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The experience of the EU countries in developing professional pedagogical competency in lecturers


Andragogical paradigm of organization of educational process in high school: psychodidactic aspect

1. The experience of the EU countries in developing professional pedagogical competency in lecturers

Some international experience in professional training of lecturers and improvement of professional pedagogical competency were studied by such Ukrainian scholars as N. Avsheniuk, L. Diachenko, O. Ohiienko, O. Ovcharuk, L.

Puhovska et al. In particular, the problem of teacher training in the UK was investigated by O. Chorna, D. Medvedovska, N. Yatsyshyn et al. The system of teacher training in France was addressed by V. Lashchykhina, T. Levchenko, N.

Postryhach et al. The organization of higher teacher education in Germany was examined by B. Bazova, I. Boichevska, L. Diachenko, V. Hladush et al. Scandinavian education systems were studied by N. Andriichuk, T. Hrabovska, A. Roliak et al. The Finnish system of teacher education was justified by N. Baseliuk, K. Kovtun et al.

The trends in the Belgian system of teacher education were considered by T. Kuchai, Yu. Zakaulova et al. Different aspects in professional training of lecturers were revealed by J. Buitink, K. Collins, E. Hoton, W. Hutmacher, E. Karweti, M.

Mulderns, S.N. Oja et al.

In Europe, the development of teacher education is determined by the main trends characterized by the processes of internationalization, professionalization and modernization of education and targeted at competency-based approach.3 Despite the availability of relevant documents, which contain the conceptual framework for acquiring core (basic) competencies (the European Commission’s White Paper on Education and Training (1995), a Memorandum on Lifelong Learning (2000), the Europe Action Plan (2002), Commission’s Action Plan for Skills and Mobility (2002), Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (2015), etc.) and are recommended for implementation in the education systems of the EU member states, the terms and their criteria differ in each country. Therefore, there is no single approach to understanding the essence, ways and methods for shaping and developing professional pedagogical competency in the European Union.

The lack of coherence and unanimity is proved by a multi-meaning interpretation of professional competency as “in-depth knowledge”, “the ability to perform relevant tasks”, “the ability to apply knowledge and skills”, “the adequate performance of tasks”, etc.4 It should be noted that when defining the essence of professional pedagogical competency the EU experts pay considerable attention to such qualities of lecturers as the ability to independently solve complex tasks, acquire new knowledge and skills, have a positive view of one’s own personality, fruitfully communicate with students and colleagues.5

3 Bibik, N.M., Vashchenko, L.S., Lokshyna, O.I., Ovcharuk, O.V., Parashchenko, L.I., Pometun, O.I., Trubacheva, S.E. (2004). Kompetentnisnyi pidkhid u suchasnii osviti: svitovyi dosvid ta ukrainski perspektyvy: biblioteka z osvitnoi polityky [Competency Approach in Modern Education:

World and Ukrainian Perspectives: Library for Educational Policy]. Kyiv: K.I.S.

4 Harhai, V. B. (2004). Povyshenye kvalyfykatsyy uchytelei na Zapade: refleksyvnaia model obuchenyia [Teacher’s upgrading in the West: Reflexive Learning Model]. Pedahohyka, 2, 72–79.

5 Eurydice. (2002). Key competencies: a developing concept in general compulsory education.

Retrieved from http://biblioteka-krk.ibe.edu.pl/opac_css/doc_num.php?explnum_id=503.

Tetiana Horokhivska

E. Karweti states that professional pedagogical competency occupies the most important place among the main competencies of lecturers since it is directly related to the performance of professioal duties.6 M. S. Knowles indicates that higher education must cultivate the lecturers who consider lifelong learning and application of knowledge in changing conditions as the most important abilities.7

Some scholars emphasize the importance of implementing professional pedagogical competency in the education systems of the EU countries through the use of competency-based approach.8 They substantiate the interest in this problem with a number of specific issues related to social and educational trends, including the complexity in defining education principles and insufficient assessment of education organization based on competences, some problems in assessing the level of specialist competency due to improper approaches to its definition.

It must be noted that the so-called Dublin model of universal competency framework (Dublin descriptors) has become the basis for European approaches to professional pedagogical competency of lecturers: knowledge and understanding;

applying knowledge and understanding; making judgments; communications;

lifelong learning skills.9

According to the European Qualifications Framework, a modern lecturershould be able to:

- use special knowledge about critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of new complex ideas at the cutting edge of a particular field, expand or reconsider the existing knowledge and practice in a particular area or across areas;

- study, elaborate, implement and adapt projects leading to new knowledge and new solutions;

- demonstrate good leadership skills, innovation and autonomy in work and learning in new contexts, which require solving the problems caused by a multitude of interconnected factors;

- maintain a strong interest in developing new ideas or processes and show a good understanding of learning processes;

- communicate authoritatively within the framework of a critical dialogue with specialists of equal status;

- study and reflect on social norms and relations and leadchanges in them;

- critically analyze, evaluate, synthesize new and complex ideas and make strategic decisions based on these processes;

6 Karweti, E. (2014). Influence managerial ability of principals and factors affecting the motivation work on the performance of special-ed teacher. Journal Educational Research, 11 (2), 21-31.

7 Knowles, M. S., Hoton, E. F., & Swanson, R. A. (1998). The adult learner: the definitive classic in adult education and human resource development (managing cultural differences) (5th ed.).

Houston, TX: Gulf Publishing Company. p. 119-122.

8 Мulderns, М., Weigel, T., & Collins, K. (2007). The concept of competence in the development of vocational education and training in selected EU member states: a critical analysis. Journal of Vocational Education, 59 (1), p. 67.

9 Holubenko, O., Morozova T. (2007). Yevropeiska meta struktury kvalifikatsii dlia sfery osvity [The European goals of qualifications structure for education]. Higher Education, 2. p. 35-36.

Foreign experience in developing professional pedagogical…

- demonstrate the experience of operational interaction with the ability to make strategic decisions in a challenging environment.10

The UK experience in developing professional pedagogical competency is rather focused on the characteristics of pedagogical activity than personal qualities of lecturers.11 In this regard, it was crucial to determine the most important goals of pedagogical activity, which should be achieved to meet educational requirements of professional competency. Taking into account the fact that pedagogical activity is regulated by professional standards, the Higher Education Academy and British universities have approved the UK Professional Standards Framework for Teaching and Supporting Learning in Higher Education (2011). It encompassess three dimensions in qualitative development of professional pedagogical competency in a modern lecturer: area of expertise, general knowledge, professional values with corresponding descriptors. These descriptors of professional values include the following: respect for every student; assistance to the student in obtaining higher education; use of factual data obtained from research findings on teaching and continuing professional development; understanding of the higher education context, application of professional practice.12

The postgraduate education system for practising educators in the UK focuses on two main areas, namely improving the existing skills and abilities of educators and building new abilities and skills based on additionally acquired knowledge. However, the selection of teaching methods depends on the aim of retraining or postgraduate education. The typology of methods involves using both commonly accepted methods (lectures, distance learning, group discussions) and special methods or pedagogical techniques,includingindividual methodologies.13

In order to enhance professional competency of lecturers, the Open University (UK) has been introducing online learning, which is aimed at using global and local computer networks. Interactive contacts allow lecturers to receive online advice on important issues of pedagogical practice. Thus, the following three types of courses actively use information and communication technologies (ICTs): web-enhanced courses, which provide free access to electronic services both online and offline;

web-focused courses,whichinvolve using ICTs as a compulsory element of advanced teacher training; web-intensive courses, which involve full-time online learning. The above-mentioned forms of improving lecturers’competency today remain the most popular ones in higher education institutions in the UK.

10 Reedition. (1997). International Standard Classification of Education. Retrieved from www.uis.unesco.org/Library/Pages/ DocumentMoreP age.aspx?docIdValue.

11 Oja, S.N. (2009). Perspectives on teacher professional development. London: Falmer Press. 119-154.

12 Medvedovska, D.O. (2016). Osnovni kryterii yakosti vyshchoi osvity: dosvid Velykoi Brytanii [The main criteria for the quality of higher education: the experience of Great Britain].

Pedahohichni nauky: teoriia, istoriia, innovatsiini tekhnolohii, 4. 48–55.

13 Chorna, O. (2010). Suchasni tendentsii pidhotovky ta pidvyshchenniia kvalifikatsii vykladachiv VNZ (na prykladi vidpovidnoho dosvidu Velykoi Brytanii) [Modern trends in training and advanced training of lecturers (based on the UK experience)]. Scientific Notes. Series: Pedagogy.

Kirovohrad. V. Vynnychenko Kirovohrad State Pedagogical University, 88. 273-276.

Tetiana Horokhivska

German scholars consider academic, methodological, social and axiological competencies to be the components of core competencies. However, the development of professional pedagogical competency is ensured by a system of postgraduate teacher education, which is rather multilevel and multidivisional and involves two areas.14 The first area that is advanced teacher training (Lehrerforbildung) is aimed at emhancing professional competency of lecturers so that they can introduce innovations to the education process, apply modern educational methods, enrich knowledge and practical skills in pedagogy, teaching methodology, psychology, etc.

The second area that is additional teacher training (Lehrerweiterbildung) implies obtaining a new qualificayion or expanding current professional one.15 This process is based on the principles of modularity, rational organization of the education process, interdisciplinarity and reflectivity.

It must be noted that professional training of lecturers in Germany is based on the dual system of professional education. Those individuals who wishtodo a postdoc, conduct certain educational and research activities as assistant professors at university departments. In order to teach in higher education institutions, postdoctoral researchers prepare a second habilitation thesis while temporarily working as research assistants. The complex requirements put forward for this monograph can yield novel findings needed to solve a particular problem. On average, it takes up to eight years to complete such work.

In Germany, the forms for enhancing professional pedagogical competency of practisinglecturers include advanced training courses in higher education institutions, as well as seminars and conferences.16 There is a certain system of requirements for them: classes should be short-term andconducted not far from the residence and workplace; the problems addressed during the study should be relevantfor the higher education institution where the lecturer works; the content of classes should take into account the interests of learners and aim to solve those specific issues and problems, which mightoccur in professional activity. However, pedagogical meetings in higher education institutions, as a form for enhancing professional pedagogical competencyinlecturers, allow them to familiarize themselves with state documents on education, directives on the changes to curricula and the introduction of new learning technologies. It must be noted that teaching staff start visiting lessons when it becomes necessary to evaluate innovations in the field of teaching methods or to help those teachers who facesome problems in their practice.

Adhering to the trends of interdisciplinarity and harmonizing compulsory and optional courses are universally accepted requirements in the practice of advanced teacher training in Germany. Based on social, scientific factors and other local

14 Ovcharuk, O. (2003). Suchasni tendentsii rozvytku zmistu osvity v zarubizhnykh krainakh [Modern tendencies in the development of the content of education in foreign countries]. Shliakh osvity, 2. p. 9.

15 Hladush, V.A. (2012). Osoblyvosti pisliadyplomnoi osvity pedahohiv spetsialnykh navchalno- vykhovnykh zakladiv u rozvynenykh krainakh Yevropy [Features of postgraduate educational of teachers of special educational institutions in developed European countries]. Topical issues of collectional educational, 3. 46-55.

16 Stern. (2001). Die besten Hochschulen in Deutschland. Stern, 17, 57-68.

Foreign experience in developing professional pedagogical…

conditions, some German universities (Hamburg, Heidelberg, Goettingen, Osnabruck) determine the level of the necessary professional training forlecturers, analyze the expediency of introducing compulsory and optional courses for retraining, as well as relevant teaching methods and integrated programmes in postgraduate education.17 However, it is rather important to use such innovative teaching methods as situation simulation, training sessions, case method, project method, mental maps whenenhancing professional pedagogical competency in lecturers.18

The conducted analysis of scientific works shows that relevant organizational and pedagogical conditions taking into account the specifics and characteristics of professional activity in higher education contribute to developing professional pedagogical competency in lecturers in higher education institutions in Germany.

In contrast to German researchers, Austrian experts in education substantiate the following core competencies: subject-specific competency (mastering and application of knowledge, critical reflection); personal competency (development of individual skills, self-analysis); social competency (responsibility, activity); communicative competency (communication skills); methodological competency (autonomy, flexibility, purposefulness in learning). It is in the context of developing these competencies that Austrian experts can observe the enhancement of professional pedagogical competency.19 However, the following aspects of Austrian experience in teacher training are considered to be the most innovative ones: diversification (multidisciplinary) and hybridization of teacher education, the country’s clusterization in reforming teacher education, tutoring.20

The development and implementation of national qualification standards based on common requirements for professional training and professional development of teaching staff is characteristic of teacher education in France. Diplomas with qualifications are awarded to the candidates who acquired certain knowledge within the defined standards for professional pedagogical competency. Rather interesting is a modern model for professional training and development of teaching staff in France. The main essential characteristic of such a model is a concentrated approach to developing professional pedagogical competency of lecturers through the use of communication (dialogue-based) exercises, analysis of pedagogical situations, discussions, experimental exercises.21 Projects presentation, demonstration of

17 Chulkova, L.V. (2006). Problemy raboty prepodavateliia v VNZ Hermanii [Problems in the work of lecturers in German higher educational institutions]. Berdiansk: Modem.

18 Bauer, K.-O., Kopka, A., Brindt, S. (2006). Pädagogische Professionalität und Lehrerarbeit.

Weinheim und München.

19 Swiss Federal Statistical Office. (2001). Country Contribution Process: Summary and Country Reports. Briefing materials prepared for DeSeCo’s 2nd International Symposium. Neuchâtel,

Switzerland: Various Authors. (CCP Reports). Retrieved from


20 Avsheniuk, N.M., Desiatov, T.M., Diachenko, L.M., Postryhach, N.O., Pukhovska, L.P., Sulyma O.V. (2014). Kompetentnisnyi pidkhid do pidhotovky pedahohiv u zarubizhnykh krainakh: teoriia ta praktyka [Competency approach to teachers training in foreign countries: theory and practice].

Kirovohrad: Imeks-LTD. p. 11.

21 Lashchykhina, V. P. (2009). Rozvytok systemy pidhotovky pedahohichnykh kadriv u Frantsii (druha polovyna XX – pochatok XXI stolittia) [Development of the training system for teaching

Tetiana Horokhivska

educational films, modeling, problem-based methods, role-playing games, micro- teaching are widely used, too.

In France, postgraduate teacher education is an integral part of professional retraining system for lecturers. It has undergone several stages in its development.

Since 1982, MAFPEN (Les Missions Académiques de Formation des personnels de l’Education Nationale), a network of new institutions, has started to be established in every academy as a result of the state policy of the Government of the French Republic with the aim to retrain teaching staff for the national education system. The main task of these institutions was to analyze the current needs of educational institutions ensuring training, retraining and professional development of teaching staff by studying the possible potential and resources of the academies themselves.22

In this case, the advantages of postgraduate professional training for lecturers in France can be attributed to increasing the availability of new higher-ranking posts;

assisting lecturers in performing functional duties at a high professional level;

preparing them for administrative competitions; helping them to introduce new teaching methods and techniques in the educational process of higher education;

contributing to improving the existing knowledge and acquiring new one aimed at personal and professional growth of lecturers.

In this regard, one should pay particular attention to the personal motivation of French teachers towards enhancing their professional development. The peculiarity of French postgraduate education consists in the fact that the Ministry of National Education, Research and Technology resort to mass events, similar to advanced training in Ukraine, only in some cases.23 An example may be the need for simultaneous retraining of lecturers specializing in a certain area after implementing significant changes in the curriculum.

A slightly different approach to defining the essence of competencies and competence-oriented education is employed by Belgian scholars. Core competencies developed during the education process are social competencies, a positive attitude to external social environment, independent thinking and performance, motivational competencies, mental mobility, functional competencies.24 Belgian experts associate professional pedagogical competency with such criteria as multifunctionality (achieving specific goals, performing various tasks, solving problems), multidimensionality (interconnected combination of knowledge, views, skills and relations), transparency (the possibility of use in different situations), availability (taking into account different content volumes).

staff in France (second half of the XX – XXI century)]. Candidate’s thesis. Kyiv: Kyivskyi natsionalnyi linhvistychnyi universytet.

22 Evolution du dispositif de formation continue des enseignants du des conseillers principaux d’éducation. Retrived from: http:eduscol.education.fr/D0031/FXNREF03.htm.

23 Korsak, K.V., Hraniuk, L.O. (2001). Frantsiia: pisliadyplomna osvita ta ii dosiahnennia [France:

postgraduate education and its achievements]. Postgraduate Education in Ukraine, 1. 28-31.

24 OECD. (2011). OECD reviews of evaluation and assessment in education: school evaluation in the Flemish community of Belgium. Retrieved from https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/education/oecd- reviews-of-evaluation-and-assessment-in-education-belgium-flemish-community-


Foreign experience in developing professional pedagogical…

In the Netherlands, professional pedagogical competency of lecturers is closely related to defining the major educational goals, including the development of the lecturer’s personality, his/her adjustment to new requirements of the education process. Taking as a basis Dutch theorists and educators’ suggestion about how to define core competencies in accordance with the requirements of different stages in the individual’s life, the following competencies necessary for achieving professional growth were identified: content competencies (necessary for competitiveness in the national and European labour market); competencies necessary for a career (technological competency, operational skills, etc.); competencies necessary for acquiring new skills (basic, analytical abilities and skills).25

This suggestion also affects the list of requirements for professional pedagogical competency of lecturers, namely self-directed study abilities; confidence and ability to choose an area for development; ability to solve problems, apply different options, collaborate with colleagues and discover creative solutions; ability to acquire new skills effectively.

It can be argued that modern theoretical developments in Denmark urge to search for new models in the development of professional pedagogical competency of lecturers. Scientific researches are aimed at studying the ways to deepen the connection between theory and practice in the process of professional pedagogical growth. The main pedagogical functions related to developing this competency were determined as follows: the deepening of lecturers’ professional thinking with an emphasis on pedagogical reflection, self-analysis, a harmonious combination of critical and creative understanding of the principles for effective pedagogical activity.

After studying educational problems in Denmark, J. Buitink26 substantiated the role of practical knowledge in professional growth of the lecturer, which allow him/her to understand any pedagogical situation and take an informed decision instantly, to apply critical thinking skills based on knowledge and experience.

Finnish experts’ views on core competencies significantly differ from those common in most European Union countries. They believe that core competencies should include: cognitive competency (theoretical knowledge, practical skills); ability to apply knowledge and skills under the conditions of social change; social competency (ability to cooperate and prevent conflicts, mutual understanding, social adaptability); personal competencies; creative competencies (innovative activity);

communicative and pedagogical competencies; administrative competencies;

strategic competencies; ability to act in parallel in different fields of activity. In Finland, the development of professional pedagogical competency is incorporated in university curricula as a component of the higher education standard.27 This process

25 Swiss Federal Statistical Office. (2001). Country Contribution Process: Summary and Country Reports. Briefing materials prepared for DeSeCo’s 2nd International Symposium. Neuchâtel, Switzerland: Various Authors. (CCP Reports). pp. 255–260. Retrieved from http://www.statistik.admin.ch/stat_ch/ber15/deseco/deseco_country.htm.

26 Buitink, J. (1992). Research on teacher thinking and implications for teacher training. European Journal of Teacher Education, 16 (3), 195–203.

27 Hutmacher, W. (2008). Que tiene de mas el sistema educativo finlandes? Retrieved from https://socialescepcor.wordpress.com/2008/11/29/walo-hutmacher-%C2%BFque-tiene-de-mas-el- sistema-educativo-finlandes/.

Tetiana Horokhivska