ in order to afford future teachers a change in perspective."
Monitor Teacher Training is the only German nationwide data-base for teacher training. More than 8,000 relevant facts about the first phase of teacher education can be found at www.monitor-lehrerbildung.de. Monitor Teacher Training uses the latest data and qualitative surveys to produce special publications on selected topics.
Monitor Teacher Training is a joint project of Bertelsmann Stiftung, CHE Centre for Higher Education, Deutsche Telekom Stiftung and Stifterverband.