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Initial Teachers Education in Moldova: State of the art Roza Dumbraveanu State Pedagogical University “I.Creangă” TEREC round table, December 12, 2011
Needs for the reviewDemands• European Area Higher Education (Bologna)• Role of the teachers for the knowledge society• Quality assurance requirementsRealities• Quick transition to Bologna demands• Compatibility of degrees (not assured)• Student centred approach (declared)• LO, LOLA (superficially)
Identified problems1.The teacher education curriculum is not compliant with the student centred approach.2. The two cycles with classical teaching and assessment methods do not fit with the Tuning models for teacher education.3. The graduates are not prepared enough for future practical work at schools.4. The ECTS does not reflect correctly the student workload.5. The staff do not use the possibilities offered by ICT to enhance learning.
Objectives of the study• Identification of the degree of correspondence of the initial teachers training programmes to the requirements and recommendations of European international (Bologna lines, Tuning project, Western Universitis practice);• Compatibility and comparability of study programmes from different universities of Moldova;• Determination of the domains that need immediate intervention of updating and modification;• Outline of the ways of modification of study programmes
Objectives of the study• To provide a tool useful for the elaboration of study programmes valid for all HEI;• To describe the relevance of learning outcomes based curriculum as a key factor for compatibility and comparability of national systems of education in the XXI century;• To provide a methodological framework in order to assist the academic staff with a tool for the elaboration of student centred curriculum (revised on alignment/LOLA approach).
Methodology of the study• Analysis of the ITE study programmes in accordance with a set of elaborated criteria;• Investigation of the employers opinion (representatives of the preuniversity education institutions) about the ITE;• Investigation of the opinions of the academic staff about the quality of the graduates – future pedagogs;• Investigation of the opinions of the graduates of the pedagogic faculties about their ITE and their employability.
Methodology of the studyCollection, analysis of data about:• Main characteristics and key success factors related to the design and implementation of HEI curriculum recognised at European level;• The degree of correspondence of ITE curriculum in Moldova to the practices used and recognized at European level, including Western partner universities;• The degree to which teachers initial training curriculum in Moldova requires modifications or updating in order to be comparable to similar curriculum in other European countries, in the context of harmonization of EU education systems;• The degree to which teachers initial training curriculum in Moldova is correlated to the National Qualifications Framework (hereafter NQF) and the European Qualifications Framework (hereinafter EQF);• Topics related to the different opinions of the actors involved in ITE.
Undertaken activities• Analysis of resources on European trends in ITE;• Consultation with experts from the consortium in this topic;• Review of legislation and regulations relating to curriculum development and implementation;• Development of sets of questionnaires for the three types of respondents: academics, students / graduates of pedagogical faculties, employers of graduates;• Processing and analysis of the questionnaires ;• Selection of study programmes to be analyzed;
Undertaken activities• Study of Tuning methodology forthe evaluation of ITE programs;• Study of the experience of the western universities in review of ITE curriculum;• Establishment of the evaluation criteria grid for the analysis of the study programs;• Self-study of the ITE programs according to established criteria;• Discussions of the results of self-study of the ITE programs and their independent evaluation by a team of project members;• Presentation of the results at the round table with representatives of all institutions in the project;• Development and discussions of recommendations for revision and modification of ITE.
Selected study programmesState Pedagogical University "I. Creanga" - Pedagogy of Primary Education (PIP) - Informatics and Information Technologies in EducationBalti State University "A. Russo" - Pedagogy of Primary Education and English - InformaticsState University of Moldova - Biology - Civic educationTiraspol State University - Pedagogy of Primary Education (PIP) - Physics
Grid topicsProgramme/degree profile (description)Typical occupationsRecruitment system of the student teachersModel (consecutive or concurent)Aims of the programme (written in the programme)Programme structureStructure of the pedagogical studiesLearning outcomesModel of the Placement/practiceDominant teaching methods for the pedagogical disciplinesSupport for self-reflection for studentsQualification of Higher Education teacher (pedagogical preparation/experience) and school practices supervisorsMonitoring systemHow ITE Programmes are financed
Documents that governed the design of study programmes• Classification document for specialties for HEI graduates, (1 cycle?), approved by the Moldovan Parliament in 2005 /Nomenclator• Framework Plan (cycle 1,2), approved by the Ministry of Education in 2005, the first version and 2011, second version.• Rules of organization of higher education studies based on ECTS, approved by the Ministry of Education (2005 and 2010)• ECTS guide• Assessment regulations• NQF (elaborated 2008, approved 2010, currently under revision)
The key document for the design of study programmes : NQFSome Considerations• No guidelines for elaboration• Quality – different for different domains• General impression: mix of eclectic conceptions, misunderstandings• Definition of competences - not appropriate• LO – no difference from competences• No difference between BCs and Ms LO/ Dublin descriptors not understood• Constructive alignment / formalConclusion: NQF can not be used in currently shape; Should be rewritten
The key document for the design of study programmes : Framework planSome Considerations• The second version did not take into account the critical interventions and recommendations• There are mistakes contrary to european documents, even the declaration is that the FP is in line with EU documents• Misunderstanding and misinterpretation of general competences• Socioumanistic component for each study programmeConclusion: FP puts some obstacles to the design of the study programmes;
The key documents for the design of study programmesRegulations (Ministry of Education)• The pedagogic component - minimum 60 ECTS• First cycle : 180 – 240 ECTS• Second cycle: 90 – 120 ECTS• Non pedagogic graduates – additional module pedagogic component of 60 ECTS• Pedagogic component: pedagogy, psychology, didactics, practiceDetails: another presentation;
General remarks/profileWeak points• Definition of the profile (objectives are vag or too general)• Connection with employers is weak or missing in defining the profile• Employers do not know the details of the srudy programmes• Due to shortage in the staff, the secondary education accepts graduates of the first cycle• The competences of the BCs are not sufficient to assure the quality in education• Typical occupations (8-10 for BCs) do not correspond to the graduates competences• No differrences between BCs and MCs in occupations/positions
General remarks/admission• Admission to first cycle is based on secondary school graduation acts or equivalent or higher depending on the marks obtained from previous graduation exams (without entrance examinations).• Admission to the second cycle is done based on exams. (comments?)• No competition for the first cycle• Low number of candidates for the second cycle
General remarks/responsibility• Responsible for developing and carrying out the program of studies are usually heads of departments in the field: (Department of applied informatics and information technologies (USB), Department of Computer and information technologies in education (UPSC), the departments of primary education pedagogy (USB, UPSC, UST) )• and / or deans.• There is no a program director responsible for ITE like in Western universities...
General remarks/staff• Academics involved in teacher training should have the doctor degree• Initial entry requirements to HE staff position: Msc degree + pedagogic component of at least 60 ECTS (no specification about HE pedagogy).• These conditions are not always fulfiled.• Pedagogic component of 60 ECTS in fact related to the preuniversity system, while higher system differs from the pedagogy of the preuniversity system.• Although this is understood by some departments of pedagogy and policy makers, the statement about the teacher training is not made explicit and there are no special programs developed / promoted for HE pedagogy.
Distribution of hoursInformatics, USB, 180 ECTS• 7 core, 7 special disciplines required,• 23 optional subjects,• 6 compulsory and optional subjects in socio human• 2 general culture subjects• Total: 2625 contact hours, 2775 individual work• Fundamental disciplines – 26%• Compulsory subject area – 17%• Optional subject area – 24%• Sociouman – 11%• General culture – 4,4%• Placement – 16.7%
General remarks/LOsLOs reference points for Comparability and compatibility, QAAccording to Bologna, curricula should include the following key elements:• Program-level LOs with reference to the descriptors in the NQF or EQF;• Course LOs corelated to programme LOs;• Teaching methodologies used should reflect the program / courses LOs • Assessment methods used must allow students to demonstrate achievements of LOs;• Modules / courses and programs must be fully expressed in ECTS in accordance with the range and level from NQF;
General remarks/Programme descriptionsThe study programs analyzed from four universities in Moldova represents a variety of structures, but none match the requirements of Bologna.USM Introduction. • Administration of discipline. • General objectives. • Contents and strategies. • Individual work. Independent academic learning. • Bibliography
General remarks/Programme descriptionsUSB• Course administration• Pre-requisites• Course/discipline objectives• Short topics description (content and the number of hours)• More detailed list of topics and assignments references each theme• Final evaluation questionnaire
General remarks/Objectives;LOs• Too many (12 or even 24)• Vague• Difficult to find TLA correlation• Rate contact hours: individual work• 1:2 – 1:4• No evidence for learning task assessment
Conclusions• In some disciplines aims are vague or inadequate, in the spirit of "pedagogical objectives."• LOs progress and coherence has not been determined in the curricula.• No delimitation between objectives, LOs, competences.• Program level competences are defined in NQF, but then do not appear in other documents. NQF is not made public for large target groups. In the UPSC student guides are included competences, but they are not different from those from NQF their classification is different from the NQF. Moreover formulation of competences leave much to be desired in style, grammar and logical correctness.• The NQF refers to Tuning Project, t.e. it is stated that these skills are in line with Tuning methodology. There is confusion in the veracity of these claims, because the methodology was not applied correctly, Tuning was not deeply understood.
Conclusions• A mechanism for determining student workload it is not developed and no mechanism to review the allocation of the number of credits. Individual work of students, in many cases, is not designed and evaluated. The ratio of contact hours and individual work of students vary starting and ending with 1:4 1:1.• It is difficult to compatibilize courses of similar qualifications from different universities.• Only in a small number of subjects in the curriculum are specified TLA strategies. In these circumstances it is difficult make a judjement about constructive alignment, and therefore about student-centered learning.
Conclusions• The pedagogical component called psycho- pedagogical module (concept does not exist in english literature) is 60 ECTS and is delivered according to the concurent.• Conclusions about LO, TLA refer equally to this component, although officials from these departments should set the tone in the correct implementation of these concepts.• This component is realized in different ways at different universities. Some names are the same or similar courses, but the description and the contents are different.
Conclusions• Academic staff, including the decision makers know superficially the international provisions, projects and practices, one of the reason is probably lack of English skills.• There is some translation of documents, but not sufficient, and sometimes inaccurate, interpretation of the terms leads to loss of meaning. Much better is to read original sources, updated and accessible on the Internet.
Conclusions• As consequence, there is confusion and eclecticism of concepts, including their formal and incoherent application (eg Dublin descriptors, skills, LOs , student workload, etc.).• Students placements in schools, in most cases, are in the city and some students carry out practice in home schools. Mentors are trained at a rate of about 50% among experienced teachers teaching in higher education.
Conclusions• Usually mentors from specialized departments that have special training for supervision, and those from the departments of pedagogy are overloaded and little time are given to monitor practice.• Supervisors are sometimes young teachers who have little experience. Scholars, known as Methodists remain included in the schedule faculty to teach subjects they are responsible.• As a result, consulting / management / monitoring of the practice is episodic.• Another drawback lies in the lack of experienced school for teachers to guide students practice, in particular, to evaluate them. School teachers, evaluate the results of practice with very high grades. Because the mark given for professional practice school teacher is defining, in general practice notes are high.
Recommendations• It is necessary to use and promote the same terminology to describe curricula in accordance with the correct and consistent interpretation of terms in English literature. National character and university autonomy, to which often refers, has nothing to do in this regard .• It is necessary to unify the structure of the study programmes according to Bologna requirements. The project team must propose a template based on existing practices.• It is neccesary to develop training courses for academics in the use of Tuning methodology (LOs, Dublin descriptors, EQF, NQF student-centered learning) on higher education pedagogy.• The NQF should be rewritten.
Recommendations• It is necessary to define profiles for each study program involving policy makers and representatives of the labour market.• It is necessary to develop a minimum set of skills for teaching profiles and their inclusion in the curricula of all universities.• It is necessary to define the LOs education for each program of study and teaching component.• It is necessary a review and update of curricula in accordance with unified structure proposed in the project.
Recommendations• It is necessary to implement de facto student centered learning in selected study programs and to disseminate the good practices in this regard. • As a collateral result the project team can develop recommendations on the definition and implementation of the minimum qualifications for teacher employment positions at different stages of school education.• The conclusions and recommendations can be extrapolated to other study programs at pedagogical faculties and beyond.