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Praktikum in Einrichtungen des Erziehungs- und Bildungssystems in Europa 2015
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

In the training of future educators at the Fachschule für Sozialwesen, the six-week practical placement, which takes place in the second year of studies, is an integral part. Just like the final theoretical examination, this placement is one of the preconditions of obtaining the degree. The aim of a placement abroad is to provide and enhance professional competences and to improve/refine language skills. In detail, the main objectives are: - Gathering practical experience in day-to-day pedagogical work, thus enlarging one’s professional qualification - Getting to know socio-pedagogical institutions in other countries - Reflecting on foreign educational concepts and comparing them to those encountered in Germany - Speaking the local language, gaining new linguistic skills - Becoming aware of one’s own intercultural development, verbalizing this development - Acting independently and reliably in professional as well as in private situations, solving problems which might occur In 2015, 16 students participated in the placement programme. Destinations were the United Kingdom, Austria, Malta, Spain and the Netherlands. Our partners consisted of institutions working in different fields of educational activities: - Institutions focusing on early-childhood education - Institutions taking care of people with disabilities or special needs During their placement, students are required to participate actively in all routine activities of the institution. This is a much more complex task than it may seem, as it consists of dealing with children and people in care, with parents and team members, of performing activities with children and people in care, adapting to the general conditions of the institution but also taking part in shaping these conditions. These tasks are among the essential learning matters noted in the core curriculum for future educators. In addition to these professional aspects, a placement abroad is of particular importance for the students’ personal as well as their linguistic development. As they are integrated in the institutions’ daily routine and the resulting communication, both essential in educational practice, the knowledge of the language spoken in the target country is crucial. Regarding these competences, objectives are defined in the learning agreements (Lernvereinbarungen) between the school and the students. On the whole, the placement has proved to be a positive experience for all participants. The different evaluations show that the objectives have been attained so far. Educational qualifications often become more apparent during practical professional work and students will then be even more aware of how much the placement abroad has enhanced their competences. The practical placement is acknowledged through an assessment issued by the foreign employer, and by the Europass Mobility.
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