Seminar themes

The seminar seeks to stimulate initiatives within three topical areas: integration of refugees and immigrants, Nordic languages and teacher education. However the seminar also welcomes other ideas and topics found relevant by the individual institutions.

Below you will find more information on each theme, but please keep in mind that the descriptions are meant to serve as inspiration and not to be considered as an exhaustive lists of all possible topics and issues connected to the themes.


Theme 1 Integration of refugees and immigrants

The influx of newly arrived immigrants and refugees puts new demands on communities and society at large. Being at the center of cultural and social processes, education systems are faced with an acute task to respond adequately to the current migration and consequent demographic changes in student and learner populations. The challenges not only include the provision of and access to quality education for the newly arrived but also the social inclusion of these groups. The majority of teachers and educators are not equipped to work with learners from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds with wide-ranging learning needs and abilities and they are in urgent need of professional support and practical tools on how to deal with these issues appropriately.

Responding to these challenges posed by migration, the Ministers for Nordic Co-operation have decided on a multi-annual cooperation programme on the integration of refugees and immigrants. Nordplus supports this initiative by stimulating and highlighting projects within this theme and the contact seminar is one important instrument in this effort.

What could be addressed under this theme?

The theme can be addressed in many different ways and it is up to each institution to decide on the particular take on the theme according to their sector and needs. Here are just a few of the issues and topics that could be picked up by Nordplus  projects: differentiated and experimental learning environments, competency-based learning models, praxis-oriented education, guidance/coaching and mentoring, teaching assistants and two-teacher systems, retention and early warning systems, mother tongue-teaching, integrated and inclusive approaches in pedagogy, transitions between levels and types of education and training (from education/training to the world of work; and/or from one employment to another), induction processes for newly-arrived, competence assessment and validation of prior learning.

Examples for inspiration

Here you find examples of granted Nordplus projects addressing the theme of integration:


Theme 2 Nordic languages

The common linguistic comprehension and understanding in the Nordic countries is generally seen as one of the main components of the Nordic community. Today, however, Nordic countries are becoming increasingly multilingual while the general knowledge of neighboring Nordic languages seems to be decreasing. Furthermore a growing number of learners do not have a Nordic language as mother tongue. This is the linguistic reality facing the Nordic educational systems.

In the Nordic Council of Minister’s programme Quality and Relevance in Education and Research 2015 the Nordic co-operation ministers highlight the importance of the Nordic linguistic community and point to the Nordic language co-operation as means to develop the common set of values inherent in Nordic linguistic and cultural identity.

Nordplus is an important tool to create, support and develop the Nordic linguistic community. The Nordic language dimension has always played an important part in all of the Nordplus programmes and not only in the Nordic Language programme.

What could be addressed under this theme?

The topics entailed under this theme point in many directions and include all sectors and target groups. Here are just a few examples of issues and topics that could be picked up by Nordplus projects: the issues as addressed in the Nordic Language Declaration: teaching and didactics of neighboring languages versus foreign languages, the parallel language use of English and the main Nordic languages and the status of Nordic languages in the multilingual societies. Other topics could be Nordic languages as shared academic languages, Nordic sign languages, Nordic languages in second language learning and inter-Nordic communication and intelligibility.

Examples for inspiration

Here you find examples of granted Nordplus projects addressing the theme of Nordic languages:


Theme 3 Teacher education and continued professional development of teachers and educators

The demands made on teachers, school leaders, and teacher educators are increasing and changing. New reform requirements, changing student/learner populations and new learning environments all play an effect on the role of the teachers and the competences and skills required of the teachers. Teachers are the main driver behind any development in the education system and the quality of teaching has a direct effect upon learners’ attainment. It is no wonder that teacher education and continuing professional development of teachers and educators are high on the educational agenda in these years.

In their co-operation programme Quality and Relevance in Education and Research 2015 the Nordic co-operation ministers highlights the need and potential of a stronger Nordic educational cooperation to raise the quality of educator and teacher education.

Through systematic exchange of experiences and best practice, mobility of teachers and educators and joint development projects Nordplus can help support the professional development of educators including teachers, school leaders, professors, tutors and mentors.

What could be addressed under this theme?

Issues and topics within this theme could be strengthening the profile of the teaching professions, classroom management and leadership, course-didactic training and cross-generic teaching competencies, upskilling of teachers within areas such as work-based learning, basic skills, ICT and digitalization and collaborative and innovative practices.

Please note that teacher education should be understood in the widest sense and covers the entire spectrum of the teaching profession from initial teacher education and induction to continuing professional development within all education sectors from primary education onto adult education and liberal education and higher education.

Examples for inspiration

Here you find examples of granted Nordplus projects addressing the theme of teacher education and continued professional development of teachers and educators:

Contact

If you have questions about the seminar and the participation please contact your national Nordplus office.

About

The Nordplus contact seminar provides a unique opportunity for Nordic and Baltic educational institutions to form partnerships, collaborate and share good practices. The possibilities for networking, the educational input and the administrative guidance available at the seminar give a sound ground for preparing a future Nordplus application.

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