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THEMATIC DAY 2020: Key competencies for teachers in a context of development or crisis

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At this year’s Thematic Day, RECI organised a discussion on the theme of quality teacher training in the form of an Open Space workshop.

A themed day, and above all, dynamic!

The RECI’s famous annual Thematic Day was held in November 2020. This year’s event was a little different from previous years.

Firstly, the event was run using the Open Space method. Secondly, everything had to take place entirely online, the pandemic prevailing. Against all expectations, the online dimension did not succeed in hampering the dynamism of the exchanges and discussions on the Thematic Day. On the contrary, thanks to technological prowess and a well thought-out framework, the participants were able to navigate between a variety of subjects, according to their interests, throughout the day. They were also invited to answer questions individually, with the aim of stimulating their personal reflection and their contribution to the discussions.

The discussions on the theme day all revolved around a central question: “What skills do teachers need to provide quality, inclusive education?“Among the many topics, a number of central conclusions and inputs emerged from the discussions, such as the need to assess and define key competences through indicators and the creation of a competences framework for teachers, or the importance of promoting and measuring social competences and Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship. The sharing of practical examples, tools and experiences to support partners on the ground more effectively in managing their educational mission in the context of the health crisis was also discussed. Finally, one of the major conclusions of the Thematic Day was that future fields of action and practical tools should build on what already exists, incorporate the knowledge and experience of members and also focus on the needs of projects on the ground.

Responses from our partners in the field to the central theme

As well as contributing to the success of the event through their enthusiasm and active involvement, the participants were able to discover a new way of working together, thanks to new technologies that enabled them to debate with partners from all over Switzerland. Simultaneous translation of the event also helped to increase opportunities for dialogue and collaboration, and to break down language barriers.

RECI has already incorporated some of these ideas into the planning of future thematic activities. Members and working groups are invited to take an active part in the new forms of cooperation within the network from 2021 onwards, to take forward the ideas of the Thematic Day and to continue to introduce new issues of interest to them.

The somewhat different Thematic Day as an “Open Space” workshop

At the Open Space workshop, the participants set the programme. Everyone can suggest themes: questions that will give them access to the knowledge and experience of the other participants; experiences, projects or stories that they themselves would like to share; crucial points of practical work that they would like to take forward with the help of others.

The workshop is based on a few simple rules, is self-organising and has its own dynamic. The participants work on the different themes according to their interests, or initiate the discussion themselves. At the end of the day, the results of all the discussions are summarised in writing and all participants have access to them.

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