Education Beyond the Classroom
In the context of aligning Romanian education to international standards, university professors have often had to combine classroom-based work with professional development strategies for the teachers they train so as to meet today’s complex educational improvement challenges. Part of this, mentorship competency falls within university professors’ responsibility and it is very complex and inclusive of a wide array of capabilities needed for the prediction and assessment of various education-related activities, organization of teaching processes, evaluation, as well as students’ motivation for future teaching activities. A group of university professors affiliated with the Department of British and American Studies at Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu (Lucia-Marilena Pavelescu – project manager, Silvia Florea – Fulbright alumna-project promotion, visibility and outreach coordinator, Ileana Cristea – organizer of training modules and activities, etc) are conducting a Strategic Project (POS DRU/87/1.3/S/52150) whose general objective is the implementation of a teacher-mentors training program for teachers working in secondary schools (in the Central and North-Western development regions).
During the 18 month long project, both LBUS and its national and international partners (Regional Lifelong Training Center for Local Public Administration Sibiu, Regional Lifelong Training Center for Local Public Administration Cluj-Napoca, St Cyril and St Methodius University of Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria and Deutsche Gesellschaft e.V. Berlin in Germany) are participating in the training of 40 mentor-trainers and 400 mentors. As the mission statement of higher education institutions is to ensure teachers’ institutional and professional development framework, the project has been designed so as to contribute significantly to local and interregional development of teachers’ lifelong formation and education according to nowadays quality requirements. By providing an increased number of mentors in secondary schools, the project aims at ensuring quality management improvement of initial training programs for students who take up the pedagogical training module. The teacher-mentors training activities designed as part of this project include most effective training methods for adult learning such as: presentations/lectures, debates, role-plays, critical thinking, facilitated group discussions, creativity development methods, workshops, evaluation.
Such projects are significantly contributing to the human resources development in the knowledge-based society and bespeak our faculty’s desire to stay abreast of advances in theories of learning, their implications for teaching as well as ongoing curricular consideration and programming for teachers and mentors-to-be.