Teacher collaboration still not widespread across Europe
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New evidence, published by the European Commission today, shows that collaboration between teachers to improve, share and diversify their practice is not widespread in all European countries. This is in contrast with the clear links that collaborative practice at school has with teachers’ levels of job satisfaction and their perception of how their profession is valued in society.
Two reports present new evidence on the teaching profession in Europe: their working conditions, demographic situation and professional development (by the Eurydice network) and their classroom practice (by the CRELL research centre).
Among the key findings:
- The gender imbalance in teaching, already now a profession predominantly exercised by women, is set to further increase. At the same time, the low share of younger teachers paired with the retirement of older teachers means that some countries could soon face severe staff shortages.
- While EU countries are setting higher standards for teachers’ initial education, there is a widespread mismatch between the topics teachers say they need further training on – in order to diversify and adapt their practice to changing circumstances – and the professional development they can actually follow.
- New data on the mobility of teachers shows that only one out of four teachers (27.4%) have been abroad at least once for professional purposes, and mainly to accompany students.
The European Commission is working with EU Member States and stakeholders to improve policies in support of schools and teachers. The main findings of the reports and their policy implications are summarised here.
Through the Erasmus+ programme, eTwinning and the School Education Gateway, the EU continues to provide funding opportunities and tools for teachers to work with others and innovate within their own practice.