The European Training Foundation (ETF) has published the results of an international research into vocational teachers from nine countries in the EU neighbourhood, including Belarus and Moldova. The largest of its kind to date, the study is based on a survey of over 10,000 teachers and some 750 school principals.
The study entitled ‘Listening to vocational teachers and principals’, examines and compares the state of provision of continuing professional development (CPD) for vocational teachers and trainers. It examines CPD in the context of the working life of vocational teachers, including their pedagogy, their qualifications, their work satisfaction, and their careers. It also considers the context of the schools in which they work: their culture, governance, resources and planning.
Across all nine countries, on average 64% of vocational teachers participated in some kind of professional development in the previous 12 months (80% in Moldova). However, only 38% of all vocational teachers attended training that addressed their vocational specialism, and only 48% participated in professional development (including study visits) on business premises.
The majority of vocational teachers report that they practise both traditional and modern teaching methods, but traditional methods prevail. Most vocational teachers seek to make connections between classroom learning and the world of work, but students rarely have frequent contact with employers or enterprises.
In many countries, school principals identify a lack of qualified or well-performing vocational teachers as a barrier to good-quality instruction in their schools, and vocational teachers widely perceive that their profession is not valued in their societies.
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