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Teaching Experience and Teacher-Training Needs of Young Political Scientists
Unformatted Document Text:  It is difficult to say what motivates political science institutions in one country to pay more attention to teacher education than in another country. One argument could be the attendance of professionals paid to higher education. Since 1970 research on higher education has flourished in some European states, whereas remained scarce in others. Research activities in this sphere spread in the UK, the Netherlands and the Nordic countries and also played a substantial role in CEE countries (Teichler 2005). Our results on geographic distribution of teacher training more or less copy these findings. A vast majority of the people who participated in teacher training (80%) passed training at the institution where they pursued their PhD Diploma and in 85% of the cases, the two institutions were in the same country. A few students received training outside Europe in countries such as Iran, or the United States and some of them, at professional gatherings such as the annual conference of the European Political Science Network. Yet most of the ‘other- country’ training took place in an EU member state. These suggest two things, first that as long as not all departments offer teacher training, training at professional gathering might be an alternative. Second, it appears that (increased) academic exchange would be able to lessen the regional differences in teacher training. Unfortunately, for 73% of training participants the training was not a part of their PhD program. This result again supports our finding that most political science PhD programs in Europe are still oriented towards preparing professional researchers and not teachers and leave their graduates little prepared for challenges of their later teacher profession. Qualitative comments also reveal interesting patterns. Training attendees were asked to evaluate their training according to their advantages and disadvantages. Those who did not attend training were asked what they would wish to learn if they had the opportunity to learn about 17

Authors: Simon, Eszter. and Pleschova, Gabriela.
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It is difficult to say what motivates political science institutions in one country to pay more
attention to teacher education than in another country. One argument could be the attendance of
professionals paid to higher education. Since 1970 research on higher education has flourished in
some European states, whereas remained scarce in others. Research activities in this sphere
spread in the UK, the Netherlands and the Nordic countries and also played a substantial role in
CEE countries (Teichler 2005). Our results on geographic distribution of teacher training more or
less copy these findings.
A vast majority of the people who participated in teacher training (80%) passed training at
the institution where they pursued their PhD Diploma and in 85% of the cases, the two
institutions were in the same country. A few students received training outside Europe in
countries such as Iran, or the United States and some of them, at professional gatherings such as
the annual conference of the European Political Science Network. Yet most of the ‘other-
country’ training took place in an EU member state. These suggest two things, first that as long
as not all departments offer teacher training, training at professional gathering might be an
alternative. Second, it appears that (increased) academic exchange would be able to lessen the
regional differences in teacher training. Unfortunately, for 73% of training participants the
training was not a part of their PhD program. This result again supports our finding that most
political science PhD programs in Europe are still oriented towards preparing professional
researchers and not teachers and leave their graduates little prepared for challenges of their later
teacher profession.
Qualitative comments also reveal interesting patterns. Training attendees were asked to
evaluate their training according to their advantages and disadvantages. Those who did not attend
training were asked what they would wish to learn if they had the opportunity to learn about
17


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