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Teaching Experience and Teacher-Training Needs of Young Political Scientists
Unformatted Document Text:  Learning and Teaching Course over the period of 2000–2003. The respondents indicated that it transformed their teaching practice; the biggest changes identified were increased reflection on teaching practice, the introduction of new teaching strategies, bigger focus on the design and delivery of classes, more work on course teams, an increase in confidence about learning and teaching and a more student-centered approach (Donnelly 2006, 210-211). Positive evidence exists outside Europe, too. Since the second half of 1990s, at Monash University and Swinburne University in Australia, a model for the professional development of teaching staff has been evolving. MacDonald (2001) believes that the Teaching Community approach has resulted in remarkable changes in teachers’ understanding of their role, their teaching skill and, most importantly, their enthusiasm for teaching. At one of the faculties the model even continues to grow years after the initiating project expired. Nevertheless, almost all published sources on teacher training have discussed only the conditions in Anglo-Saxon countries. To broaden the focus of the teaching training literature we aim at examining teaching training in the wider European context, extending the analysis to all EU member states. Moreover, we realized that it has been rather difficult to find a work analyzing problems of teachers’ education in a particular field. As political science teachers we have been naturally interested in the existence and impact of the teacher training in our discipline and thus we decided to examine that sphere. In this paper, we are looking at problems related to education of beginning teachers in the field of political science in 27 countries of the European Union. We are particularly interested in the differences in attention paid to teacher training of political science PhD students in member states. To begin with we wish to know how much teacher training is offered for future political scientists. Where we find that training is available, we wish to enquire whether such factors as 5

Authors: Simon, Eszter. and Pleschova, Gabriela.
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Learning and Teaching Course over the period of 2000–2003. The respondents indicated that it
transformed their teaching practice; the biggest changes identified were increased reflection on
teaching practice, the introduction of new teaching strategies, bigger focus on the design and
delivery of classes, more work on course teams, an increase in confidence about learning and
teaching and a more student-centered approach (Donnelly 2006, 210-211).
Positive evidence exists outside Europe, too. Since the second half of 1990s, at Monash
University and Swinburne University in Australia, a model for the professional development of
teaching staff has been evolving. MacDonald (2001) believes that the Teaching Community
approach has resulted in remarkable changes in teachers’ understanding of their role, their
teaching skill and, most importantly, their enthusiasm for teaching. At one of the faculties the
model even continues to grow years after the initiating project expired.
Nevertheless, almost all published sources on teacher training have discussed only the
conditions in Anglo-Saxon countries. To broaden the focus of the teaching training literature we
aim at examining teaching training in the wider European context, extending the analysis to all
EU member states. Moreover, we realized that it has been rather difficult to find a work
analyzing problems of teachers’ education in a particular field. As political science teachers we
have been naturally interested in the existence and impact of the teacher training in our discipline
and thus we decided to examine that sphere.
In this paper, we are looking at problems related to education of beginning teachers in the
field of political science in 27 countries of the European Union. We are particularly interested in
the differences in attention paid to teacher training of political science PhD students in member
states. To begin with we wish to know how much teacher training is offered for future political
scientists. Where we find that training is available, we wish to enquire whether such factors as
5


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