“The new “Major Programme” for the In-Service Training of Teachers: investigating the educational needs of teachers”
Panagiotis Anastasiades, Evaggelia Kanga, Dionysios Loukeris, Panagiotis Mantas, Petros Trantas
The New School is to prepare the future citizen of the emerging Knowledge Society in order to be able to face the challenges and seize the opportunities of the new era as a responsible, democratic, active and thinking citizen, transforming the social and economic reality that surrounds him. In this sense, it promotes the development of the necessary cognitive, social and technological skills.
The new curricula, which will serve the New School philosophy, should be open and flexible, objective-oriented, uniform and consistent, concise and interdisciplinary promoting respect for students’ different learning styles, classroom characteristics and different socio-cultural representations.
Therefore the role of teacher training is twofold. It should not only support the above theoretical background, in terms of teaching procedures taking into account current conditions of school every day life but lay the ground for its transformation. The current economic and social environment poses not only new challenges but difficulties as well which must be addressed immediately and effectively.
The physical object of the Teacher Training Program refers to the training of 150,000 school teachers of all disciplines (primary and secondary education). The training will be voluntary and accompanied by a set of incentives which will be determined according to the findings of the research on the participants training needs and the suggestions of the scientific, educational and social organizations which participated in the consultation process.
The training program is based on the principles of adult education and intends to ensure maximum flexibility regarding space, time and teachers’ special learning rhythms in accordance with the methodology of distance learning, while providing for the use of innovative applications from Greece and other countries.
The Educational Training Framework is governed by the following principles:
1. Optionality of the training process while establishing a set of incentives
The involvement of teachers in the educational process is not mandatory and lies on each prospective trainee’s discretion and availability on the proposed time for the training program.
2. Active participation of the teachers involved
The teacher is encouraged to contribute to the development of the aim, objectives and content of the training program. He is invited to become a co-creator of the educational material, building on his invaluable experience and sharing it with his colleagues as a classroom teacher.
3. Heuristic strategies towards knowledge The teacher’s heuristic course to knowledge is encouraged through his interaction with the learning material, the trainers and the other trainees through the creation of learning communities using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and the methodology of distance learning.
4. Direct application and connection of the training program to the classroom:
A major priority of the Teacher Training Program is the direct application of the training outcome in the classroom and the teacher’s continuous feedback regarding the training material in collaboration with the trainer and the other trainees throughout the program.
The training program provides trainees with flexibility in space, time and pace regarding training sessions, combining face to face with Distance Learning methodologies, at the same time using printed and digital educational material.
6. Social Interaction
Emphasis is given to creating a dynamic social interaction environment through teamwork activities and participatory instructional techniques.
The Pedagogical Institute Department of Training conducted a research on teachers’ training needs in Greece. 27,785 teachers, 3435 School Principals, 554 School Advisors, 22 Heads of Scientific and Pedagogical Guidance and 274 Heads of Regional Education Directorates answered a questionnaire which was distributed in paper and uploaded on the relevant site. The purpose of this research was to imprint the educational community views and attitudes on all matters relating to teacher training programs.