• ConnEcTEd

Coherence in European Teacher Education: Creating transnational communities of practice through virtual scenarios (Kohärenz in der europäischen Lehrerausbildung: Schaffung transnationaler Communities of Practice mithilfe virtuelle Lehr-Lern-Umgebungen)

Project description


The University of Education Freiburg (“Pädagogische Hochschule Freiburg,” PHFR) has a more than 40-year-old tradition of educational research and international cooperation in teacher education and offers a full range of possible degrees. It has a strong commitment to empirical research in a European and international context, which is pursued across three faculties and reflected in a steady increase of third party funded research in education in recent years. There are currently about 250 academic staff and 4,800 students at the PHFR. With its broad range of Bachelor and Master courses, along with TE programs, the PHFR offers excellent research based first-degree level qualifications as well as further education. During the last forty years, the university has developed an extensive and long-standing network of contacts abroad which consists of official twinning and co-operation agreements with approximately 120 universities and colleges in Europe, North and South America, Asia, and Australia. A number of PhD programs and (European) research projects promote a wide range of young researchers at the PHFR, and with approximately 90 research projects, this makes the PHFR a key position within the German federal state of Baden-Württemberg in the promotion of young researchers.

Since 2015, the PHFR and the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg (ALU) have very successfully cooperated in two major projects as part of the Federal ‘Quality Initiative Teacher Education’ with an explicit focus on ‘coherence and professional orientation in teacher education’. Thus, ConnEcTEd represents an ideal continuation of this past and current focus in research and teaching for both universities and their new partners and fits perfectly into the current and future research and teaching agenda of a newly established School of Education Freiburg (“FACE”).

Project Coordinators

Founded in 1811, the University of Oslo (UiO) is one of the main comprehensive universities in Norway. UiO offers a broad range of BA-, MA- and PhD-programmes. In total, UiO’s eight faculties have around 28,000 students and 4000 academic staff. UiO is ranked nr. 1 in Norway and nr. 121 in the world in Times Higher Education World University Ranking of 2019. Being part of the Faculty of Educational Sciences, the Department of Teacher Education and School Research offers several one- and five-year teacher education programmes for lower and secondary high schools as well as several post-MA courses within the field of mentoring and school leadership. The Department’s study programs are research based and highly attractive for applicants aiming for a career in education. The Department is home to the government-funded Centre for Professional Learning in Teacher Education, QUINTNordic Centre of Excellence: Quality in Nordic Teaching as well as the Unit for Quantitative Analysis in Education (EKVA), which is responsible for carrying out the PISA-assessment as well as other national and international assessment programmes. In addition, the Faculty is home to Centre for Educational Measurement, a highly profiled research unit concerned with the development, comparison and assessment of instruments for education measurement. Academic staff at the Department of Teacher Education and School Research are working together in four research groups aiming to contribute to the foundation for innovation of teacher education in Oslo, Norway and Europe. These research groups cover four main topics within educational research: teacher professionalism, instruction, assessment and sustainability. The Department coordinates, amongst other projects, the EU Horizon 2020-project Science Education for Action and Engagement towards Sustainability.

In order to prepare teacher students for teaching in a multilingual and multicultural setting, we aim to find new ways to increase internationalization. At the same time, we aim to prepare students for teaching in ever-changing digital settings. The motivation for participating in the ConnEcTed consortium is the result of the combination of these aims as well as our obligation to underpin teacher education with an up-to-date and ambitious, international research programme. The Department has its own internationalization liaison working to find good solutions for short- and long term internationalization in the one- and five-year teacher education programmes. The one-year practical- pedagogical teacher education programme, recruiting students who have a relevant MA in one or several school subjects, is a very dense programme, leaving little or no time for studying abroad. This makes it highly relevant for UiO to contribute to find new solutions for digital and/or virtual internationalization. The Research Council of Norway funded Coherence and Assignment in Teacher Education project (CATE), that is now finished, involved several of the Department’s academic staff, including Esther Canrinus, who is participating in the ConnEcTed project on behalf of Agder University. The CATE project resulted in new insights in the (visions about) coherence in teacher education programmes and is thus highly relevant for the planned research project.


The University of Helsinki (UH) is the oldest and largest institution of academic education in Finland, an international scientific community of 40,000 students and researchers. The University of Helsinki is also one of the best multidisciplinary research universities in the world and it is the only Finnish university to consistently rank in the top 100 of international university rankings. The University of Helsinki seeks solutions for global challenges and creates new ways of thinking for the best of humanity. Through the power of science, the University has contributed to society, education and welfare since 1640. The University of Helsinki employs approximately 7600 people of which 60% are teachers and researchers. The high-quality research carried out by the university creates new knowledge for educating diverse specialists in various fields, and for utilisation in social decision-making and the business sector. In 2017, University of Helsinki researchers produced 11,446 publications. Of peer-reviewed academic publications half are produced as a result of international cooperation.

University of Helsinki belongs to several international networks, one of them being UNA Europa, a network that is part of European Commission’s “European Universities Initiative”. In addition, UH is the only Finnish university to be a member of the League of European Research Universities, or LERU, an association of 23 leading European universities promoting the conditions and opportunities for basic research in Europe. Since the beginning of the current Erasmus+ period, UH has participated to over fifty Erasmus+ Key Action 2 projects – 31 between 2017 and 2019, a selection of which is listed below.


The Université Côte d’Azur Nice was officially established by decree October 23, 1965. However, its historic roots go back to the 17th century, with the famous Collegium Jurisconsultorum Niciensium, created in 1639 by the Princes of Savoy. The University of Nice now forms part of the Université Côte d’Azur (UCA), a group of establishments/consortium for higher education located on the French Riviera. The group includes the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, the CNRS and INRIA research agencies, the SKEMA and EDHEC Business Schools, the Nice University Hospital, the Observatory of the Côte d’Azur, and a College of six internationally recognized schools of art and design. The UCA is home to over 30,000 students at the undergraduate, masters, and PhD levels.

The school offers students high level research laboratories that cover all major academic disciplines. In January 2016, Université Côte d’Azur won a prestigious “IDEX” award from the French government for its UCAJEDI project, placing it among the top 10 world-class, comprehensive universities in France. In the scope of this project, two units are of particular importance: the ESPE, faculty of Education in the French sense, as well as the LINE lab: The LINE (Laboratoire d’Innovation et Numérique pour l’Education) is a new research lab at Université Côte d’Azur (UCA) in the field of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) and pedagogical innovation. Creative use of technologies and pedagogical innovation are at the core topics (#fabLINE).


With more than 7,500 students, 104 laboratories and 750 faculty and staff members, the University of Cyprus (UCY) is a young and rapidly expanding university (established in 1989). There are 23 departments and 13 research units and centres, covering a broad spectrum within the life, social, natural and engineering sciences. UCY is the biggest employer in Cyprus for young graduates and researchers. It currently employs about 750 young scientists using external research funds. UCY is considered to be the leading university and the most active research institution in Cyprus. It has implemented a large number of research projects funded by the European Commission, the Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation and several public and private research organizations in Cyprus and abroad. In 2017, research funding from external sources reached €15 million. UCY is currently participating in 153 projects. 116 are EU-funded projects under Horizon 2020, Erasmus+, Justice, Life, Cost Action, FP7 and Interreg.

Within Horizon 2020 program, according to EU data, the largest number of applications (2.606) in the period 2014-2016 was recorded in Cyprus, compared to the rest of Europe, where the average was 192. In H2020, UCY ranks first in Cyprus with 89 research projects and with a total funding of over €38 million from 01/01/14, the start date of H2020 program until July 2018. UCY ranked 161st in securing funding among the nearly 29,000 organizations participating in the Program and 101st among all the academic institutions involved. This is a very honorable distinction for UCY since it surpasses, in absolute numbers, other famous and much larger universities of Europe. In general, UCY excelled in all pillars of H2020 program. It secured € 13.3 million with a total of 10 projects from the WIDESPREAD Action, which includes 2 Teaming projects (Phase 2) for the creation of new Centers for Research Excellence. One of these two grants is worth €15 million and was ranked 1st amongst the ICT proposals and 5th in the overall ranking.

Moreover, UCY secured €9.3 million from the Excellence pillar with 7 grants from the European Research Council, 34 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Projects, 2 Future and Emerging Technologies Project (FETs) and 2 Research Infrastructure projects. UCY’s performance in the pillar „Societal Challenges“ was also acknowledged, with 19 projects, 11 of which were in the field of Energy, 3 in the field of Health, 3 in Social Sciences, 1 in Digital Security and 1 in Marine Biology. In addition, UCY secured 5 projects under the „Industrial Development“ axis with 4 projects in Information and Communication Technologies and 1 project in Space Action, as well as 1 project under the EURATOM initiative and 2 projects in the horizontal priority „Science with and for the Society“.

Since the establishment of European Research Council (ERC) in 2007, UCY managed to win 16 ERC projects. More specifically, it was awarded 5 Starting Grants, 2 Consolidator Grants, 2 Advanced Grants and 6 Proof of Concept Grants. These numbers are very impressive due to the fact that ERC funds only top researchers in Europe with excellence as the sole criterion for selection, helping them pursue great ideas at frontiers of knowledge.

UCY implements 20 Marie Skłodowska-Curie projects. Apart from Individual Fellowships, it participates in ITN and Rise Actions. UCY has successfully implemented 43 Marie Skłodowska- Curie projects. UCY has excellent scientific staff, research infrastructures and participates in top cooperation networks. What is also very important is the fact that despite the excellent performance of the University, there is still room for further improvement that can make UCY a point of reference in Europe’s research activities. Our University stands out for its high level of education and for its rich research work. The actions of the Department of Education (DoE) of the University of Cyprus (UCY) are in line with the proposed project aims to significantly promote internationalisation by strengthening the conceptual, consecutive and transnational coherence in teacher education. The pivotal focus of the DoE on internationalisation of teacher education resulted in numerous joint research projects with other universities abroad as well as with international organisations such as UNESCO, the Council of Europe, the European Union and the Commonwealth. The DoE has extensively participated in numerous European research programs. Most of these research programs are funded by the European Commission. All team members have a rich experience of participation in the aforementioned funded European research programs and have experience with education in an international setting as they worked as consultants in international organisations such as UNESCO, World Bank and Council of Europe. All team members have also taught in a variety of formal and informal educational contexts in Cyprus and abroad.


The University of Zagreb (UNIZG) is the flagship educational institution in the country with 31 faculties, 3 art academies and various university centres and departments. As a comprehensive public Central European university, UNIZG offers education programmes in all scientific fields (arts, biomedicine, biotechnology, engineering, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences) and a broad spectrum of courses at all study levels, from undergraduate to postgraduate, for more than 70,000 students. The University excels not only in teaching, but also in research, contributing over 50 percent to the annual research output of Croatia.

The Faculty of Teacher Education is one of the constituent units of the University of Zagreb and its faculty members are participating as partner team members within the proposed project. Zagreb is the oldest and biggest faculty for preschool and primary school teacher education in the Republic of Croatia (with around 1500 full-time and 500 part time students and 135 teachers). The basic activities of the Faculty are teacher education (in the broad sense of the word), scientific research and artistic work. The Faculty offers to its students a wide range and diversity of study programmes in the field of education: Early childhood and preschool education (Ba & MA level), Primary Teacher Eduacation (integrated BA & MA level) with modules (Educational Studies, Croatian Language, Informatics and Art) or with English / German language, Educational study programmes for acquiring teaching competences for subject teachers in secondary schools. The Faculty also offers programmes for acquiring teaching competences for teachers in vocational schools. At the postgraduate level, the Faculty of Teacher Education offers postgraduate specialist studies Lifelong Learning and Drama Education, as well as a doctoral program Life Long Learning and Educational Science. Besides the wide range of study programs in education, another advantage of the Faculty is the interdisciplinarity of its teaching staff (140 full time teaching staff members). The teaching staff field of expertise is directly linked to diversity and a wide scope of study programmes, which encompass various scientific and artistic areas – natural, biomedical and social sciences, humanities and art.

The Faculty of Teacher Education is a research oriented faculty. At the moment there are 4 large scale competitive scientific projects conducted at the faculty: two national projects (funded by the Croatian Science Foundation) and two international: one in the Horizon 2020 program and a bilateral Slovenian-Croatian project. In the last 3 years there were 26 small scale research projects conducted at the Faculty of Teacher Education, financially supported by the University of Zagreb. With its research activities, the Faculty has a significant role in creating and disseminating knowledge, especially in education and has strong and long time cooperation with over 20 teacher and preschool teacher institutions in Zagreb, Čakovec and Petrinja. The study programmes conducted at the Faculty are also based on educational outcomes and application of innovative teaching methods in order for students to become respectable experts in their fields of work. The Faculty of Teacher Education has rich experience in international projects and other types of international cooperation.

In the last years, from 2009 until 2013, the Faculty organized and conducted a joint international graduate university study programme Management and Counselling in European Education (University of Zagreb and University of Muenster). The Faculty of Teacher Education was a coordinator of two Tempus projects (CD-JEP-40109-2005, 159048-TEMPUS-1- 2009-1-DE- TEMPUS-JPCR) and participated as a partner in one LLP Comenius project (526813-LLp-1-MT- COMENIUS-CMP) as well as two Erasmus + KA2 projects (2014-1-UK01- KA204-000081; 574076- EPP-1-206-1-BA-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP). Currently the Faculty is coordinator of one Erasmus + KA2 project (2018-1-HR01-KA201-047499). The Faculty of Teacher Education has a strong activity in international mobility of both students and teachers. The mobility is based on over 30 Erasmus+ and other types of bilateral agreements.

Many of the researchers from the Faculty are national experts in various fields and they act as consultants for the Ministry of Science and Education, Agency for Teacher Training, and National Center for External Evaluation in Education. At the national and international level, the Faculty is especially distinguished by its research in the field of early language learning and teaching.


The University of Turku (UTU), Finland’s second largest multidisciplinary university, is an internationally competitive research-led university whose operation is based on high-level research. The UTU is recognized for the quality of research, teaching, and excellent support services. As one of the leading universities in Finland, the University of Turku offers study and research opportunities in seven faculties and five independent units. In the international QS ranking, the University of Turku is among the top 300 universities and is ranked third best university in Finland (QS Ranking 2018). The University of Turku, whose roots reach as far as to the Royal Academy of Turku in the 1650s, was established in 1920. Today, the University of Turku has almost 20,000 students and 3,176 staff members (9.7% international; 58.7% female). External funding covers 37.6% of the total funding of 259.8 million euros.

The University of Turku is active in international cooperation. It is a member of the Coimbra Group, a network of prestigious universities in Europe. Over 1,500 international students from over 100 countries study annually in the University of Turku. In June 2013, the European Commission awarded the University of Turku the right to use the HR Excellence in Research logo. The logo is a token of the University’s commitment to continuous development of the position and working conditions of researchers along the guidelines set forth in the European Charter for Researchers.

UTU in Framework programmes

The University of Turku has participated in the framework programmes since the second framework programme. In Horizon 2020, the University of Turku has so far secured 44 projects including 5 ERC projects and 11 Marie Curie projects (4 IF, 6 ITN, and 1 NIGHT). UTU coordinates 3 consortiums and is a partner in 25 consortia. In the 7th framework (FP7), funding for UTU amounted to over 31 million euros with 88 projects of which UTU coordinated 10. Within the 6th Framework Programme (FP6), the University of Turku participated in 48 projects.

UTU Faculty of Education and Department of Teacher Education

Research on learning and education is one of the areas of strength in research at the University of Turku. The Faculty of Education provides high-quality education which has attracted worldwide attention. The Faculty of Education was established in 1974, and it is one of the seven faculties of the University of Turku. In 2017, the Faculty of Education was in the top 200 of the QS World University Rankings field-specific comparison. The Faculty consists of two departments, the Department of Education and the Department of Teacher Education. It has over 2,000 students and 380 employees on two campuses. Department of Teacher Education is responsible for educating teachers from preschool till university level. There are also two training schools in the Department responsible for practical training.

Research at the Faculty is concentrated around two nationally and internationally distinguished Research Centres CELE (Centre for lifelong learning) and CERLI (Centre for learning and instruction). High-level research at the Faculty of Education is internationally well-known and has its scope on the whole life-span. The wide, diverse and multidisciplinary research focuses, among others, on the change of education policy and the effects in education systems, the change in learning environments and long-term learning processes as well as on overcoming learning difficulties. There is also high-level expertise on subjects didactics such as science and math. Future learning in school and outside school and children and youth are at the center of the research. The research findings benefit teachers, families and decision makers both nationally and internationally. The graduates work in the field of education and schooling, contributing to the well-being of the surrounding society. The departments and research units have developed wide international networks through their collaborative projects.

The proposed project is in line with the expertise of the UTU team which has high-level expertise in research, subject didactics and development of practical teacher training such as student selection and integrating methodological courses and teaching practice, subject teacher training and in-service teacher training. The UTU team consists of experienced researchers and physic didactic lecturers who are used to work in multidisciplinary and international context.


Founded in 1457, the University of Freiburg (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg) is one of the oldest German universities and is now one of the nation’s leading research and teaching institutions, evidenced inter alia by its membership in the League of European Research Universities (LERU). It actively fosters interdisciplinary research, and it is one of the few universities offering world class research environments in the classical as well as in the modern disciplines. Dedicated to defining and pioneering new research areas, the university actively promotes international exchange, and its central location in Europe and proximity to Switzerland and France additionally supports its internationality. With 11 faculties, 18 scientific centres and a staff number of close to 7000, the university of Freiburg attracts approximately 25,000 learners, which include students stemming from Germany as well as from over 120 other countries.

Besides, also The Freiburg School of Education FACE will be an associated partner in the project. As a joint scientific institution of the University of Freiburg (ALU), the Freiburg University of Education (PHFR) and the Freiburg University of Music the School of Education FACE is in a unique position to support the participating institutions administratively. Ever since its foundation, the Freiburg School of Education has had a strong focus on the two main themes of ‚coherence‘ and ‚professional orientation‘ in teacher education and has in the last five years very successfully managed several important joint research projects in the field of teacher education for the Freiburg universities (see above: institutional information). With a strong focus on the improvement of teacher education in Freiburg, the School of Education has managed in recent years to join forces with other important stakeholders who are in charge of the improvement of teacher education (e.g. universities, schools, school authorities, teacher in-service training etc.) and has therefore already contributed significantly to strengthening the horizontal and vertical coherence of teacher education in Freiburg.

Since 2014, the University of Freiburg (ALU) and the Freiburg University of Education (PHFR) have closely cooperated in the field of teacher education. This cooperation resulted in the foundation of the Freiburg School of Education (FACE), which aims to improve teacher education onsite by strengthening the coherence and professional orientation of teacher education both structurally, conceptually and regarding collaborations with all relevant stakeholders. The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures has been involved in this cooperation since the very beginning, particulary in the field of curricular forms and the development of research-based and profession-oriented course designs. Its Teacher Education Program is offered for the Romance languages French, Spanisch und Italian.


  • Local coordinator: Dr. Frank Reiser
  • Project members:
    • Dr. Melanie Koch-Fröhlich
    • Dr. Anna Rosen

Project products and outcomes

The results and impacts of ConnEcTEd are manifold, with teacher educators, student teachers, teachers, and other stakeholders of TE as target groups. The creation of transnational coherence through a jointly developed vision of European TE, coherent teaching-learning scenarios, the use of innovative practices in the digital era, and a mutual recognition of qualifications and learning outcomes, will broaden the perspective taken on coherence so far and enable more physical and virtual mobility for students and staff. The developed products will be freely available for participating universities, and, after the completion of the project, disseminated to the public.

The planned outputs comprise the following:

  • Mapping coherence – Analysis of coherence in the partners‘ education systems
  • Disseminating coherence – Academic publications
  • Sharing good practice on coherence – digital showcase with samples
  • Co-Creating coherence in FLTE – Profession-oriented Open Educational Resources I (core practices)
  • Co-Creating coherence in FLTE – Profession-oriented Open Educational Resources II (ICC)
  • Internationalising the FLTE Curriculum/IoC – Transnational virtual lecture series
  • Internationalisierung the FLTE curriclum – Digital tool kit and virtual communities of practice

More information will follow shortly.

News and events

Events: ConnEcTEd

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Blog: ConnEcTEd

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Kohärenz und Vernetzung in einer europäischen Lehrkräftebildung: Die Schaffung transnationaler ‚Communities of Practice‘ mithilfe virtueller Lehr-Lern-Umgebungen

Aufgrund stetig wachsender Anforderungen an professionelle Kompetenzen in Schule und Unterricht sind Fremdsprachenkenntnisse und interkulturelle Erfahrungen genauso wie der transnationale Austausch von Wissen und Erfahrungen wichtige Schlüsselkompetenzen künftiger Lehrkräfte. Im Handlungsfeld Internationalisierung der School of Education FACE hat man sich deshalb zum Ziel gesetzt, die Mobilität von Studierenden und Dozierenden aktiv zu unterstützen und Curricula auch international stärker aufeinander abzustimmen. Doch wie kann angesichts der Vielfalt der europäischen Lehrkräftebildungssysteme eine länderübergreifende Zusammenarbeit in Lehre und Forschung gelingen? Dieser Herausforderung stellen sich die Projektpartner im neuen Projekt ConnEcTEd, das von September 2020 bis August 2023 durch die Programmlinie Erasmus+ Strategische Partnerschaften gefördert wird.

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Internationalisierung der Lehrkräftebildung am Standort Freiburg

Die School of Education FACE sieht die Internationalisierung der Lehrkräftebildung am Standort Freiburg als eine ihrer zentralen Aufgaben. Dabei steht die Intensivierung der internationalen Mobilität von Lehramtsstudierenden im Vordergrund. Darüber hinaus verstehen wir Internationalisierung auch als ‚Querschnittsaufgabe‘ der School of Education FACE, die in alle Handlungsbereiche der School hineinwirkt und mit den Internationalisierungsstrategien der  kooperierenden Hochschulen eng verwoben ist. Im Handlungsfeld ‚Internationalisierung‘ wurde 2019 ein Strategieprozess angestoßen, der die institutionsübergreifende Vernetzung von Instrumenten und Programmen zur Internationalisierung der Lehrkräfteausbildung zum Ziel hat. Erfahren Sie im Folgenden mehr zu den Zielen und Maßnahmen dieses Prozesses, die in einem Arbeitspapier zur Strategieentwicklung prägnant zusammengefasst sind.

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10 Fragen an Jun.-Prof. Dr. Katja Zaki

Katja Zaki ist seit dem Wintersemester 2015/16 Juniorprofessorin für Romanistik und ihre Didaktik an der Pädagogischen Hochschule Freiburg, seit Mai 2016 auch kooptiertes Mitglied der Philologischen Fakultät der Albert-Ludwigs-Universität. Sie war bis 2018 Teil der Projektmaßnahme „M1 – Lehrkohärenz“ der School of Education FACE, bis 2020 Mitglied des Gemeinsamen Studienausschusses. Derzeit ist sie als Teilprojektleitung der Maßnahme „L2 – Studienphasenübergreifendes E-Portfolio“ sowie im Handlungsfeld Internationalisierung tätig. Aufgrund ihrer diversen internationalen Projekte haben wir sie gebeten, uns passend zum Fokusthema dieses Newsletters Rede und Antwort zu stehen. In den folgenden 10 Fragen erfahren Sie mehr über sie und ihre Verbindung zu FACE.

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This project receives funding from the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union (Strategic Partnerships, KA 203).

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