Topic 3 Trends in labour market – the need of revitalising teaching profession

Nowadays, teachers are expected not only to transmit knowledge but also to act as learning facilitators, use information and communication technologies (ICT), work in teams, teach students from a variety of socio-economic and cultural backgrounds, engage with families and create a suitable learning environment for children with special education needs.

Teachers should care about their professional development and should try to keep up with recent advances in their area.

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly increased the challenges faced by teachers, both women and men.

The physical closure of schools and the rapid move to distance learning forced the teaching staff to replace their previous conservative teaching methods with new ones and to shift to digital learning.

Some of the interesting trends that have risen during this difficult period are the personalised and paced learning, vocational learning, the usage of smart technologies, such as virtual and augmented reality, social and emotional learning, remote assessments, policy support, as well as the development of digital literacy curriculum.

Professional development of teachers

Teachers should participate in courses/ workshops (e.g. on subject matter or methods and/or other education-related topics), education conferences or seminars (at which teachers and/ or researchers present their research results and discuss education problems), qualification programme (e.g. a degree programme), observation visits to other schools, in networks of teachers formed specifically for their professional development, in individual or collaborative research on a topic of professional interest.

The development of teachers can serve a number of objectives:

  • to update individuals’ knowledge of a subject in light of recent advances in the area;
  • to update individuals’ skills, attitudes and approaches in light of the development of new teaching techniques and objectives, new circumstances and new educational research;
  • to enable individuals to apply changes made to curricula or other aspects of teaching practice;
  • to enable schools to develop and apply new strategies concerning the curriculum and other aspects of teaching practice;
  • to exchange information and expertise among teachers and others, e.g. academics, industrialists;
  • to help weaker teachers become more effective.