About the Project
Europe faces global cross-cutting demographic, climatic, economic, technical and political challenges for which its education system must prepare future generations. Although the social challenges for schools and teacher education look similar in all European countries, there has been little international collaboration so far due to national curricula and guidelines.
The EU-funded project TESTEd (Towards a European Syllabus in Teacher Education) started in June 2022 and aims to change this matter by creating a European Syllabus.
High quality education for all
Teachers are faced with a growing demand and responsibility to address cross-cutting challenges and ensure high quality education so that pupils from different backgrounds become politically mature European citizens, who can adapt to future societal changes.
To ensure that teachers are prepared to meet these challenges, universities and institutions in teacher education have to include ESD, democratic education, gender sensitivity, digitalisation (would digital competency be a better word here?) and multilingualism in initial teacher education as well as in continuous professional development (CPD) courses, making sure, that education in Europe will remain committed to and continue to further diversity, human rights, social justice” and democratic freedom.
Although initial teacher education and in-service teacher education has started to include cross-cutting issues in their courses, there is no systematic European Syllabus which focuses on these topics. Instead, universities and training institutes place different foci according to their fields of expertise, thus creating a highly diverse teacher education landscape in which pre-service and in-service teachers have to rely on coincidental learning opportunities or independent studies to further their competencies.
Cross-cutting issues in TESTEd
The cross-cutting issues which should be foregrounded in teacher education include (but are not limited to).
- Education for a Sustainable Development (ESD)
- Democratic education and active citizenship
- Gender sensitivity in teaching and learning
- An open and inclusive approach to multilingualism and diversity
The project will develop its European Syllabus in international expert groups including researchers and teacher educators, focusing on the cross-cutting issues mentioned above. Participating training schools and critical friends, representing various stakeholders in teacher education, will provide feedback and ensure a practical fit to national rules and requirements.
The Syllabus will be implemented in joint virtual seminars and maker spaces in initial teacher education and continuous professional development (CPD) courses addressing in-service teachers. A teacher multiplier training at the end of the CPD courses will benefit schools in their internationalisation efforts.
To promote emerging research networks between the participating universities, a joint publication will focus on comparing practices in teaching cross-cutting issues leading to the European Syllabus. Furthermore, a student research exchange will further advance internationalisation through physical mobility.
Finally, a political impact is expected through the inclusion of communal CityLabs and an international closing conference.