‘Education for me?’ Since many distress signals in schools about the shortage of teachers, more and more people are thinking about changing in education. Wouter Boute, director general of the Ghent Catholic Education School Group (SKOG), points out, ‘But the school seems to many to be a closed and unattractive world. Together with Artevelde University College, schools are working on innovative solutions to put people first in the classroom. ‘We want to demolish existing walls and give people the opportunity to get to know and be educated.’
In the new initiative, stakeholders who do not have an educational background are given the opportunity to immerse themselves for a few days. Sofie Landuyt, who leads a teacher training course at Artevelde University College Ghent, says: ‘It’s the only way you know how to stand in front of a class or attend a school (team). ‘People often fall for their own memories, but they don’t always match the actual reality.’
In the fitting room
When diving people, partners mostly want to find their interested parts ‘in the fitting room’. That is the beginning. Then we look at what is possible: what role in the school, what kind of school and what tailor-made training is possible to optimize the experience. ‘ The target group is teachers of preprimary and primary education. Veerle Martens, head of the pre-primary education program at Artevelde University College, says, ‘It is often unclear what you need to do to get started in primary education.
The university college offers a ‘First Aid for Education’ package between the empathy moment and the teacher training program. That should give people skills and provide the knowledge needed to keep oneself afloat. ‘We have noticed a practical shock among many beginning teachers. The content of the work is often different from the ideas they have, ‘Martens says.
There is a great need for flexible solutions: the problem threatens to become even greater in the coming years due to a wave of pensions in education. Both government and teacher training programs are looking at the lateral entrances. ‘It remains difficult to find enough teachers who are trained in pedagogy, despite many calls for help. That puts real pressure on the quality of education. ‘ If the project is successful, the university of applied sciences will roll the concept further. Similar projects are also being launched at other universities in applied science.