Why international mobility matters for the school education community

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The Erasmus+ Key Action 1 projects support the professional development of school staff through mobility, which can take the form of structured courses, job shadowing or teaching. A study carried out in five countries – Finland, Estonia, Germany, Lithuania and Poland – evaluated the impact and recognition of teachers’ professional development through such mobility activities.

The international study Impact and sustainability of the Erasmus+ Programme Key Action 1 mobility projects for school education staff was published in 2017 by the Erasmus+ National Agency of Lithuania.

The study looked at the effectiveness of professional development projects from the viewpoint of teachers and principals, as well as pupils and parents. The data was collected through a survey.

The results showed that:

  • Teachers who participated in job shadowing or combined job shadowing and teaching activities were more satisfied compared to those who only took part in courses.

  • Intercultural competence is successfully developed through job shadowing, and to a lesser extent through courses.

  • A higher level of didactical competence is gained by combining courses and job shadowing.

  • According to teachers, the Erasmus+ KA1 mobility had the following effects on their competences:

    • Deepened their understanding of other cultures: 94%

    • Expanded their knowledge and understanding of the education systems in other countries: 92.2%

    • Made them more open to changes and innovations: 89.8%

    • Improved their practical use of foreign languages: 87.2%

    • Helped them acquire new teaching methods: 85.6%

  • At school level, the respondents confirmed that they had more discussions on the idea of internationality, and that they felt the school community was becoming more open and tolerant.

The study recognised the benefits of the professional development of teachers abroad for the whole school community:

Impact of professional development abroad

Image: Finland's Erasmus+ National Agency

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