Self-evaluation Report



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7.8. External relations



The collaboration with the employers
In May 2004 there was held the seminar on the quality of the programme with the participation of the teaching staff, involved in the implementation of the programme, and the representatives of employers from Jelgava Secondary School No.4 and Jelgava Secondary School No.5 and several rural schools. We drew a conclusion that it is necessary to improve the quality of the programme, because everybody recognizes that it is a qualitatively new programme, which indicates a new quality of the household subject, when integrating IT, as well as the fields of social subjects and the sciences.

In February 2006 there was held the seminar regarding the strategic planning of the Institute of Education and Home Economics with the participation of both the representatives from the administration of Jelgava city and district schools, and the representatives of the Department of Education of municipality. There was expressed the support and presented suggestions regarding the implementation and further quality improvement of the study programme.

There had been established close collaboration with the administration of schools, involved in the implementation of the above mentioned project, financed by ESF (in relation to the ensuring of students’ practical training), and the teachers-supervisors of practical training within the project. The activities, carried out within the project, oriented towards the quality improvement of practical training, are purposeful and suitable for the quality improvement of the study programme on the whole, because the teachers and the representatives of school administration have provided several suggestions, ideas and initiatives, how to improve the planning of the study programme, as well as the content of separate study courses to facilitate the qualitative education of future teachers more purposefully.

The following representatives of employers included in the State Examination Commission, which evaluates the students’ Bachelor Papers in the academic year 2005/2006: A. Kampuse - the senior specialist in the field of household/home economics at the Centre for Curriculum Development and Examinations of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Latvia, Dz. Meirovica – the methodologist at the Department of Education of Jelgava district, D. Supe – the teacher of household and information technologies at Svete Elementary School, D. Latkovska – the manager of the couture “Tēma” and the representative of pupils’ interest related education centre “Junda”, P. Vucenlazdans – the Professor at Rezekne Higher Education Institution. The conclusion the State Examination Commission on the quality of Bachelor Papers you can see in chapter 6.2. In the years to come it is planned to include in the State Examination Commission several representatives of employers, related to the information technologies in the sphere of education.

Close collaboration with the employers is developed also by taking into consideration the point of view of those school administration representatives, who study at the Master study programme of pedagogy, as well as by keeping in touch with the graduates of the Master study programme of pedagogy, implemented at the Latvia University of Agriculture.

Mediated collaboration with the employers is developed, taking into account that many part-time students work as teachers. During discussions and through surveys these students communicate their employers’ point of view. The students’ ability to perform teachers’ functions in conformity with the requirements of school administration, while being the undergraduates, also confirms the quality of studies.

The collaboration with the employers has been developed also concerning advertising. The personnel of the Institute of Education and Home Economics advertises our study programme by visiting particular schools and meeting pupils – the potential students. Such meetings are possible only due to the support of the school administration. The school administration, in its turn, provides the teaching staff of the university with the information concerning the vacancies, which could be of graduates or undergraduates’ interest.
The collaboration and comparison with similar programmes
At the Daugavpils University study program where the students are trained in the speciality of a teacher of Home Economics and the students are offered a possibility to choose several fields to obtain an additional qualification as well as to become a teacher of Information Technologies. There is a close co – operation at conferences, seminars, joint projects with the Daugavpils University.

The LLU Faculty of Information Technologies is co – operating with the University of Latvia, Faculty of Pedagogics where the study program Teacher of Information Technologies is implemented.

Experience is exchanged at conferences, seminars and projects with Rēzekne University College and Liepāja Academy of Pedagogics (since June 14, 2006 – University of Liepaja)

where there are similar study trends developed.

In Great Britain, Bishop Burton College a university level study program Crafts and Information Technologies is started. The Institute of Education and Home Economics has a long – term co – operation with this educational establishment. Exchange of experience is planned in relation to the given study program.

Table 18


Exchange of teachers and students in SOCRATES/ERASMUS contracts

Nr

Co–operation partner

2000/2001

2001/2002

2002/2003

2003/2004

2004/2005

2005/2006

2006/2007

1.

University of Helsinki

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

2.

University of Munster (Germany)

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

3.

LAUREA Polytechnic (Finland)

X

X

X

X

X







4.

London Metropolitan University







X

X

X

X

X

5.

Fulda University (Germany)










X

X

X




6.

Wien Agrar Pedagogische Akademie (Austria)

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

7.

Vilnius Pedagogical University (Lithuania)



















X

8.

University of Iceland



















X


Comparison to this level study programs implemented in other countries (Appendix 4)

In Sweden at Göteborg University the Department of Home Economics (Household) implements a study program of pedagogics in the result of which the qualification of a teacher of two or several subjects is obtained: a teacher of Household and Mathematics or a teacher of Household and the Swedish language, or a teacher of Household and Religion, or a teacher of Household and History and Social sciences.

The Department of Home Economics (household) and Handicrafts at the Faculty of Pedagogy of the University of Helsinki (Finland) implements the studies for the teachers of household. In order to receive the teacher’s qualification, it necessary to study for at least 5.3 years and be awarded Master’s degree. Basic subject to be taught at school, is Home Economics (1 subject teacher). Students are advised to take the other subject (2 subject’s teacher). Three subject’s teacher training is possible, but rarely taken, because one has to study longer. When the students’ decide their major and minor subjects, any combination of subjects that is taught at schools and which can be studied at the University of Helsinki is possible.

In Slovenia, at the University of Ljubljana, studying at the Faculty of Education, Departments of Biology, Chemistry and Home Economics in the teacher training programs, the qualification of a teacher of Biology, Chemistry and Home Economics (Household) is obtained. Usually it is a qualification of a teacher of two subjects.



In Estonia, at Tallinn Pedagogical University, at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences in co – operation of the Departments of Crafts and Professional Education, Computer Science, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, the students studying Crafts, Home Economics and Information Technologies and their methodology have a possibility to obtain the qualification of a teacher of Household and Information Technologies.

Conclusions on the comparison of the program to the same level teacher education programs in other countries:

  • There is different insight on the essence of the subject of household/home economics in Europe and Latvia. In Europe the subject Home Economics comprises mainly the aspects of healthy food, as well as the studies of consumerism, environmental education, the solution of issues related to the practical and social problems of a family. In Latvia the content of household at a school is provided by the standards of elementary education and comprehensive secondary education, which is based on the national traditions and traditional insight that the household comprises both the fields of food and management, as well as aesthetics and the skills of craftsman. The insight on the household in Latvia is connected also to the preservation of cultural traditions, the development of working habits, the development of skills, necessary for making useful and/or aesthetic things, which is important for both the ensuring of home environment quality and the pupils’ choice, made regarding their career, because any production is based on the insight about the technology, how the things are made. This difference in understanding is characteristic also to the content of the professional specialization courses of the study programmes compared.

  • The household in Europe has the status of science. There is a possibility to study at the Master programmes of household. There are studies carried out in Latvia in the field of household, including also the research performed by the teaching staff of the Institute of Education and Home Economics, hovewer, household is not an independent scientific discipline. Thus the studies are mostly carried out in the field of household education or the field of crafts, or the field of art.

  • In most of the European countries the subject of information technologies is not taught as a separate subject. Information technologies are supposed to be applied by pupils for the studies of all subjects; thus pupils perfect their skills in information technologies by practical application of IT within the study process. Therefore higher educational establishments do not educate teachers of information technologies for the level of elementary education. The socio-economic situation in Latvia creates the situation, when there is necessary to teach information technologies as a separate subject from form 5 to form 7 at an elementary school in order the acquired skills could be applied and improved later – by the pupils of forms 8 and 9, while studying other subjects. Many pupils in Latvia do not have a computer at home, and, starting their studies of information technologies in for 5 (or form 7, as it was until now), they do not have any preliminary knowledge in the application of IT. Information technologies are a perspective field, which develops very fast. Therefore it is planned in Latvia that the skills of computer application (in compliance with the ECDL certificate) should be acquired at an elementary school, in order the pupils of a secondary school would have possibility to acquaint themselves with and to understand the essence of information technologies deeper, including programming, so that they would receive well-grounded introduction to the choice of their future career. Therefore there are needed the programmes of higher education, which would provide the education of professional teachers of information technologies for the levels of elementary and secondary education.

  • It is possible to obtain the qualification of a teacher of Home Economics and Information Technologies simultaneously at Tallinn Pedagogical University. Also in other higher schools we have traced it is possible to obtain the qualification of a teacher of Home Economics and one more subject – usually the other one is an exact subject (Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology).

  • For example, the University of Helsinki (Finland) is characterized by several interesting methods of study process organization, which are relatively seldom applied at the Latvia University of Agriculture. The studies of each theme envisage the solution of practical and real-life oriented problems, which manifests as the practical research performed by students. Relatively less there is used such type of study process as a lecture, while more often - seminars, discussionsclose collaboration between the teaching staff and the group of students for the solution of problems to be studied within the particular theme. There is a great number of fieldtrips.

  • The organization of study process. In Europe the acquisition of one study course is mainly organized in several stages, gradually increasing the level of complexity, and thus there is relatively small total number of study courses, but significant their volume, consequently – there is a narrow specialization within the study process. Higher education in Latvia traditionally is oriented towards the acquisition of general, theoretical knowledge and skills, necessary in a particular sector, as well as the obtaining of wide range of information regarding the professional specialization sphere, so that the academically educated new specialist would obtain good theoretical and informative basis as soon as possible and thus also the flexible ability to adapt to the labour market and professional activities, but not the narrow highly qualified specialization. Therefore the study programme comprises relatively great proportion of general education courses, which is provided by the State Standard of Professional Higher Education. The problem of the fragmentation of study courses in the study programme Home Environment and Information Technologies in Education is solved by combining separate study courses in thematic blocks, within which separate parts are logically interconnected, and it is also possible to implement more profound studies of a particular study course on the basis of previous parts studied in the block of study courses.

  • All three study programmes comprated have the same duration of studies – 4 study years. But in Finland, to qualify for the teacher’s position, the person should be awarded Master’s degree and study at least 5.3 years.

  • The structure of the content of studies in the compared programs is corresponding to a great extent.

  • There is a tendency that at Ljubljana and Tallinn Universities the practical training is comparatively less in the implemented study programs but at Göteborg University the practical training was not mentioned separately in the description of the implemented program. In the study program Home Environment and Information Technologies in Education the practical training 26 CP is planned in compliance with the regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers on the second level professional higher education state standard (No. 481, 20. 11. 2001).

  • The experience of several higher schools shows that studying in one study program it is possible to obtain the qualification of a teacher of at least two subjects.

  • To obtain the qualification of a teacher of the second subject the planned amount of CP is analogous in all compared study programs.


Academic staff, which has worked at the educational establishments abroad
Within the framework of the project, implemented by the Institute of Education and Home Economics and financed by the Ministry of Education and Science “Professional and further education for the rural areas of Latvia within the European Union context3 members of the teaching staff of the Institute of Education and Home Economics performed research work in September 2005 in London (I.Katane, S.Reihmane, Z.Beitere). The research was carried out at British Library (British Library: www.bl.uk, The British Library, St Pancras, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB ) and the Senate House Library of London (Senate House Library: www.ull.ac.uk, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU).
1. Doctor student Olga Turuševa Business trip: 01.03.2006.- 29.05.2006. University of Geneva, Switzerland. Source of fiance: GEBERT RÜF STIFTUNG (Swiss Baltic Net).

2.Doctor student N.Vronska, assist. prof. I.Katane and prof. B.Briede Business trip: 09.05.2006.- 11.05.2006. University of Life Sciences (Tartu, Estonia). Source of finance: NOVA-BOVA net.


The results of SOCRATES/ERASMUS agreement implementation from the academic year 2003/2004 till the academic year 2005/2006 – the academic staff of the Latvia University of Agriculture, which has delivered lectures abroad:

University of Helsinki 05/06: Nora Lūse.

LAUREA Polytechnic (Finland) 05/06: Anda Zvīgule.

Wien Agrar Pedagogische Akademie (Austria) 05/06: Anita Vecgrāve un Zane Beitere.

University of Munster (Germany) 05/06: Inita Soika un Aija Pridāne.

University of Helsinki 04/05: Silvija Reihmane un Zane Beitere.

LAUREA Polytechnic (Finland) 04/05: Nora Lūse.

London Metropolitan University 04/05: Tālivaldis Sēja.

Wien Agrar Pedagogische Akademie (Austria) 04/05: Inita Soika, Anda Zvīgule un Aija Pridāne.

University of Helsinki 03/04: Baiba Briede.

University of Munster (Germany 03/04: Tālivaldis Sēja un Anita Vecgrāve.

London Metropolitan University 03/04: Ilze Liepiņa.

In total 10 members of the academic staff from the Institute of Education and Home Economics have delivered lectures at the higher educational establishments abroad.
Number of foreign guest lecturers in the program

Guest lecturers are regularly from Erasmus projects and co-operation nets higher schools. From 2003 to 2006 guest lectures delivered prof. Monique Montagne in the developmental tendencies of pedagogy (Ecole National de Formation Agronomique de Toulouse, France), prof. Erich Ribolitz philosophy of education (Agrarpadagogische Akademie Wien); prof. Christie Wogowitz, Gabriele Kampel in didactics (Agrarpadagogische Akademie Wien); prof. Anne Liebhard-Wallner in tendencies of education development in Austria (Agrarpadagogische Akademie Wien); prof Claudia Schmid in pedagogical psychology and sociology (Agrarpadagogische Akademie Wien); prof. Barbara Fraytag-Leyer in consumer sciences (University of Applied Sciences in Fulda, Germany); prof. Regina Bigga in developmental tendencies of consumer sciences, household, home economics (University of Munster).

Totally: eight guest lecturers.
Students, who had studied abroad within the student exchange programmes
In the autumn term of academic year 2005/2006 the following two students, studying at the study programme Home Environment and Information Technologies in Education, studied at the University of Helsinki for the 3 months within the SOCRATES/ERASMUS agreement:


  • 3rd year student G.Murniece-Krisane;

  • 4th year student T.Pavloviča.





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