Education International
Education International

Unions ready to lead the way at teachers’ Berlin Summit

published 1 March 2016 updated 8 March 2016

The voice of the teaching profession is loud and clear in Berlin where unions are meeting face-to-face with education ministers from around the world to let governments know what teachers need for professional growth.

For this year’s International Summit on the Teaching Profession (ISTP) theme, Teachers’ Professional Learning and Growth: Creating the Conditions to Achieve Quality Teaching for Excellent Learning Outcomes, the focus turns to the policies and practices that both make teachers more effective in the classroom.

Hosted by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Lander in the Federal Republic of Germany (KMK), the Summit has also seen major contributions from Education International (EI)’s affiliate unions in Germany; the GEW and VBE. The Summit officially takes place 3-4 March, with pre-events scheduled throughout the week.

Education International and its affiliate unions are in Berlin for the sixth Summit instalment to deliver the message that teachers’ professional development and training is crucial throughout their careers.

“Our focus on teachers’ professional learning and growth is at the core of our continuing discussion on the future of the teaching profession,” said EI General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen. “This Summit represents an opportunity to draw on everything we have learnt during the last five years and assess what teachers need in the next 15 years.”

Education International is framing the discussions around the new UN Sustainable Development 2030 agenda, and specifically the education goal.

Teacher leadership, the theme of last year’s theme in Banff, Canada, is being revisited in Berlin to look at how teacher initiated learning and research, including the creation of training and education programmes for teachers by teachers, is taking place throughout the profession.

Education International wants to show governments how union affiliates around the world are providing high quality professional development for their members and are yielding better teaching and learning for students. At the same time, through dialogue with ministers, EI wants to encourage strategies for teacher learning between unions and governments, including grant programmes for unions to expand development projects.