16 Apr EFEE ATTENDS OECD WEBINAR ON “SUPPORTING TEACHERS AND LEADERS IN VOCATIONAL EDUCATION”
On 13 April 2021, EFEE attended the OECD Webinar presenting the recently released report on “Supporting teachers and leaders in Vocational education”. Ms Shinyoung Jeon and Mr Rodrigo Torres, authors of the report, could deliver the main findings and underline its objective: help countries develop and improve their teaching and leadership workforce in VET institutions. Ms Jeon first introduced the attendees to the four specific topics covered by the report, namely teachers supply, teachers’ training, pedagogy and leadership.
In the context of a changing landscape of teaching and leadership in VET, the report shows that VET teacher shortages are significant in many OECD countries: “half of further education college principals in the United Kingdom, half of states in the United States, and a third of VET principals in Denmark, Portugal and Turkey reported shortages. VET teacher supply is estimated at 80% of the demand in Germany, 70% in Korea and 44% in Sweden. While training is crucial to prepare and develop VET teachers, many countries struggle to cover the full mix of skills they need and leadership in VET”. To overcome this challenges, Ms Jeon outlined key policy recommendations: (1) “Ensure an adequate supply of well-prepared VET teachers”, (2) “Effectively prepare and develop VET teachers”, (3) “Promote innovative pedagogical approaches in VET” and (4) “Strengthen VET leadership”. These recommendations were further illustrated by country examples. In order to provide VET teacher training, the Swedish State for instance, allows grants for VET teachers to combine work and studies to obtain a vocational teacher degree and reduce working hours by at least 25% to facilitate the training. In Slovak Republic “the Step Ahead” project has transnational cooperation between VET schools, private companies and non-governmental organisations to provide training programmes for VET teachers in the automotive industry, while in Bavaria, public vocational school that work with universities on pedagogical training for teachers, combine theoretical/academic teacher training at the university and the practical teacher training in VET schools.
Following the report presentation, experts from Denmark, the United Kingdom and the United States could share insights into how to strengthen VET teaching and leadership. Each of them outlined a national initiative to strengthen the teacher’s workforce, such as the High School CET Teacher Pathway, in the US. In addition, the experts panel all shared the main message that leaders play a crucial role in supporting teachers. Therefore, the lack of employers’ support and incentives should be equally addressed. This involves ensuring that employers have access to initial training programmes, improving the attractiveness of VET leadership, as well as encouraging collaboration between schools and peer exchanges.
The full report on “Supporting teachers and leaders in Vocational education” can be found here