Last year, the City of Brussels hired teaching assistants for the first time, people without prior training, to support the teachers in the classroom. They can now participate in a pilot project of the Erasmus Hogeschool Brussels (EHB) on a new basic education. This prepares non-qualified support staff to start a pedagogical training course. In this way it is hoped that the teacher shortage can be partly met.
Recently, the ‘Educational Bachelor of Preschool Education’ and the ‘Professional Bachelor of Early Childhood Education’ at the Erasmus University Brussels (EHB) developed the further training program ‘quality pedagogical work with young children’. During this training, in-school and out-of-school support workers without prior pedagogical training can learn the necessary skills to start training to become a teacher or pedagogical coach.
Ten Brussels teaching assistants were selected as participants for the pilot project. “They were first called in last year in response to the teacher shortage in Dutch-language education,” says Sandra Denies, pedagogical inspector general for Dutch-language education at the City of Brussels. “It mainly concerns people who did not have the qualifications to start a teacher training course.”
“We are therefore pleased that the assistants were invited by the EHB to participate in the project. Hopefully some will be inspired to train to become a teacher or pedagogical coach, for example,” says Denies.
Last month, the first module of the new basic education (‘Creating a warm and creative pedagogical climate’) started. Program heads first discussed with the participants their image of their child, job image, and ideals for upbringing and education. From there, the exploration of what a strong pedagogical climate for children and their families can look like started.
The follow-up process focuses on qualitative interactions with children and parents, and the importance of play and imagination when working with young children.