Quality Standards in Teaching
ECTN-A General Assembly
Standing Committee Quality Teaching – meeting Sept. 11th, 2021 1615 h – Perugia and online
During the online ECTN General Assembly on Oct 3rd, 2020, Leo presented an update on the activities of the SC-QT. As the leader of the SC-QST, he welcomed the great success of Iwona and Natasa and a team from who were successful with a European project grant called STEM-CPD@EUni – see https://ectn.eu/work-groups/stem-cpd/ . This project aims at sustainable quality of teaching and learning in higher education STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) courses.
The SC-QST, in contrast, looks at secondary school teachers who, according to a number of European sources, need e.g. training and CPD in ICT (information and communications technology); the corona situation aggravates the consequences of a lack of competences in this field. Thus, a European training concept for teachers leading to a Eurolabel for this field of studies might consist of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), pedagogical knowledge (PK) and content knowledge (CK). Objections saying that it would be impossible to balance the multiple and different approaches (schemes, schedules, one- or two-subject teachers) to teacher training in Europe do not take into account that, as in all modern curricula, a syllabus would not be based on contents but on learning outcomes, leaving the way open in which these are approached. Moreover, complexity should be reduced to the basics and applicable knowledge and skills. The ECTN approach to this field would also follow option 3 of WP 12 and adapt the Eurobachelor/-master label schemes (least common denominator, common minimum standards) and include scientific knowledge, social and industrial (real life, application) aspects. Moreover, it would also be a “distant mirror” of the good old TUNING approach, not pretending to equalize, but to tune different European approaches. In the first place, secondary school teachers would be the target group.
[In Germany, there is a lack of students who want to become a chemistry teacher; carreer changers, e.g. from industry or lab practice are invited to join in.]
Based on all these considerations and discussions, Leo had phone calls with several colleagues including Terry Mitchell. Terry gave the advice to contact the German MNU with Bernd Ralle, who had co-operated in developing a common reference for the sciences (GeRRN). With people from this (European) environment, we would have partners who genuinely come from the didactic side and have a European perspective. MNU co-operates with partner organisations in Benelux, UK, F, DK and I. MNU might help to bridge the gap between general curricular work in GeRRN and teacher training by formulating expectations/demands the framework would have with respect to teacher training.
Bernd referred to Jürgen Langlet. Jürgen, a secondary school teacher for Biology and Chemistry and 10 years the headmaster of a German Gymnasium and of the German International School in Brussels, had been a member of MNU board form 2010 to 2016 and then headed the commission who developed the third version of GeRRN.
Given that the Perugia meeting is held both in presence and online, and given that Jürgen Langlet will be a keynote speaker on Sept. 12 morning in Perugia, we hope to have Jürgen as an attendant of the SCQT meeting on Sept. 11th.
Should doubts concerning the teacher training approach weigh to heavily, Terry Mitchell suggests to consider an alternative: Why not join MNU and other European teacher organisations in creating a Europe-wide framework for chemistry teaching in schools (curricular, but aiming at outcomes etc.), taking into account the newest didactic as well as content and societal aspects (Leo: chemistry in everyday life, problem based learning, simple-low cost-low energy/material experiments, aspects of problem solving for the future of mankind) ….
Our meeting on Sept 11th will give us the chance to discuss the aforementioned aspects and hopefully come to conclusions concerning upcoming initiatives in co-operation with appropriate partners.
 reading material: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-06830-2