TeachEx Final Conference: Promoting Teaching Excellence in Israeli Higher Education
Between 8-7 October 2018, the final event of TeachEx project took place in Jerusalem. The conference called ‘Higher Education Policy: European & Israeli Perspectives on Teacher Training Development’, consisted of a roundtable discussion and a series of final presentations about the outcomes of the project.
The audience was composed of about 40 participants; including members from the Council for Higher Education and teaching colleges and the panellists, namely academics and experts in Higher Education. The European Students’ Union (ESU) -as one of the partners of the project- was represented by Daniel Altman, one of the members of the Executive Committee.
Higher educational institutions need to invest in promoting innovative teaching that will meet the needs of today’s diverse students and enable them to address the challenges of a rapidly changing world. Ideally, students should have a meaningful, relevant, engaging learning experience that challenges their preconceptions, encourages critical thinking, and equips them to initiate change in their communities.
TeachEx is an Erasmus+ Capacity Building project designed to address these challenges by promoting teaching excellence in Israeli higher education. Six Israeli higher educational institutions are partners in TeachEx (IDC Herzliya as coordinator, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Oranim Academic College of Education, Beit Berl College, Gordon College of Education, and Ben Gurion University of the Negev), as well as the National Union of Israeli Students, which provides a reflection on teaching methods from the student perspective. In addition, six European higher educational institutions (University College Cork, Jagiellonian University, Glasgow Caledonian University, University of Groningen, and University of Nicosia), EURASHE, and the European Students’ Union (ESU) are partners in the project, providing their expertise and experience.
The overarching goals of TeachEx are to enhance the quality of education, developing the infrastructure of higher education institutions by:
1) Establishing and improving Centers for Teaching Excellence (CTEs) that contribute to the training and professional development of teachers.
2) Developing and delivering a sustainable program of training, as well as associated learning materials for staff working within the CTEs.
3) Creating or enhancing appropriate support structures in CTEs that ensure their viability and sustainability.
4) Developing and producing guidance, training, and benchmarking tools to support teaching excellence.
5) Exploring, sharing, and disseminating European experiences in teacher training and preparing manuals and training documents necessary to stimulate a sustained dialogue as to what constitutes teaching excellence between CTEs and other key educational stakeholders in Israel.
Over the course of the three-year project, TeachEx developed and enhanced Centers of Teaching Excellence in each of the partner institutions. In addition, training modules were developed on the following topics: project-based learning; diversity and accessible instruction; mobile learning; the lecturer as a producer of digital content; and design thinking for meaningful learning. TeachEx also facilitated an intensive “Train the Trainers” workshop which gave faculty tools and ideas to take back to their home institutions to use in training other faculty members.
The ultimate goal of TeachEx is to make sustainable long-term change in teaching which will benefit students and faculty. TeachEx aims to transform the way institutions of higher education approach teaching, so that students receive the excellent teaching that is so crucial to their education.
For further information, please contact:
Mr. Christian Jowers, TeachEx Project Manager at IDC Herzliya