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European Vocational Skills Week
News announcement19 November 2019Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion

How can we improve our teaching?


On 26 September 2019, I was lucky enough to participate in the second European Education Summit in Brussels. The summit’s motto is ‘Teachers first: excellence and prestige for the European Education Area’.
I set out on the trip to Brussels alone from Split airport, but, while waiting for the shuttle bus from the airport to the hotel, I met my colleague and new friend Natalija, and the trip became much more fun. Since the purpose of the trip was education, our schedule was very busy with sessions and workshops.

At the Summit, Ministers, civil servants and teachers discussed many questions regarding the challenges that teachers face today. Among other things, we discussed ICT (Information and Communication Technology) in classrooms. As already mentioned, teachers face tremendous challenges. We live in a digital world, but many of us don't have digital skills and haven't yet understood how to use technology to improve our teaching processes. How can we improve our teaching? How do we create an environment in our classrooms where students want to learn, rather than have to learn?

One way is to gamify our teaching. Games and gamification have become more popular in education, as they teach students creativity, problem-solving, critical thinking and how to learn from mistakes. In order to bring schools and companies closer together, principals need to understand the value of learning outside of the classroom. Through visiting companies, students gain insight into the skills that they require of their employees. Participating in Erasmus+ programmes also enables students to train and gain experience in companies abroad, as well as to learn to understand other cultures.

Since our trip only lasted two days, we didn't have time for sightseeing. We didn’t get to see the Grand Place (‘Grote Markt’), Manneken-Pis, nor any other tourist attractions in Brussels. Fortunately, the airport shop was well stocked, so we brought home souvenirs, including Brussels’ famous chocolate.

I was very happy to take part in this summit. I gained new perspectives and ideas, made contacts with other schools and companies for future projects and, of course, met new friends. That’s basically what this is all about…!

Magda Barišić, Teacher at Commercial and Trade School of Split, Croatia