LOOP: Policy Brief 2

Mentoring and induction programmes are essential to support teachers at different stages of their careers, ensuring their well-being, motivation, and retention, according to a European report.

The report, published by the LOOP project, supported by the European Commission, reveals that induction programmes for teachers supported by mentoring offer opportunities for personalized training, professional development, and career progression, as well as preparing teachers to face the challenges they encounter, supporting them in five dimensions of their action – didactic-pedagogical, disciplinary, bureaucratic and administrative, emotional, social, and cultural.

The successful experience of programmes in countries such as Germany, Italy, and Croatia suggests that they should be politically legitimized and incorporated into teacher training, so the experimental implementation involving 888 teachers currently underway will prove the need for their effective implementation in countries such as Portugal, Spain, Slovenia, and Greece.

Συνεχίστε την ανάγνωση

Invitation to LOOP’s Survey for Teachers and School Leaders

As we embark on this exciting journey into a new school year, LOOP partners are thrilled to invite you to participate in an important European initiative. We cordially invite you to participate in our European Survey on Teacher Induction Programs, specifically focusing on the invaluable practice of peer mentoring. Your professional insights are invaluable to us, as they will contribute to a deeper understanding of the prevailing perceptions and experiences related to teacher induction programs in Europe.

With this wide and groundbreaking European survey, LOOP partners aim to analyse the current professional development practices available for teachers when starting their careers, along with the impact shown on new teachers’ motivation.

We are addressing two target groups through different questionnaires:

👉 For teachers: https://rb.gy/24t0g
👉 For School Leaders: https://rb.gy/tvb5g

The feedback gathered from all respondents will help LOOP partners ensure and strengthen the results of the field trials, which were conducted in the past months across EU. The final results of the European survey will be published on LOOP website by the end of 2023 and will be actively shared and promoted to National and European authorities for policy actions.

Share your views and ignite change – Your input will contribute to the improvement of the educational landscape across Europe!

Warm regards and best wishes for an inspiring school year ahead!

The LOOP Project Team 

The Portuguese teachers call themselves the LOOPers!

In Portugal, 29 schools, 83 new teachers and 49 experienced teachers accepted the challenge and tested the teachers‘ induction programme from January to July 2023!

The induction programme humanizes the role of a teacher in the school.

In the aftermath of the close of the school year, the implementation of the LOOP induction programme reveals to be a success and Portuguese teachers value the opportunity they had to take part in the process.

The planning of the implementation of the LOOP programmes started at the end of the school year 2021-2022 and beginning of 2022-2023, with a set of meetings that DGAE, INOVA+ and Casa do Professor had with principles from schools from the North and South of Portugal.

Συνεχίστε την ανάγνωση

LOOP project in Croatia 

In Croatia, shortly after the beginning of this year, the implementation phase of the programs in a real environment began. We contacted more than 200 teachers and schools across Croatia to join the project. We conducted surveys, worked with focus groups, and interviewed primary and secondary school teachers.

Συνεχίστε την ανάγνωση

Field Trials Take Off in Slovenia

Slovene new teachers and their mentors enthusiastically engaged in field trials.

In a bold move to improve educational practices, Slovenian Ministry of Education, Faculty of Theology of the University of Ljubljana and National Education Institute Slovenia, has recently initiated a series of field trials in participating schools and kindergartens across the country. The pilot programme, involving over 350 new teachers and their mentors, aims for better educational policies and more efficient immersion and progression in the teaching career.

The programme’s initial roll-out has taken place in the capital city of Ljubljana and later in the second city of Maribor respectively. Teachers and mentors have been meticulously trained in the new methods and are keen to implement these in their classrooms. The first impressions from the ground are encouraging – teachers are reporting better and improved engagements, while mentors have expressed satisfaction with the programme’s robustness and effectiveness.

The next steps for Slovenian programme involve monitoring and evaluating these initial trials’ outcomes. Data will be collected and analyzed to ascertain the effectiveness of the innovative approach methodologies, guiding adjustments and improvements. Plans for a country-wide expansion on permanent basis are set to be contingent on the results from this pilot phase, as the feedback and results obtained from these trials will be pivotal in refining the programme’s next iterations. As the country eagerly awaits the outcomes, the educational community is already applauding the initiative’s progressive approach.

Η πιλοτική εφαρμογή του προγράμματος LOOP στην Ελλάδα

Τον Οκτώβριο του 2022 επιλέχθηκαν τα σχολεία της πιλοτικής φάσης εφαρμογής του προγράμματος LOOP στην Ελλάδα. Συνολικά συμμετείχαν 80 σχολεία (30 στην πειραματική ομάδα και 50 στην ομάδα ελέγχου) από όλες τις βαθμίδες και τις περιοχές της χώρας. Από αυτά τα σχολεία στο πρόγραμμα συμμετείχαν συνολικά 166 έμπειροι εκπαιδευτικοί ως μέντορες και 197 νέοι εκπαιδευτικοί ως μεντορευόμενοι. 

Κατά την περίοδο του Νοεμβρίου και του Δεκεμβρίου όλοι οι συμμετέχοντες εκπαιδευτικοί συμμετείχαν σε επιμορφωτικές συναντήσεις για το πρόγραμμα. Συνολικά πραγματοποιήθηκαν 14 τέτοιες επιμορφωτικές συναντήσεις με διάφορες ομάδες μεντόρων και νέων εκπαιδευτικών.  

Μετά τις διακοπές των Χριστουγέννων και συγκεκριμένα από τα μέσα Ιανουαρίου του 2023 έως και τον Ιούνιο, δηλαδή το τέλος της σχολικής χρονιάς 2022-23 πραγματοποιήθηκε επί έξι μήνες η πιλοτική φάση εφαρμογής του προγράμματος LOOP. Κατά τη διάρκεια αυτής της πιλοτικής εφαρμογής μέντορες και νέοι εκπαιδευτικοί συνεργάστηκαν στην εφαρμογή του Προγράμματος Εισαγωγής στο Επάγγελμα Νέων Εκπαιδευτικών (New Teachers’ Induction Programme) το οποίο αναπτύχθηκε στην προηγούμενη φάση του προγράμματος. Το πρόγραμμα περιλάμβανε 14 θεματικές ενότητες και στα σχολεία δόθηκε ένας πλήρης σχετικός οδηγός με υλικό για όλες αυτές τις ενότητες.  

Το πρόγραμμα LOOP καλύπτει ένα σημαντικό κενό στο Ελληνικό εκπαιδευτικό σύστημα όπου η εισαγωγή του θεσμού του μέντορα είναι πολύ πρόσφατη, προσφέροντας ένα ολοκληρωμένο πρόγραμμα υποστήριξη των μεντόρων και εισαγωγής των νέων εκπαιδευτικών στο επάγγελμα. 

Το βασικό συμπέρασμα που προέκυψε από την πιλοτική εφαρμογή του προγράμματος LOOP είναι ότι αποτελεί ανάγκη η ύπαρξη ενός δομημένου προγράμματος το οποίο να υποστηρίζει τη σχέση μεντόρων νέων-εκπαιδευτικών κατά τη φάση της εισαγωγής των τελευταίων στο επάγγελμα. Η εμπειρία της πιλοτικής εφαρμογής έδειξε ότι όταν οι εκπαιδευτικοί και τα σχολεία υποστηρίζονται κατάλληλα μπορούν να κάνουν πολύ σημαντικά πράγματα. Όλοι οι συμμετέχοντες στο πρόγραμμα διατύπωσαν την άποψη ότι θα ήθελαν να δουν το πρόγραμμα LOOP να υιοθετείται στο μέλλον και ως εθνική πολιτική για όλα τα σχολεία της χώρας. 

Policy Seminar in Croatia: A Reflection

In the recent Policy seminar implemented in June, participants were immersed in a two-part exploration of the challenges and opportunities set by the Teacher Induction and Mentor Capacity Programmes developed through LOOP project. The event, aimed at new and experienced teachers, brought together professionals from various schools to discuss the implementation of programs and the ways they impact their institutions.

The highest moment of the seminar was an eye-opening exchange of individual experiences and challenges faced by teachers in their respective schools. As teachers shared their struggles, they collectively envisioned how program implementations could be the catalyst for transformative improvements. It was an invaluable moment that emphasized the power of collaborative dialogue in shaping the future of education.

Main Conclusions

  • Empowering Young Teachers: The Teacher Induction Programme offers a sense of security and support for young teachers as they embark on their careers. It provides a contrast to the existing system, giving them a boost of confidence in their roles.
  • Mentorship Appreciation: Mentors that participated in the field trials felt that contributed to the smooth and efficient induction of new teachers and invented a new career pathway for themselves. Their experience is now more welcomed and appreciated, leading to a more enriched mentoring experience.
  • Strengthening Teacher Relationships: The project promotes a healthier and more productive relationship between experienced teachers, serving as mentors, and the younger educators. This enhanced cooperation fosters a dynamic environment for growth and innovation.

Policy Seminar in Spain

In May, educators and policymakers united to explore the transformative potential of reshaping the teacher career landscape. The seminar was co-organized with the Directorate General of Innovation and Training and took place as part of the grand 7th EDO Congress, uniting a diverse array of education professionals and key figures from education administrations.

The seminar adopted a symposium format under the title, “The Continuum of Teacher Training and Professional Learning: The School as a Cornerstone in the Journey to Becoming a Teacher.” This symposium was coordinated by Jesús Moral Castrillo, the current Deputy Director General for Innovation and Training at the Regional Ministry of Education.

A highlight of the symposium was the comprehensive presentation of the LOOP Project, a European initiative with the noble objective of harmonizing educational policies for the implementation of guidance programs tailored to educators entering the education system.

Moreover, the symposium hosted distinguished representatives from various esteemed university entities, who explored strategies to advance induction and training programs for mentors in Catalonia.

In specific:

  • Maica Gil (Department of Education) addressed “The Training Continuum in the Teaching Career.”
  • Xavier Chavarria and Elvira Borrell (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya) provided insights into “The Framework of Teaching Competences as a Beacon in the Stages of Professional Development.”
  • Patricia Olmos (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona-CRiEDO) and Verónica Violant (Universitat de Barcelona) elucidated on “The Transition to the Teaching Profession: Inducteaching.”
  • Susanna Arànega and Juan Llanes (University of Barcelona) explored “The Construction of Teaching Identity and its Connection to Practice During and After Initial Training.”

When concluding the symposium diverse viewpoints and perspectives on the ongoing work in Spain were presented. The event provided an invaluable platform for the exchange of ideas and opinions to shape the future of educational policies.

2nd Press release of the LOOP Project

The LOOP Erasmus+ project is now in its second year of implementation and starting the policy experimentation phase. The partnership has concluded the designing of the policy tools with the active engagement of the teaching community through co-design sessions held in the partner countries. Based on this participatory approach, the following tools were developed:

  1. A mentor’s capacity programme and a teacher’s induction programme based on mentoring to support the initiation to the teaching profession
    The mentor’s capacity programme, aimed to train experienced teachers and school leaders to act as mentors of new teachers, is now complete and the field trials are about to start in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia and Greece. Between 20 to 30 mentors are expected to be trained in each country to act as mentors of their colleagues from January 2023 onwards supporting the implementation of the teacher’s induction programme.
    The teacher’s induction programme, based on mentoring is also ready. It addresses new teachers initiating their career paths and aims to support them in adapting to the new workplace culture. It covers professional issues, legal/administrative topics of the teaching profession and socio-cultural aspects related to the school/cluster of schools norms and processes. The field trials of the induction programme are set to take place between January and June 2023 and the consortium hopes to involve more than 500 teachers in all the countries.
    To implement effectively the field trials, a training course was organized. The ”Train the Trainers” Staff Capacity Programme took place in Ljubljana, Slovenia, from 19th to 23rd September 2022, aiming to train, at the national level, future trainers that will now train the experienced teachers to become mentors. In addition to the theoretical training, the participants also attended several workshops which focused on self-reflection on their career path, empathy, communication, the strength of mindset, etc.
    If you are interested in participating in the piloting of the mentor’s capacity course and/or teacher’s induction programme, reach out to us through our website contact form.
  2. Policy Brief on the current landscapes of the partner countries’ educational systems.
    We have released the first Policy Brief that includes: a) an analysis of the current landscapes about the teaching career in the different countries of the consortium, b) alternative views on the teaching career and their potential consequences or impacts, and c) a set of policy recommendations.
    The results from the policy brief were already presented in three policy seminars. On July the 1st, a seminar was carried out in Lisbon, Portugal for the presentation of the Policy Report, which was attended by 30 stakeholders who discussed the requirements for the generalization of induction programmes based on mentoring and the essential conditions for that. On July the 8th, the policy brief was presented to 120 relevant stakeholders both online and virtually, in a broader round table organized in Athens, Greece, with the stakeholders finding the policy recommendations highly relevant and giving important feedback. Finally, a seminar was conducted in Slovenia on the 13th and 14th of September, with the participants highlighting the process of evaluation during mentor induction as a point of focus during the implementation of the programmes.
    Stay tuned for our activities and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

LOOP Policy Seminar in Slovenia!

On September 13 and 14, 2022 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, a Policy Seminar was organized by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport (Ministrstvo za izobraževanje, znanost in šport), presenting the policy recommendations that have been developed in the framework of LOOP. The participants were teachers, principals, as well as policy makers.
The seminar can overall be characterized as a success, with the participants being engaged in the discussion, offering feedback and constructive solutions. They were in agreement with the policy recommendations suggested by the consortium, but they also had some suggestions for improvement.
More specifically, the participants had some remarks to make regarding the role of the mentor. They pointed out that it’s essential that mentors are also actively teaching and in contact with a class, while they should also be financially compensated adequately for their role. When it comes to the role of the new teacher, they suggested that the induction programme should be mandatory. Finally, another point that was made, was that professional advancement should be evaluated not only by points, but also by the type of teacher in the classroom.
The seminar in Slovenia brought forward some important issues. A strong suggestion, that was also made in similar events in other countries of the project was the importance of the evaluation during both programmes, since even excellent teachers might be weak in this area. Specifically for Slovenia, the teacher’s age was highlighted as an issue, while another suggestion was to implement the materials developed by LOOP as soon as possible. Such events help improve project results and ensure that the impact on the teacher’s career is overall positive.
To read more on the first Policy Brief, visit the link below: