Challenges and helpful conditions for Vocational teachers in Europe: Findings from the VETteach project
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This study, conducted by the IBP at the University of Rostock and partners with responsibility for VET teacher education in an Erasmus+ project, aimed to identify challenges faced by these teachers and analyze similarities and differences in their qualifications across Finland, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Germany. Using a quantitative survey, the study collected responses from 824 participants, including 389 VET teachers. The results showed that teachers from different countries face varying challenges depending on their vocational education systems. Key findings include the higher prevalence of "students with challenges" as a concern among German and Spanish teachers compared to their Nordic counterparts, and a lack of motivation among students in school-based training systems (Norway, Spain, and Sweden). Across all countries, teachers complained about a lack of resources, such as time for preparation and follow-up, staff shortages, and inadequate technical equipment. Additionally, teachers across the countries reported difficulties in staying up to date with market developments. These findings emphasize the need to better prepare vocational teachers for diverse challenges and adapt teacher training to address them. This includes linking theory and practice through school-company networks, enabling teachers to stay current with industry developments, and providing sufficient resources. Systemic steps are also needed to support vocational education, such as adequate financial resources. The study's results provide a basis for further research and can inform strategies for improving vocational teacher training across European countries.