The main objective is to improve the quality of teacher education for future teachers, emphasizing inclusiveness and democratic competences. To achieve this, the project will involve 12 universities from 2018-2021 in the development and integration of new and innovative teacher education modules of emphasizing practice-oriented teaching promoting citizenship, democracy and human rights. Furthermore, the project will establish a regional network of universities, higher education institutions and others working in teacher education, for exchange of experiences and good practices in the field. The project will encourage regional cooperation by establishing a network of teacher training institutions from each country. From late 2018 to 2021, the project offers regional and national network meetings, trainings and study visits.
Due to consistent challenges in unstable and divisive societies, democratic reforms in education are a priority for many governments in the Western Balkan, often in the context of accession to the European Union. All Western Balkan countries have made important steps to modernize their curricula for school education, in line with European standards and approaches. Governments in the region call for a competence-oriented approach, which also reflects values and principles such as democracy, participation and inclusiveness.
The transition from a traditional education approach to a modern competence-oriented system also impacts on how teachers work in schools – and on how future teachers are trained. A change in the learning and teaching culture at teacher education institutions is needed, including changes in the methodology for teacher education and modifications in design and content of university courses as well as ongoing teacher training. As the European Commission pointed out in 2013, the emphasis on theory in teacher education still predominates over the acquisition of practical teaching competences. The gap between theory and practice in teacher training is caused partly by limited traditions of partnerships between teacher education institutions and schools. The project aims to address this situation.
*All reference to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.