In the spotlight: Quality in teaching and learning
Under the Erasmus+ programme, the merits of an international or skills-building experience are not only important for students, apprentices and volunteers. Our teachers and trainers can also benefit from exchanges that foster long-term pedagogical innovation. This in turn bolsters the teachers and trainers themselves, their fellow colleagues and learners, and society more broadly.
Through formal and non-formal learning initiatives within Europe and abroad, Erasmus+ encourages exposure, exchange and empowerment in teaching, training and youth work. The positive impact of its outputs can already be seen, particularly in terms of staff mobility and cross-organisational collaboration. For Alex O’Mahony, a primary teacher at Holy Spirit Boys National School in Ballymun, Dublin, participating in Erasmus+ staff exchanges was a ‘no-brainer’, and has ‘demonstrated how job-sharing or training in another European country can help fill gaps in national education systems’. In fact, more than 90% of directors at higher education institutions view staff mobility as an effective means for boosting best practices and knowledge acquisition among teachers and students.
Cooperation projects between education, training and youth organisations, involving as well enterprises, are also key to making our education and training systems more relevant to learners and better tailored to societal needs. According to Slovenian Minister of Education, Science and Sport Maja Makovec Brenčič, the Erasmus+ cooperation projects have provided a platform for a multicultural discussion about teaching methodology. Reflecting on her own experience, Ms. Makovec Brenčič notes, ‘I really appreciated this opportunity because I could speak with representatives from different European countries about the topics I was teaching at the time, not just from an academic standpoint, but from a person-to-person perspective’. This focus has inspired advancements in applied learning and project management skills for 89% of participating organisations.
With the 2018 Erasmus+ calls around the corner, make sure you do not miss the opportunity to embark in an international experience and take your skills and projects to the next level with Erasmus+!