The Director of the National Forum, Dr Terry Maguire, has been invited as a panellist at an international event hosted by the Croatian Presidency of the Council of the European Union today. The event, entitled ‘Teachers and Trainers for the Future: Towards the ‘New Normal’’ will gather European ministers and international leaders to discuss this important topic. Speakers include Maria Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, European Commission, Andreas Schleicher of the OECD and Prof Pasi Salhberg, who chaired the HEA’s international panel that reviewed the structure of initial teacher education in Ireland.
The Council of the European Union recently finalised two key documents (Council Conclusions on European Teachers and Trainers for the Future and Conclusions on Countering the COVID-19 Crisis in Education and Training), to which the National Forum contributed. These documents will form the basis of discussion for today’s meeting, providing an opportunity to further explore the challenges faced by teachers in higher education, as well as possible policy responses in this respect.
In light of a recent European recommendation that governments explore the possibility of creating cooperative national structures, in which institutions and all stakeholders in the learning and teaching community are involved, those leading this international event identified the National Forum as an example of good practice from which others could learn.
Dr Maguire has been asked to outline the benefits of the national approach to the enhancement of teaching and learning taken by the National Forum and the system level changes that are difficult to achieve by individual institutions. She has also been asked to suggest what could be done at European level in order to expand good practices and inspire developments of institutional approaches on enhanced teaching and learning, and to outline the kind of cooperative European structures that could be used to support enhancement of teaching competences in particular in the context of current challenges.
Evidence gathered through consultation and collaboration with the Irish higher education community in recent months, and in the many preceding years, will inform discussion and help to guide these important European developments.