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:
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!
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.
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. The results then indicated that the teachers are somewhat satisfied with the knowledge of the subjects they teach, pedagogical knowledge, and even the hated administration. On the other hand, they feel a lack of support in the emotional and social/cultural part of the teacher’s vocation, which was not provided or insufficiently provided in college education and preparation for professional exams. The obtained results pointed to the fundamental problems of today’s teachers who face great professional instability in an increasingly challenging society and demotivation to remain in their profession. Due to the inconvenient geographical layout of Croatia, when we started the programs, we organized seminars and workshops in larger cities (Zagreb, Osijek, Pula, Split).
Over 140 teachers and mentors actively participated in the project. The mentors reacted quite well and seriously to the project with greater engagement and willingness to participate. We are still in the implementation phase, which will last until October of this year. As time goes by, the voice of the project is heard more, and teachers and mentors contact us who would like to get involved or learn more about the project itself and the programs. Because of them, we extended this phase in order to achieve higher numbers and the involvement of especially new teachers, which we lack. We are currently finishing up some of the groups and filling out the last surveys. Feedback and impressions of the project itself are quite positive. The first results are that the mentoring program is commendable, but that there is an urgent need for an equally strong program for new teachers. The local management of schools presented distinct challenges that require careful attention and collaboration.
One key outcome was the recognition of the importance of creating an environment where mentoring goes beyond a measure of formality. The participants expressed a strong desire to establish a platform for mentor exchange, elevating the mentoring experience to a higher level. Addressing the concerns of beginning teachers entering the education system emerged as a priority. Providing comprehensive preparation and a sense of security to new professionals is crucial for their success. The Ministry of Science and Education plays a vital role as a supportive partner in this project, and we are hopeful that the significance of the project’s initiatives will receive even greater recognition. It is essential to emphasize the need for increased support from the competent education authorities in implementing these programs. For now, we are proud of the progress made and the positive feedback received from educators and education leaders.
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.
In October 2022, the schools for the pilot phase implementation of the LOOP New Teachers’ induction program in Greece were selected. A total of 80 schools participated, with 30 in the experimental group and 50 in the control group, from all the levels and many regions in the country. Out of these schools, a total of 166 experienced teachers participated as mentors, along with 197 new teachers.
During the period of November and December, all participating teachers attended training sessions for the program. A total of 14 such training sessions took place, involving different groups of mentors and new teachers.
After the Christmas break, specifically from mid-January 2023 until June, i.e. the end of the 2022-23 school year, the pilot phase of the LOOP New Teachers’ Induction program was implemented for six months. During this pilot implementation, mentors and new teachers collaborated to implement the Program, which was developed in the previous phase of the project. The program consisted of 14 units, and schools were provided with a comprehensive guide and materials for all these units.
The LOOP program fills an important gap in the Greek educational system, where the introduction of the mentorship scheme is very recent, offering a comprehensive support program for mentors and the induction of new teachers into the profession.
The main conclusion that emerged from the pilot implementation of the LOOP program is that there is a need for a structured program that supports the relationship between mentors and new teachers during their induction phase into the profession. The experience of the pilot implementation showed that when educators and schools are properly supported, they can achieve significant outcomes. All participants in the program expressed the opinion that they would like to see the LOOP program adopted in the future as a national policy for all schools in the country.
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:
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.
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.
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:
A Seminar for the presentation of the Policy Report on the Current Panorama of Education Systems: challenges and opportunities for a new approach to the teaching career, was held on July 1, 2022, in the Auditorium of the Institute of Education of the University of Lisbon, under the coordination of the DGAE and with the participation of the UL Institute of Education and Casa do Professor.
The event was attended by 30 stakeholders who, throughout the interventions, reflected on the proposed policy recommendations contained in the Report coordinated by the Casa do Professor.
The seminar’s first topic was reflection upon the supervision paradigm. The discussion then centered on the requirements for the generalization of induction programmes based on mentoring, as well as the essential conditions for the implementation of the above. Finally, the context of articulation between initial and continuous training was discussed, as well as the needs of schools regarding that.
To read more on the first Policy Brief, visit the link below:
The first LOOP Greek Policy Seminar, in which was presented the LOOP Policy Brief 1, held on July 8, 2022 at Cotsen Hall, Gennadius Library, American School of Classical Studies, Athens. The presentation of the policy brief took place in the context of a broader round table entitled “Next Generation Europe” which was attended by participants in person and remotely. The round table was attended by 50 stakeholders in-person and 70 ones virtually. Among the participants were Alexandros Koptsis, General Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Ioannis Antoniou, President of the IEP and Michael Teutsch, head of unit, schools and multilingualism, directorate-general for education, youth, sport and culture of the European Commission.
The opinions and the recommendations of participants on findings included in the Policy Brief 1 are the followings:
The participants found the recommendations concerning the three dimensions that constitute the scope of this Policy Brief absolutely adequate, namely Teachers’ Career, Induction Programmes and Mentors’ Capacity Programmes. They noticed the high relevance of these recommendations and their completeness.
In principle, participants found the overall design and structure of LOOP very concrete and the focus on the three dimensions very important and accurate. Particularly important for the participants was the correlation between the inductive and mentoring programme and the active role of school directors in this prosses.
Participants acknowledged the positive impact that the piloting of the inductive and mentors programme can have in a first level and the subsequent adoption by the state of desirable, appropriate and tested policies related to teachers’ careers, induction and mentoring porgrammes. The participants stressed the importance of the 3nd dimension (Mentors’ Capacity Programmes) and its potential positive impact, since in Greece there are only informal forms of mentoring and it is very important, as they pointed out, on the occasion that the new law (law 4823/2021) come in force, Mentor Programmes must take a systematic formal form in which experienced teachers and school directors will have an important role to play.
As far as the political approval and Implementation After Loop Experimentation is concerned, it was very important that the meeting was attended, among others, by the Secretary General of the Greek Ministry of Education, who expressed an interest in being fully informed about the LOOP programme so that critical aspects of it could be examined and adopted.
To read more on the first Policy Brief, visit the link below:
POLICY BRIEF on the landscapes of education systems: challenges and opportunities for a new approach to the teaching career
The LOOP project aims to contribute to the improvement of the teaching career by rethinking its structure and progression options as well as to empower teachers to know how to enhance their professional development.
The LOOP document published here contains an analysis of teaching careers in the different consortium countries (Portugal, Spain, Croatia, Italy, Germany, Greece and Slovenia), and a characterisation of formal and informal teacher induction practices as well as teacher mentoring programmes.
In most European countries, teachers experience great professional instability, face increasingly challenging audiences, complain about lack of resources and recognition, as well as excessive tasks, many of them of administrative nature. On the other hand, there is a small number of young teachers (under 30 constitute around 10% of the teaching population, on average in OECD countries) who express interest in the profession.
The Policy Brief outlines a set of recommendations, signed off by the LOOP Policy-Working Group, which is intended as a roadmap along a new structure for the teaching career. The ambition is to enable it to become a reference in the design of new educational policies and their permanent updating in a society characterised by constant dynamism. The Policy-Working Group, created within the framework of the project, is a body that guarantees the successive adaptation of LOOP’s results to the interests of its target groups. The majority of its members are public authorities, researchers and partners with strong experience in experimentation and evaluation of the impact of new educational policies.
In this first Policy Brief, a proposal is made to review the teaching careers in the different countries of the partnership, with a view to valuing them and effectively increasing their attractiveness at a time when there are serious difficulties in finding new teaching professionals.
One of the recommendations identified in this publication concerns the urgent provision of support to teachers who are at the beginning of their professional activities, through the possibility of applying for a structured induction programme, supported by more experienced peers, benefiting, for this, from specific training and a decrease of the working hours.
Thus, it is urgent to retain and motivate new professionals by reconsidering the support provided to teachers, through access to an induction programme supported by mentoring, provided by experienced teachers, from the same school or subject group. It is also recommended that these mentors are trained to adopt a collaborative and constructive attitude in different dimensions of the teaching professional activity, such as bureaucratic-administrative, affective-emotional, sociocultural and didactic-pedagogical.
Thus, it is understood that it is imperative to create new career opportunities, through the valorisation of pedagogical functions of special importance, including those that can be performed by teacher mentors, with benefits at the level of their progression and the right to a shorter working hours adapted to their functions.