Beyond the Teaching Agenda
The VSNU works with a wide range of partners to strengthen the skill set of teachers and improve teacher-training programmes.
The Interuniversity Committee for Teacher Training (ICL)
The Interuniversity Committee for Teacher Training (Interuniversitaire Commissie Lerarenopleidingen, ICL) is the committee in which the teacher-training programmes run by Dutch universities discuss and coordinate their policy. This committee meets approximately five times a year and also organises a conference on a current policy theme every autumn. The ICL works closely with the VSNU in relation to policy development and implementation.
The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science
Good education starts with good teachers, which is why teachers, school heads, educators, directors, and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science joined forces to develop a vision on the profession. The result is a plan to improve the teaching profession. This 2013-2020 Teaching Agenda is entitled De leraar maakt het verschil [‘Teachers make the difference’], developed by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. It sets out seven points that identify the areas on which we will work in the years ahead.
The Netherlands Association of Universities of Applied Sciences
Universities of applied sciences train 90% of all teachers employed in primary, secondary and senior secondary vocational education. Because both schools and teacher-training programmes are changing, the Netherlands Association of Universities of Applied Sciences presented its vision on teacher-training programmes Opleiden voor de toekomst [‘Training teachers for the future’] in June 2015. The new vision makes it clear that the teacher-training programmes will continue with their push to improve quality. In doing so, they commit themselves to achieving a further improvement in generic educational quality. To achieve this aim, the sector wants to strengthen mutual collaboration between teacher-training programmes, which will pave the way for more focus and mass in the range of programmes on offer. The teacher-training programmes also want to intensify their collaboration with universities and the schools by which newly graduated teachers are employed.
The Dutch Council for Secondary Education
The aim of the Dutch Council for Secondary Education is to promote educational quality and to help schools develop education for one million students. The quality of teachers has a very important role in this process. In the sector agreement entitled Klaar voor de toekomst! [‘Ready for the future!’], the Dutch Council for Secondary Education and Minister Dekker made a number of agreements about priorities, objectives, measures and investments in secondary education for the period up to and including 2017. This sector agreement will boost the further development of professional education organisations, in which professionals with a shared vision on education have a joint responsibility to make secondary education future-proof. The sector agreement is elaborated on in the action plan entitled Naar een aantrekkelijk lerarenberoep in een sterke sector [‘Working towards an attractive teaching profession in a strong sector’].
The Primary Education Council
The quality of primary education and special-needs education will be given a huge boost in the years ahead: schools will increase their use of digital learning resources in the classroom, talented students will be identified earlier and challenged more, and teachers will be educated to a higher level. The Dutch government and the Primary Education Council have made agreements on how the sector will take new steps in the years ahead to improve the quality of education further. These agreements are set out in the bestuursakkoord voor de sector primair onderwijs [‘administrative agreement for the primary education sector’] entered into by the Primary Education Council and Minister Dekker.
The education sciences sector plan
Education forms the basis of our economy, just as education sciences form the basis of education. The Education Sciences Sector Plan Committee (Commissie Sectorplan Onderwijswetenschappen), which is led by Paul Rullman, makes a number of proposals that focus on strengthening educational research and education at Dutch universities in its report entitled Sectorplan onderwijswetenschappen: wetenschap voor het onderwijs [‘The education sciences sector plan: science for education’].
The Association of Universities in the Netherlands commissioned the development of the sector plan further to the publication of the National Plan Future of Educational Sciences (Nationaal Plan Toekomst Onderwijs- en Leerwetenschappen) in 2010. This sector plan focuses on the profiling of and collaboration in educational research, the updating of educational science Master’s programmes, and improving the impact of research by strengthening links with professional practice and policy.
The committee proposes that a national research and innovation agenda is developed for education, that the resources of the Netherlands Initiative for Education Research (Nationaal Regieorgaan Onderwijsonderzoek) are pooled, that links are established between professorships and university research programmes, and that academic workplaces are created. The various education sectors are currently discussing the implementation of the recommendations from the committee.