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Erzieherausbildung mt internationalem Profil
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Students who complete the six semesters of training as a state-recognized educator at the Technical School of the Foundation “Sozialpädagogisches Institut Walter May” at the same time acquire an international profile upon conclusion of the training. It is planned that the optional participation in an internship in a foreign country, which is recognized by the Senate Administration of Berlin within the framework of the training, will last the full 5th semester. This offers the chance for the students to experience working in another culture and, thus, provides students with the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the effects of day to day cultural phenomena through working with children and their parents in a theory-based and increasingly methodical way In accordance with the German qualification framework (DQR) full-time students studying to become state-recognized educators gain the competencies of level 6 (DQR/ EQR). This level encompasses, among others, competencies that are characterized by complexity and frequent variation and requires competence in taking action, which can be better trained when educators in training are confronted with challenging situations, develop epistemic interests, and can continually reflect on their actions. Training for the educator profession, where as a matter of course there is contact with children and their families from a various cultural traditions, must focus on the cultural sensitivity and interaction with diversity and biases. Giving young people the opportunity of an internship in a foreign country during their training opens a cultural experience to them that provides a singular opportunity in preparation of their profession. In addition to gaining (inter)cultural competence, foreign language skills, at least that of the country chosen, at the same time are also broadened. Both the cultural knowledge and language abilities as well as the experience in another country increase chances in the labour market and, in addition, the educators interest in increased professional mobility to a foreign country. In total, it is projected that between June 2015 and May 2017 25 full-time students in educator training will participate in the project. All project participants/students within the framework of the Erasmus Plus Mobility Project take part in an internship within the context of early childhood education and care. Generally the institutions involved are kindergartens, but in part also primary schools or the after-school care associated therewith including relevant tasks such as preparation of daily and special activities, project work, early education (including in the language area), observation/documentation, and parent/family work. The cooperation partners of our school, where this practical phase is conducted, are German foreign schools (including day care centres and pre-schools) with multi-cultural bilingual concepts. Continuous cooperation already exists with these or is being sought. Students can choose from a large pool of foreign schools based on their interests and thereafter proceed through a structured application process on the basis of an individually designed application. The internship itself is supported continuously by the organisations in Germany and abroad, flanked by working with a learning platform, and upon return is evaluated and presented during the Welcome Back Weeks. The results are published within the Foundation SPI and the partnership schools. In summary, it is the goal of this Erasmus Plus Mobility Project "Educator Training with an International Profile" to enable participants to gain experience with the unfamiliar. From this they gain insight into the range of possible lifestyles and in the context of their work in a social education environment learn strategies, concepts, and methods for the coexistence of different cultures and nationalities, whereby the acquisition of an orientation geared toward diversity and an attitude conscious of bias is a goal. The project presents the opportunity for sustainably acquiring this competence together with a strengthening of responsibility, independence, and professional confidence through the internship in a foreign country over several months. Ultimately, the goals sought to be achieved particularly in these times of personal shortage in this profession, are to have expert graduates who are ready to meet the challenges of a multi-cultural, ever-changing society and who are able to work with children and youth from all backgrounds as part of the educator profession.
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