From the 7th to the 8th of May, the University of Bielsko-Biala (UBB), southern Poland, opened its doors to the second consortium meeting of the PIETE project, welcoming the colleagues from Germany, Hungary, Austria, The Netherlands and fellow Polish University of Economics in Katowice (UEK). The meeting set the platform for the project representatives to share progress in their work regarding the first set of the project’s intellectual outputs, and discuss the arrangements of the Initial Teacher Education – Entrepreneurial Education experts’ tandems in Poland, Hungary and Austria.

The two-day program provided the participants with the opportunity to present their progress on the major agenda topics, specifically PIETE Awareness Test Center (IO1), which goal is to assess the awareness and conceptual understanding of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial education among initial teacher educators , and the Initial Teacher Education (ITE) Framework Report (IO2), which focusses on mapping the practices of the involved initial teacher education units. The presentations have led to productive discussions on the conceptual and practical design of the survey (IO1) and the report (IO2), their quality assessment methods and feedback.

PIETE Awareness Test Center (IO1)
The motivation for the creation of this output is rooted in the intention to better assess the prevailing understanding of entrepreneurial competences among ITE educators. In fact, ITE educators are mostly not aware of the wider scope of entrepreneurship education as laid out in EntreComp. As such, the purpose of entrepreneurship education (EE) is often still limited to activities that primarily aim to foster business creation. Consequently, ITE educators do not consider EE to be of much relevance for the teaching profession. However, this view disregards the wider scope of EE and results in an insufficient integration of the latter within ITE programmes. In the light of this, the PIETE Awareness Test Center provides means to:
– Assess EE conception of 10-15 ITE educators and level of EntreComp knowledgeability of each ITE partner within PIETE;
– Path the way for the creation of an empirical basis to better understand why EE does not play a prominent role in ITE yet;
– Implicitly sensitize pre-service teacher educators for the relevance of entrepreneurial competences and raise their awareness for the added-values of EntreComp for the teaching profession;
– Enable EE experts to better comprehend the rationale behind defined learning outcomes /competence assessment within ITE programmes;
– Adapt applied methods for assessment of competence conception to other relevant fields of higher education.
PIETE partners agree that the PIETE Awareness Test Center is a key preparatory element to unlock symbiotic potentials for the application of EntreComp within ITE at a later stage of the project. During the project meeting, the representatives of the lead partner of the PIETE project and the leader of this IO, Univations, presented the latest version of the survey, received feedback from the partners and discussed the survey internal and external pre-testing arrangements. Upon its finalization in upcoming months, the survey will be soon available as open resource.

ITE Framework Report (IO2)
To introduce methods, tools and concepts of EE to ITE requires a sound and comprehensive understanding of the professional environment ITE educators are involved in. With ITE Framework Report, the partners are developing a sound methodological framework that allows for a coherent mapping of the involved pre-service teacher training institution. To do so, it will also take into consideration the programmatic priorities of teacher training centers (TTCs) as not to disregard valuable input coming from the cultural and institutional diversity of the partners. As such the ITE Framework Report will be an innovative key instrument to:
– Create mutual understanding between ITE partners and EE partners within PIETE;
– Sensitise EE experts for ITE educator’s necessities and capacities;
– Activate ITE Educators as catalysts and advocates for EE inside TTCs;
– Identify relevant (institutional) barriers to the integration of EE content;
– Prepare a smooth integration of EntreComp based EE teaching modules into ITE;
– Exploit mutual learning potentials through exchange of experience between the TTCs of the partnership;
– Strengthen institutional back-up for PIETE objectives in the involved TTCs.

The representatives of the leader institution of this IO, University College of Teacher Education Tyrol, shared the approach to the report compilation, methodological framework and received valuable feedback for the implementation of the report framework within PIETE partner initial teacher education centers.

In addition to the talks about the IO1 and IO2, the partners have briefly discussed the future arrangements for the other outputs, workshops among the ITE and EE tandems in project countries, dissemination activities and administrative issues regarding the project implementation phase.

Overall, the meeting was a success in terms of its outcomes, supported by the generous hospitality of the host partners. The participants enjoyed the view of the region and Bielsko-Biala from above on a breathtaking observation platform after the first day of the meeting, followed by traditional Polish dishes and drinks during a dinner organized by the Polish project representatives.

The next partner meeting is planned to take place in Szeged, Hungary on 19-20 November, 2019.

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