1, 2, 3… research activities start!
Working in a school is associated with opportunities and challenges, especially for international teachers. Our project wants to support schools and teachers in this new professional start. That is why for the last six months the project team has been working to create and pilot a research questionnaire for the project that will help to better understand the current situation of international teachers in all seven partner countries. The survey is part of a stocktaking project on the challenges and opportunities of the re-entry of international teachers in the partner countries. The aim is to systematise the current situation in the different countries and to process it on a cross-national basis. The participants in this survey are asked to answer questions about their attitudes and experiences concerning professional re-integration, their type of employment and professional background, fields of activities and involvement at the current school, as well as acceptance among the staff and types of support they receive or need. With the help of this survey we want to find out where specific challenges exist, how they are being dealt with, as well as how specific strengths of the teachers can be supported.
Currently, we are in the process of translating the questionnaire into different languages, in order to reach a large and diverse target group. In August 2021 we are planning to start the research in all seven participating countries.
After some first months of investigative research in the partner countries, it is already clear that the situation of international teachers found in the countries of the project partners varies quite strongly.
Creating new materials: Brainstorming and collecting ideas
In lively discussions during our project meetings and within the local teams we collected a great variety of ideas and approaches on how to support schools and teachers who are facing their new professional start. The diversity of our project partners - different disciplines, perspectives and experience - is particularly beneficial to material development. Everyone can support and contribute in her or his own way.
In the coming months we will be looking more closely at these ideas and will start to produce working materials for different actors in schools. Among other things, there will be worksheets for (self-)reflection, materials for language support for international teachers, but also tips and advice for better integration of teachers, e.g. in the form of a handout for colleagues and principles.
Training on intercultural issues in Leuven, in September 2021
At the end of September, we plan to have our first physical meeting with all project partners, while our previous meetings could at least take place in digital form. Further, the upcoming event will be special, as our project partners from InterCultural Iceland will hold a 2-day-training for the project team and selected colleagues from teacher education. It will be a sensitisation training with reference to migration, racism, discrimination, culture and diversity with strategies for teaching these issues to diverse groups of learners. We hope that these experiences will foster a common understanding of certain concepts and approaches and inspire our development of material. We hope the training will broaden our awareness and (self-)reflection on these issues and that we can adopt and share these methods and strategies in our everyday work. Thus, it will certainly be useful for the further development of our project materials to support the integration of international teachers in schools.
News from the project partners
Our project partners, Maria Aleksandrovich and Grzegorz Piekarski (Pomeranian University Slupsk, Poland) will present the outline and objectives of the project ITTS at the Annual Conference of the Association of Teacher Education in Europe. The three-day conference will take place in Warsaw in September. It will be a meeting place and a platform for researchers, teacher educators, policy makers and teachers from all over the world that combines inspiring keynotes, a wide variety of papers on research and practice of teachers’ education, and active working sessions.
ITTS blog voices
On our ITTS blog on the project homepage, new articles about our project partners appear every one to two months. After the presentation of the project teams in Germany, Slovenia, Iceland and Belgium, the current post is about our partner Nesrin Oruç Ertürk from İzmir University of Economics in Turkey. It’s definitely worth reading what motivates her to be part of the project!
In autumn, an update on our research status and a review of the intercultural training in Leuven will follow. If you want to read more about our project, just visit our blog and website on www.itts-europe.org.