The Power of Demonstration
The ETF experience of supporting 12 demonstration projects for the continuing professional development of VET teachers and trainers throughout South East Europe and Turkey in 2017 and 2018 is reviewed in the 'The Power of Demonstration' publication (also available in electronic format). Each project was designed by local actors to initiate or refresh implementation of reforms in professional development, and to inform policy-making and wider implementation. The ETF supported the projects through funding and professional expertise.
Learning arising from the ‘demonstration project’ approach
- Targeted training needs analysis is fundamental to ensure training meets VET teachers needs. Empowering teachers to shape professional development, as in North Macedonia, where the demonstration project was designed and led by teachers working in the targeted schools, is just one of the case studies outlined in the report.
- Partnership and inclusion between different stakeholders to the training process (teachers, school management, training providers, industry, policy makers) is another critical component for success. Montenegro, for example, provided industrial placements for VET teachers thanks to the cooperation of the Chamber of the Economy, the Ministry of Education and the VET Centre.
- An explicit learning agenda allows other teacher trainers to understand the learning objectives, teaching methods, learning activities and desired learning outcomes. Follow-up mentoring of trainees is an important factor in the learning process, particularly in cases where training was cascaded to other teachers by participants, as in the case studies from Kosovo and Turkey.
- Monitoring and evaluation throughout the project cycle is essential, particularly when results inform decisions leading to wider implementation and the design of subsequent phases. Learning accrued from the project experience is also necessary when a pilot project is not immediately continued to inform future endeavours.
- A clear networking, communication and dissemination strategy should be established at the outset of demonstration projects. Cooperation amongst teachers and the exchange of best practices with policy makers and other key stakeholders and public profiling of experience are key components of successful programmes and ensuring sustainability.