Training programme for refugee teachers
Applications for Bielefeld University’s ‘Lehrkräfte Plus’ programme close on the 30th of June
Starting in August, refugee teachers can train in the new ‘Lehrkräfte Plus’ programme at Bielefeld University and potentially qualify to work in schools in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). The application phase has now been launched and will continue until the 30th of June 2017. ‘Lehrkräfte Plus’ is a training programme at Bielefeld University set up in cooperation with the NRW Ministry of Education and Training and the State Coordination Office for Local Integration Centres in NRW. The three-year project is being funded by the Bertelsmann Foundation.
Starting in August, ‘Lehrkräfte Plus’ will be giving an initial 25 teachers the opportunity to bring their knowledge of German up to C1 Level, to extend their subject knowledge and teaching skills, and to complete an internship in schools. ‘Our goal is to give these people career prospects in the NRW school system as, for example, substitute teachers,’ says the Vice-Rector for Studies and Teaching, Professor Dr. Claudia Riemer.
‘Schools need staff who are qualified to face the new challenges of migration. With their language background and their professional experience, refugee teachers can enrich schools and support integration. Through this programme, we are giving them practical assistance in gaining a foothold in the German school system,’ says Ulrich Kober, Director of the Bertelsmann Foundation’s Integration and Education Programme. According to Ludwig Hecke, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Education and Training, it is logical for the state government to back this programme: ‘In a society characterized by migration, refugee teachers can make valuable contributions to shaping intercultural school life with the resources at their command such as their experiences in another school system.’
Refugee teachers applying for ‘Lehrkräfte Plus’ must have a teacher-training qualification from their home country, professional experience as a teacher, and a knowledge of German on the B1 Level. Because ‘Lehrkräfte Plus’ is a comprehensive training programme, applicants also have to be able to attend full-time for one year. By participating in the programme, these teachers should initially improve their German up to C1 Level. They will then go on to broaden their subject-related, pedagogic, and didactic skills. ‘Another important aspect here is the intercultural component and the internships in schools during which they will be supervised by native teachers,’ explains Dr. Renate Schüssler, who, together with Nadine Auner, has devised and is responsible for the programme at the Bielefeld School of Education (BiSEd) within the framework of internationalizing teacher training. A further important element of ‘Lehrkräfte Plus’ is advising refugee teachers on their career perspectives in the school system.
After successfully completing the course, participants will be awarded a certificate documenting their confirmed language proficiency as well as the individual ‘Lehrkräfte Plus’ programme elements they have attended. Even though they will receive no formal qualification, successful participation in the programme can lead to, for example, a qualification to teach their language of origin. It is also possible to attain a full teaching qualification by studying other subjects after completing ‘Lehrkräfte Plus’.
Starting in August 2017, the one-year training programme will be offered for three successive years. Participants enrol at Bielefeld University for the duration of the programme. Apart from the usual semester fees, participation is free of charge.
Refugee teachers may apply up until the 30th of June 2017. Subsequently, their German language level will be tested. If the applicant can demonstrate a knowledge of German on the B1 Level, further documents and admission to the programme will be examined.
• On the ‘Lehrkräfte Plus’ programme: www.bised.uni-bielefeld.de/LKplus
• Detailed information on the application procedure: www.bised.uni-bielefeld.de/LKplus/bewerbung
• The Bielefeld School of Education (BiSEd): http://www.bised.uni-bielefeld.de
• The internationalization of teacher training: http://www.bised.uni-bielefeld.de/internationalisierung
Dr. Renate Schüssler and Nadine Auner, Bielefeld University
Bielefeld School of Education (BiSEd)
Tel.: 0521 – 106 4234 and -4246