Peculiarities of preschool teachers’ education in Western Europe
candidate of Pedagogical science (Ph.D)
Associate Professor of preschool department
Pedagogical Institute, Kyiv Borys Grinchenko University, Kyiv, Ukraine
Main peculiarities of professional preschool teachers’ training in Western Europe countries are described by the author. The investigator presents the characteristics of practical features of pedagogical education in England, France and Germany which are specified in the article. The logical analysis is done for the characteristics of forms, methods and means (equipment) of preschool teachers’ training process. The similar and different traits of preschool teachers’ professional training in western European countries are pointed out by the author. The similar traits are organisation forms, methods and means of teachers training such as lectures, seminars, individual work, practical classes which are followed by correspondent methods – discussion, explaining, training, testing, interviewing; and equipments as well – demonstrative video-lectures, sound comments on diapositives, listening to audio-types ect. Among the differences the author distinguishes approaches for studding which lay in conceptuality of training. The qualitative professional preschool training is realized through different forms, methods and means of educational process organization The progressive practical elements of foreign experience, which would be in use not only of Ukrainian pedagogical high schools but in other European universities and which will be the factors for improvement and development of pedagogical education’s establishments, are distinguished in the issue, they are: the increasing of practice in preschool establishments; the competence approach to teachers’ training; the intention and the practice of overseas teachers’ training; the integration to the standards of qualification; the development of distant teachers’ education. The investigation proves that future preschool teachers’ training and practical preparation is the complicated and multi-component process where systems of pedagogical, psychological and social influences are combined and it’s the problem not only of one scientific article.
Keywords: professional education of preschool teachers, system of pedagogical education, peculiarities of training and practical preparation of preschool teachers, perspective foreign experience of pedagogical education.
Особенности образования дошкольных педагогов в странах Западной Европы. Мельник Н. Автором представлено характеристику особенностей профессиональной подготовки дошкольных педагогов в странах западной Европы; проанализировано специфику педагогического образования воспитателей в Англии, Франции и Германии; установлены типичные и отличительные характеристики в подготовке дошкольных педагогов. Среди типичных характеристик автор выделяет формы, методы и средства организации образовательного процесса в педагогических учебных учреждениях стран Западной Европы; к отличиям относятся подходы к образований дошкольных педагогов. В статье также определено прогрессивные практические элементы их профессиональной подготовки в обозначенных странах, которые будут перспективными для адаптации в высших педагогических учебных учреждениях не только Украины, но и в других странах Европы и которые будут факторами дальнейшего развития профессионального образования дошкольных педагогов. В научной статье доказано необходимость не только заимствования зарубежного прогрессивного опыта организации образования дошкольных педагогов, но и доказано, что качественная подготовка педагогов дошкольников это комплексная система взаимосвязанных факторов и компонентов, которые требуют детального обозрения и изучения.
Ключевые слова: профессиональное образование дошкольных педагогов, система педагогического образования, особенности обучения и практической подготовки дошкольных педагогов, перспективный зарубежный опыт педагогического образования.
All the educational innovation which take place in the European countries are taken into account by Ukrainian scientists, educators and politicians and are transformed through all educational levels. The problem of future teachers’ training in European Universities is presented in Ukrainian scientific studding of N. Abashkina, O. Gluzman, V. Kremen, N. Lavrychenko, M. Leschenko, L. Pukhovska, A. Sbrueva, O. Sukhomlynska and others. Recently the attention of Ukrainian scientists and educators such as A. Belenka, N. Melnik, I. Rogalska-Yablonska, O. Sulzma, Z. Halo is focused on the European experience of preschool teachers’ training as it has proved its efficiency and productivity. Special scientific interest is devoted to the problem future preschool teachers’ training and practical preparation as the problem of high level of preschool education is arisen in the Ukrainian scientific sphere and the educators (O. Lokshyna, N. Melnik, L. Pukhovska, A. Sbrueva) expect positive findings of foreign experience in this field. More over all the investigation are supported by the state document “National Doctrine of Education development in Ukraine”, it is said that “one of the traits of education development is the integration of educational establishment to the European educational activity, the rising of high schools’ educational services, the international collaboration ect.”.
The importance of preschool teacher’s training foreign experience is evident to the further Ukrainian high schools’ improvement and development. Our investigation is devoted to the English, French and German preschool teachers’ professional training and practical preparation as the countries that have the most successful experience in this sphere. In accordance to the actuality of the problem, the aim of the article is to distinguish the main peculiarities of preschool teachers’ education in Western Europe countries in the issue.
In accordance to the aim of the issue the following tasks are under discussion: to analyze the peculiarities of preschool teachers’ training and practical preparation in England, France and Germany; to distinguish similar and differentiae traits in the preschool teachers’ training in Western Europe countries; to point out the progressive practical elements of this training for borrowing to the Ukrainian pedagogical high school system.
Methods. Within the investigation the complex of theoretical and empirical methods has been used. The theoretical systemic analysis of pedagogical, psychological philosophical and scientific-methodological literature was used for the distinguishing of preschool teachers’ training and practical preparation peculiarities; the logical analysis was used to specify main characteristics of the pedagogical education of preschool teachers; synthetic and systematic approaches for distinguishing of similar and different traits of preschool teachers’ professional training in tree West European countries and for searching of the most progressive ideas and practical experience of foreign pedagogical education for the borrowing and adaptation into Ukrainian pedagogical universities and high schools’ establishments practice. Diagnostic empirical methods such us observing, interview, communication and discussion were used for studding of foreign students’ theoretical and practical level of professional training.
The main content of the issue. The teachers’ education in West European countries is the object of investigation not only of Ukrainian scientists such as S. Synenko (the development of after graduate pedagogical education in Western European countries), O. Sulyma (after graduate preschool teachers’ pedagogical education in Germany) but this problem was presented in scientific works of Russian investigators: N. Kuzmenko (Standartisation of higher education in Germany and Russia), O. Martynova (Teachers’ preparation in Germany) as well as in scientific issues of English investigators V. Halstead (teacher education in England), P. Mahony & I. Hextall (transforming profesionalism); R. Atee (teacher education in Europe), P. Veibahn (teacher education in Germany) and others. All of the authors investigate the problem of high-standardised pedagogical education in Western European countries; the researchers are devoted to the description of pedagogical educational systems and problems of qualified professional training.
As the study of English scientist says that present teachers’ education in England is developing under two factors: the first is the desperate shortage of teachers (the profession must attract and retain future teachers; the second is the obvious lack of success of the present schooling for a substantial minority of pupils [7, 71]. The author points out the actions were being taken to address those two problems in teacher training and in schools:
- providing of the overseas teachers’ training as they are trained to meet the standards “on the job”;
- graduates who wish to earn money while training can similarly work in designated training schools generously funded to undertake the training with the loose – link to higher education;
- the increasing of flexible programmes catering for trainees on a part time basis and increasing of number of classrooms assistance;
- literacy and numeracy tests do not now have to be compelled during the first year of teaching;
- the replacement for Circular - High status, High Standards was issued Qualifying to teach.
- The amount time spent in school was increased with greater flexibility [7, p. 72].
Those actions were arisen not from an educational philosophy but from the practical need. The same problem is similar to modern Ukrainian pedagogical education and it’s concerns the future preschool teachers’ training as these type of educators are in essential need of practice, of the possibility to earn money within the training. As for the forms of preschool teachers’ training in English pedagogical universities it should be mentioned that they are in some way similar to other West European pedagogical universities’ practice, the main forms are: lectures, seminars, practical work, laboratory experiments, different types of practice, individual work ect. As for the methods they can be divided into subgroups – traditional (narration, explaining, retelling, demonstration, simple and video- presentation, training, reviewing) and innovative (discussions, free association, interviewing, conferences, distant educational courses, electronic testing, module training, creating of portfolio and presenting of individual report on the actual theme’s topic ect).
The preschool teachers’ training in France is characterized by the concentration on future teachers’ training classes and approach for organizing. As in all European countries French pedagogical universities have two-level high education: bachelor’s (4-year studding) and master’s (magistracies – 6-year studding) programmes. Most of the French universities prepare the preschool teacher within Bachelor programme. The main focus is on the teaching of future preschool teachers to organise educational process through correct and strict organisation of students professional training that is based on:
- the essential classroom management;
- the organising of safe and stimulating learning climate;
- the creation of educational environment;
- forming of self-confidence through positive expectation of high school teachers;
- emphasising on basic skills and achievement-oriented attitude of students;
- organising of self-regulated learning;
- giving clear instruction and objectives to students;
- providing of well-structured and planned lectures, seminars, practical classes with the help of proper traditional and innovative methods, using the modern equipments;
- activity reproach to the studding;
- direct instruction and adaptive teaching [3, 129-134].
Author’s scientific work in German Universities has shown that during professional training the German universities’ teachers use the complex of methods for qualitative future preschool teachers’ preparation. Most of universities provides the preparation of preschool teachers on the bachelor degree; the separate training is provided to future preschool teachers for special schools. The teachers’ training has been taken in gradual way – the first level is bachelor; the second is the magister programme . According to Peter Viebahn studding training of future teachers in Germany is provided in module means, that is:
- the training is divided up into smaller training units.
- the individual student can put his own training programme together by choosing from the many options offered.
At the same time the investigator emphasise the problem of the limited opportunities of great variety of courses as they limited by the core curriculum [6, 97]. The solving of the problem German scientists see in the creating of opportunities to students who have already made a clear-cut irrevocable decision in favour of the teaching profession and in providing of a general qualification, thus accentuating rather polyvalence than professionalization of the teaching profession [6, 98].
The qualitative professional preschool training is realized through different forms, methods and means of educational process organization, the author’s practical observing of the training process allowed to pint out the most effective among them:
- forms: lectures and seminars (training classes), practical activity (during seminars and lectures), laboratory work, over classes activity (participation in pedagogical activity of the universities and other establishments which aimed to educate pupils of ordinary schools, the pupils’ parents and which is done under the leading of prominent university’s scientist- scientific circle); all types of practice; individual and personal work – home assignments, universities’ scientific conferences; year projects ect.
- methods: traditional – verbal – narration, report, explaining; visual – demonstration, observing; practical – training, laboratory and practical work, experimental work; control – tests, individual interviews, colloquiums, credits, defence of years’ projects; individual work – individual personal tasks, training and experimental tasks, preparing of years’ isuues and projects est.
innovative methods – verbal – discussion, objection, solving of problem questions and tasks, microphone; visual – video lessons, video-presentation, electronic courses; practical – quick testing, “brain storming”, “synectic method” (based on grouping of elements of one part into the whole object)”, method of free association, tall-show ect.; control – module tests, preparing of individual reports; individual work – microteaching, case-method and portfolio.
- means and equipments: screen-equipment – transparent, diapositive; for listening activity – stick-disks, memory cards, modems; visual and listening means – video types, diapositive with sound comments, movie parts; printed means – tables, schemes, pictures.
The existence of deferent and interesting effective forms, methods and means (equipments) of preschool teachers’ training and practical preparation in West European pedagogical universities as prominent German scientist Karl Holts, professor of “Pädagogischen Hochschule Heidelberg”, mentions help to prepare high-qualified, flexible, productive and creative teacher who not only likes children and his work but also are patiently devoted to the education sphere .
Results. The systematisation of theoretical issues of English, French German scientists and empiric observing, interviewing and communication with the foreign colleges from pedagogical universities and other types of pedagogical high schools (colleges, training schools) allows to make the conclusion on the following points:
- similar traits in preschool teachers’ professional training in West European countries lays in forms, methods and means of training they are:
- forms: lectures and seminars (training classes), practical activity, laboratory work, over classes activity; practice; individual and personal work, year projects.
- methods can be classified into following two groups – traditional and innovative: among traditional methods similar methods are – verbal – narration, report, explaining; visual – demonstration, observing; practical – training, laboratory and practical work, experimental work; control – tests, credits, defence of years’ projects; individual work – individual personal tasks, preparing of years’ issues and projects est.
innovative methods – verbal – discussion, objection, solving of problem questions and tasks, microphone; visual – video lessons, video-presentation, electronic courses; practical – “brain storming”, method of free association, tall-show; control – module tests; individual work – case-method, portfolio.
- means and equipments: screen-equipment – transparent, diapositive; for listening activity – stick-disks, memory cards; visual and listening means – video types; printed means – tables, schemes, pictures.
- deferent traits in preschool teachers’ professional training in West European countries lays in approaches to teachers’ training:
in England and France it’s more flexible but in Germany it’s more classical (distinguished hours for theoretical, practical training) though in both cases the approaches are aimed to meat students need.
Discussion. The investigation helped to distinguish the most perspective elements of Western European pedagogical universities which can be provided in Ukrainian pedagogical universities’ practice, they are:
- the increasing of practice in preschool establishments;
- the competence approach to teachers’ training;
- the intention and the practice of overseas teachers’ training;
- the integration to the standards of qualification;
- the development of distant teachers’ education.
To realise these experience is possible under the support not only of the Ukrainian universities authority but with the educational reforms and state’s and public funding though it’s the question of another issue.
Conclusions. The investigation proves that future preschool teachers’ training and practical preparation is the complicated and multi-component process where systems of pedagogical, psychological and social influences are combined and it’s the problem not only of one scientific article. The complex analysis of preschool teachers’ professional training in Western Europe proves out the lack of detailed information on the preschool teacher education in Ukrainian scientific issues and pedagogical literature as well as in foreign. Thus the perspective investigations of the distinctive description of preschool teachers’ training should be done and are under our further studding.
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