How to select a teacher training course abroad
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Taking part in courses for professional development is the most popular staff mobility activity for teachers and other school staff under the Key Action 1. In this tutorial you will find useful tips to select interesting and relevant courses for you, or for your school staff.
The tutorial complements the publication “Erasmus+: A practical guide for school leaders”, which is available in six languages.
1 – Know what you are getting into: Course content, location and duration
What does the course really entail? A clear description on the course content, objectives, target group and duration are essential when choosing a course. Check carefully also the cost of the training and the items included within it (e.g. meals, accommodation, and/or social programme).
Make sure the course is run in line with the eligibility rules described in the Erasmus+ Programme Guide, including for example participating organisations, location and duration of the course (see ‘Eligibility criteria’).
2 - Innovative didactics to support the European Development Plan
Keep professional development in mind! Select a course that will provide the participants with innovative and practical professional skills. The selected course(s) must support the objectives of the school’s European Development Plan and the professional development needs specified within it.
When choosing a course, also take into account aspects such as:
- a balance between theory and practice (‘hands-on’ activities);
- the range of methods used to engage participants;
- flexibility in terms of needs of participants if needed (e.g. competence levels, special points of interest);
- appropriate use of ICT in the course delivery; and
- the experience of the course trainer(s).
Find out as well if the course includes pre-course and follow-up activities that can extend the learning across a longer period of time and maximise the benefit obtained.
3 - European dimension: the added value of European courses
Get the most out of your European experience! A European course is a great opportunity for teachers to meet and network with peers from different countries. Generally speaking, the more nationalities, the richer the course experience is. A good course encourages sharing and exchange of practice between participants, contributing to a wider understanding of education across Europe. This also implies that schools should not send big groups to one course. Check with the course provider if the course includes participants from other countries and how sharing of practice is organised.
4 – Opportunities for teacher collaboration and eTwinning
Are you already familiar with eTwinning, or would you like to learn about it? Every European course is also a contact-building seminar, during which participants can start developing other European projects. eTwinning is a great way for teachers from different countries to work together on collaborative projects. It offers teachers and their schools opportunities in the areas of networking, peer communication and participation in learning events and collaborative projects after the course. Check how eTwinning and peer exchange is taken into account in the course programme.
5 – Don’t forget about your certificate!
How will your new skills be recognised? Receiving an appropriate certification is useful for participants’ career development. The course provider must provide a certificate of attendance and also the use of Europass Mobility is encouraged: the participants need to request the Europass Mobility from their National Europass Centre and then have it filled-in by the course organisers.
6 – Last, but not least…
It might also be worthwhile to find out:
- Are special needs (e.g. reduced mobility) taken into account (if required)?
- Is the training venue and available equipment in line with the promised content?
- What have previous participants said about the course?
- Is the application process for the course easy and straightforward?
- Is any social or cultural programme organised for the participants?
- Is it possible for the course to be cancelled or rescheduled?
- What kind of cancellation policy the course providers have?
Ready to find a course? Go now to the Erasmus+ Course Catalogue!