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EU high level group: teaching teachers and academics to teach

The EU high-level group on the modernisation of higher education published its first report on how to improve the quality of teaching and learning in Europe’s higher education institutions. Consultations with stakeholders showed that research often outweighs teaching in many institutions in Europe and prompted the high level group to elaborate a set of 16 recommendations to improve the importance of teaching. Some of these recommendations, for example, include:
  • a certified pedagogical training;
  • merit-based fellowships for teachers;
  • partnerships with labour market actors and employers;
  • internationalisation strategies; and
  • the creation of a European Academy of Teaching and Learning.  
The high-level group was launched by the European Commission in September 2012 (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, September 2012) as part of the Commission’s strategy to modernise higher education in the EU’s member states.  This advisory board will now focus its attention on its second mission, namely how to better adapt learning to the realities of the digital age.

Similarly, the quality of teaching is also a matter of concern on the other side of the Atlantic. The National Council on Teacher Quality, a Washington-based advocacy group, has recently released its first edition of the NCTQ Teacher Prep Review for more than 1 100 colleges and universities that prepare elementary and secondary teachers. The report claims that the vast majority of the 1 430 education programmes that prepare the nation’s K-12 teachers are mediocre, proving that the education of teachers and academics is a global issue.