Teacher education reform aims to generate better students

The government and opposition have agreed to strengthen the teachers’ education in a bid to raise the level of public schools

On June 1, the Socialdemokraterne-Radikale-Socialistisk Folkeparti (S-R-SF) government came to an agreement with opposition parties Venstre (V), Konservative (K) and Dansk Folkeparti (DF) to create a new, more attractive and vocationally-stronger education programme for teachers.

The move is an attempt to increase the quality of education at the nation's public schools.

Students taking the teachers’ education programme will in the future face more stringent demands such as entry quotients, admission interviews and a more practically-orientated curriculum.

The education minister, Morten Østergaard (R), was pleased with the reform negotiations and said that the new education platform for upcoming teachers will attract more vocationally-sound students with a passion for teaching.

“One of the more central goals is that public school students must be engaged by teachers who possess a deep knowledge of the subject that they are teaching,” Østergaard said in a statement. “Teachers are a vital part of our children's foundation and we need to lift the level of the teaching education and thus our future teachers.”

Curricular settings were also addressed so that subjects such as Christianity, lifestyle education and citizenship will become part of teachers’ basic vocational skill set.

Furthermore, the reform aims to make teachers better able to prepare students for participation in classes and instil the students with a sense of societal responsibility.

The agreement also focuses on strengthening the competencies of future teachers, such as leadership in the classroom, relationship proficiency, inclusion competency and the identification of social problems.

“If we are to successfully tackle the immense challenge of better inclusion in schools, then teachers must be better equipped to deal with students with special needs,” science and education spokesperson Kristen Brosbøl (S) told Folkeskolen.dk. “The use of IT in the classroom can also help engage the students in new ways and will become an essential element in future teaching environments.”

However, not everyone was impressed with the new education platform. Anders Bonbo of the teachers' association Danmarks Lærerforegning said the reform attempt was inadequate. He pointed to the Finnish system as a clear upgrade to follow.

“It is disappointing. Politicians have so many demands and wishes for the Danish school system and here they have an opportunity to strengthen the entire foundation,” Bonbo told Folkeskolen.dk. “Instead, they weakly renovated the existing platform, using the elements already present. It doesn’t make any sense.”

The new teachers’ education programme will apply to students admitted for classes in the summer of 2013.

  • Three new countries recognise Palestine as an independent state – Denmark holds back

    Three new countries recognise Palestine as an independent state – Denmark holds back

    Norway, Spain and Ireland have announced that they will formally recognise Palestine as a state. A furious Israel has recalled its envoys from Dublin, Oslo and Madrid for emergency consultations. Denmark says it will only recognise Palestine under a two-state solution.

  • Digitization is the secret ingredient in Chinese restaurateur’s growth adventure

    Digitization is the secret ingredient in Chinese restaurateur’s growth adventure

    Publisher Jesper Skeel and Korean BBQ restaurant chain owner Zen discuss the ups and downs of independent entrepreneurship and how to crack the Copenhagen market, from both an international and Danish perspective.

  • Pro-Palestinian demonstrations divide Copenhagen society

    Pro-Palestinian demonstrations divide Copenhagen society

    As popular protests of the Israeli offensive in Gaza erupt around the world and in the media, from university campuses to the streets of major cities, discord is escalating between demonstrators, the general public, authorities and politicians.

  • Huge fire at Novo Nordisk – building “cannot be saved”

    Huge fire at Novo Nordisk – building “cannot be saved”

    A fire broke out at a Novo Nordisk site in Bagsværd on Wednesday morning. There have been no casualties, but the fire is “extensive and spreading”, and Novo’s administrative building “cannot be saved” say emergency services.

  • Denmark leads 15 member states in call to outsource EU migration policy

    Denmark leads 15 member states in call to outsource EU migration policy

    Just one day after the EU finally landed its New Pact on Migration and Asylum following four years of tough negotiations, a group of 15 member states, led by Denmark, issued a joint call for greater efforts to outsource migration policy and  prevent migrants from arriving at EU borders in the first place.

  • How to lead Danes IV – Cultural Bypassing

    How to lead Danes IV – Cultural Bypassing

    Many of us Danes, despite being well-educated and well-travelled, often lack experience in navigating cultural differences at work. This can lead to ‘cultural bypassing’, where we believe we are at a level of enlightenment where we no longer are burdened by the risk of making cross-cultural mistakes. As their manager, you can help your Danish colleagues by acknowledging cultural differences in the workplace.