Erasmus+ Course - International Teacher Competences: a successful concept of internationalization at the University College of Teacher Education Styria
Please cite as: Vogl, H., Krammer, G., Linhofer, S. & Weitlaner, R. (2016). Erasmus+ Course - International Teacher Competences: a successful concept of internationalization at the University College of Teacher Education Styria. In E. Messner, D. Worek, & M. Pecek (Hrsg), Teacher Education for Multilingual and Multicultural Settings (pp. 155-167). Graz: Leykam.
Erasmus is the most successful mobility programme for universities worldwide. Since 1987, more than 3 million young Europeans have studied at a foreign university (European Commission & Education, 2012). More than 28.500 students received an Erasmus grant in the academic year 2014 (European Commission, 2015). In Austria, nearly 6.800 students joined the programme in the same year (European Commission, 2015). Following this trend towards internationalization, 36 students from the University College of Teacher Education Styria (UCTE Styria) studied abroad in the academic year 2013/14 and 21 international students enrolled in courses at the UCTE Styria (Pädagogische Hochschule Steiermark, 2015). To further support this trend towards internationalization, the UCTE Styria conceptualized and implemented the Erasmus+ course “International Teacher Competences”. In the autumn term 2015/16, the UCTE Styria launched the Erasmus+ course “International Teacher Competences” for 31 teachers and students from Austria, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Romania, and Spain.
The purpose of this article is to describe the UCTE Styria’s Erasmus+ course “International Teacher Competences”, and outline its contribution for the needed personal development prospective teachers need, firstly, to teach and, secondly, to teach effectively in multicultural settings. Not only will the academic aims of this course be outlined but it will also be explained how the course is organized and which synergies arise by organizing it. To this end, this article starts by introducing the UCTE Styria as an educational institution. It continues with the theoretical framework for the Erasmus+ course “International Teacher Competences”. The article will then provide a detailed description of the Erasmus+ course “International Teacher Competences”.
It is very important to note that merely staying abroad does not automatically yield the desired and beneficial results student mobility aims to develop (e.g. Hammer, 2005). Therefore, a dedicated goal of the Erasmus+ course “International Teacher Competences” is to provide the students with an environment in which full advantage can be taken of the mobility opportunities. While the implementation of the Erasmus+ course follows this goal, it is of course important to evaluate whether this goal was actually achieved. Therefore, after the description of the Erasmus+ course, we will conclude with results of a qualitative study, addressing the influences of on the personal development of student in teacher education, i.e. prospective teachers.
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