National Programme to Improve the Quality of Teacher Training: future issues rarely addressed
All projects within the National Programme to Improve the Quality of Teacher Training, supported by the Federation and the federal states, have now been launched. A systematic overview of these projects is now available for the first time in a special publication issued by Monitor Lehrerbildung. The result: in spite of covering a wide range of topics, key issues concerning the future, such as digitisation and strategic recruitment, are underrepresented.
Tomorrow’s teachers need to be prepared properly for addressing the issue of greater diversity in the classroom. To this end, the Federation and the federal states started funding projects to reform teacher training at 59 German higher education institutions in 2015. Now that all of the selected projects are underway, Monitor Lehrerbildung has issued a publication entitled “Qualitätsoffensive Lehrerbildung ‒ zielgerichtet und nachhaltig?!” (National Programme to Improve the Quality of Teacher Training ‒ target-oriented and sustainable?!), providing, for the first time, a systematic overview of the topics tackled within the funded projects.
The analysis reveals that the projects conducted by the HEIs address a wide range of contemporary challenges. Virtually all of the HEIs concern themselves with the topic of inclusion (51). Issues such as improving organisational structures (49 out of 59 HEIs) and promoting research and young academics (47 out of 59 HEIs) are likewise addressed by a large majority of the HEIs. Other central issues concerning tomorrow’s teacher training, however, receive less attention. For example, only nine HEIs explore the promotion of digitisation in teacher training in their projects.
Cover of the publication about the National Programme to Improve the Quality of Teacher Training
“HEIs need to conduct more future-oriented projects, particularly where topics such as the digitisation of education are concerned,” stated Ekkehard Winter, Executive Director of Deutsche Telekom Stiftung. “There is also a lack of projects that focus primarily on teacher training for non-grammar schools.” Another elementary area, that of how to recruit suitable teachers in the future, is also underrepresented. Only 15 HEIs support the strategic recruitment of teacher training students in their projects, despite this topic being listed in the announcement for funding.
To ensure that students in teacher training benefit long-term from improved teaching throughout the country, the national programme needs to deliver well evaluated models that can be transferred to other HEIs. “The National Programme to Improve the Quality of Teacher Training must make an impact throughout the nation beyond the individual HEIs that have received funding. The competition can help improve teacher training in the long run if it can be ensured that projects are evaluated in good time and institutionalised,” urged Jörg Dräger. The Member of the Executive Board of the Bertelsmann Stiftung emphasised: “The HEIs should send a clear signal of their readiness to advocate a sustained improvement in teacher training once the funding period has come to an end.” Examples could include continuing newly created professorships and enhancing the competences of teacher training centres.
Information about the National Programme to Improve the Quality of Teacher Training This initiative of the Federation and the federal states provides €500 million in funding to 49 projects undertaken in 59 German HEIs that train teachers. The aim of the funding initiative is to improve the quality and increase the visibility of teacher training. The National Programme to Improve the Quality of Teacher Training comprises two funding periods, from 2014/2015 to 2018/2019 and from 2019 to 2023. The latest publication by Monitor Lehrerbildung, called “Qualitätsoffensive Lehrerbildung ‒ zielgerichtet und nachhaltig?!”, includes a systematic analysis of the projects involved. Both the opportunities and prospects of the funding initiative as a whole and its individual measures are discussed by education experts.
Information about Monitor LehrerbildungMonitor Lehrerbildung is the only German teacher training database. This database at www.monitor-lehrerbildung.de provides a structured presentation of over 8,500 relevant facts and data concerning the first phase of teacher training in Germany. Monitor Lehrerbildung is a joint project of the Bertelsmann Stiftung, the CHE Centre for Higher Education, the Deutsche Telekom Stiftung and the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft.
Further Information can be found in the publication stated below.