Vision and importance of ITEps
Teacher education programmes all over the world are deeply rooted in the history and culture of the nations in which they were developed. In a globalized world that is characterized by the ever-increasing number of citizens who are working in countries other than their native country, there is a growing need for a certain level of globalization of the primary elements of the educational system. The International Teacher Education for Primary schools (ITEps) has been developed in recognition of this need. This way the consortium expresses the idea that it wants to train teachers for the many international Primary Schools all over the world. In summary: it is a teacher education programme for the international market. The basis of the Teacher Education should be a broad foundation in western culture. In that regard, the consortium considers the ideal of the open democratic society and its respect for individual rights central, as they are expressed in, for instance, the different declarations of human rights.
Building international mindedness and intercultural competency Teachers with an International Teacher Education background will not only be appealing as practitioners in international schools, but will also be attractive for schools in their respective national contexts. In addition to their general teaching skills, they will have experienced and been exposed to different educational philosophies and educational systems both in international schools and other contexts. They will have learned to include learners of different cultural backgrounds, values and assumptions. They will, in their teaching, have an international and global outlook, be able to communicate across cultures, while at the same time be able to address local issues. In their work they will be able to contribute to international mindedness, appreciate the importance of diversity to professional practice and citizenship, inclusive education, and foster attitudes of respect and tolerance. They have learned to learn to overcome the unforeseen challenges of tomorrow in a rapidly changing global world.
In the development of the ITEps programme, the partner institutions have been conscious of the European political background, global perspectives in teacher education, changes in mobility and the increasing need for internationalisation in teacher education. These constitute the context in which future teachers will practise their profession. This requires international mindedness, openness and a broader perspective than many of the national programmes.
Characteristics of ITEps
Substantively, the above vision has led to the following characteristics of ITEps:
- The intercultural and international competencies are integrated in all subjects;
- Language of instruction is English (C2-level at graduation);
- Along with the local curriculum, the International Primary Curriculum (IPC), the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB-PYP) and the English National Curriculum are also included;
- The curriculum is deep instead of wide;
- Practitioner’s research is also integrated in every subject;
- The students must study abroad (minimum of one semester) with/via one of the (preferred / associated) partners;
- The students must do a placement abroad.
ITEps is accredited (based on the European Approach for Quality Assurance of joint programmes) by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO).