The role of teachers is becoming increasingly important as Europe addresses its educational, social and economic challenges. The technological impact create pressure in the profession that needs to adapt to the new students generation.
For understand this situation, The Eurydice Teaching Careers in Europe: Access, Progression and Support report contributes to the body of evidence that can guide policy-making in providing effective support for teachers, enhance their professionalism and raise their status. The aim of the review is explores the requirements to become a teacher, recruitment and employment conditions, as well as prospects for professional development and support.
Principal details of teaching
Normally, the European education systems tend to face similar and often problems related with the teacher supply and demand. The report warns that one of the main problem is the shortages of teachers and an ageing teacher population. For resolve that, a possible solution is specific forward planning for the teaching profession which allow to deal with the existing challenges and is carried out in the majority of countries.
For be qualify as a teacher, the main route commonly starts with the completion of initial teacher education (ITE). However, the finally qualification is diverse in the different states. In almost half of the education systems, teachers are fully qualified at the end of ITE, but in the remaining 23 systems, additional steps are required.
In relation with the career development, there are two main types of career structures in teaching: flat (single-level) and hierarchical (multi-level). The second one has been implement in the half of the education systems which denote a greater complexity of tasks and responsibility. In this case the promotions are decision by the school management or, in other education systems, could are fully centralized by the education authority. In all countries except Turkey, teachers have opportunities to diversify their tasks and to be assigned additional responsibilities besides their teaching activities like: mentoring, pedagogical, methodological, or management roles.
For identify teacher competence framework, 32 education systems have developed a competence framework to varying degrees of the teaching career. While seven countries only define areas of competences, others provide details on related skills, knowledge and attitudes. In many countries these characteristics are mainly an instrument to define which competences teachers should master at the end of initial teacher education, while for others it is used at different stages of the teaching career.
Continuous professional development
The report encourage continuing professional development (CPD) of education systems in Europe. The CPD is been considered a duty and, often, teachers have the obligation to complete a minimum number of hours per year. Also, the schools must to be involved to varying degrees in the definition of CPD needs and priorities, for provide to better respond to teachers’ specific demands.
About law, most countries have regulations on teacher appraisal. Appraisal for serving teachers is common practice across Europe and is usually applicable to all teachers, although it is not always a regular exercise. This system is used for a number of reasons, such as providing teachers with feedback or deciding on promotion and salary progression, however it is not systematically used to review professional development needs.