In September 2023, the first international Summerschool specifically for (vocational) teacher training students took place at the Institute of Educational Science at the Technical University Berlin. As part of the DAAD-funded pilot project MOVE IT!, the one-week Summerschool aimed to bring together students and lecturers from different countries to discuss current issues relating to schools, education and digitality – issues that present us all with challenges as (future) educators and university lecturers, but at the same time offer opportunities to overcome national borders and learn from and with each other.
What does “digitality” mean and to what extent can digitalization help to meet the challenges of teacher shortage? How is digital competence discussed in Norway as an aspect of pedagogical professionalization? What relevance does physical activity play in the context of digitalized learning settings and what practical methods are there to promote activity in the classroom? How are the vocational education systems of different countries structured and what does digitality mean in the context of TVET education in South Africa? What is the potential of international comparative perspectives on educational issues? What does “culture” actually mean and how can digital tools be used to encourage a discussion of practices of racism in schools?
A lively group of students from TU Berlin and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway (NTNU) as well as lecturers from TU Berlin and NTNU, the School of Education of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) and Nelson Mandela University in Gqeberha (formerly Port Elisabeth) in South Africa came together. According to the title of the Summerschool “(Vocational) Education and Teaching in a Digital World”, a program of diverse workshop formats, excursions, reflection and team-building units offered plenty of space for creative exchange and discussion. However, there was also plenty of time for getting to know each other personally and exploring Berlin. As a special highlight, the first international student conference by and for student teachers wa part of the Summerschool. Students from both universities took the opportunity to present current or former study projects, share their findings and discuss their own questions and topics with the group.
The Summer School is part of the MOVE IT! internationalization project, which is being funded as a pilot project from 2021 to 2024 as part of the DAAD funding line Lehramt.International with funds from the BMBF. In addition to the establishment and intensification of international university cooperation, the promotion of traditional stays abroad and the establishment of a national round table on internationalization in the vocational teaching profession, MOVE IT! Internationalization@home offers. With the Summer School 2023, a further opportunity was created to give student teachers at TU Berlin the chance to gain international experience “at home”.
The majority of students who participated in the Summerschool had either been part of the latest round of the tandem program MOTIVATE! or part of the new group which started in October 2023. Following the Summerschool, many students expressed their wish to take part again next year – in autumn 2024 at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim.