Pedagogical Professionalism and Internationalisation – Dialogue with the Post-Soviet Islamic Educational Space
The project “Pedagogical Professionalism and Internationalisation – Dialogue with the Post-Soviet Islamic Educational Space” developed by the research and teaching unit Diversity Education and International Educational Research at Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) in cooperation with the Abai Kazakh National Pedagogical University (KazNPU) deals with pedagogical professionalism in the context of internationalisation as a contribution to the professional and cultural dialogue with the post-Soviet Islamic world. In the next step, the project is to be extended to Azerbaijan in cooperation with the Azerbaijan State Pedagogical University (ASPU) and should strengthen regional networks in this subject area. The project is funded by the DAAD with funds from the Federal Foreign Office (AA) within the framework of the programme “Higher Education Dialogue with the Muslim World”.
The project takes into account the developments that are relevant to the systems of education in this region: the rediscovery of Islam as an important element of cultural and social life in a process of transformation following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, ethnic, religious and linguistic diversity, the need for strategies addressing radical nationalist and religious trends, and strategies for internationalisation in education in relation to the countries’ search for their position in the global world.
Based on the existing preliminary work of the project partners, the project addresses three interrelated thematic foci: 1) pedagogical professionalism and language(s) in the context of internationalisation, 2) pedagogical professionalism and the prevention of religious and nationalist radicalisation among young people, and 3) potential of dual models of professional training of educators and the link between theory and practice in the context of internationalisation and cooperation with non-university actors. The central goals of the project are to conduct research results on the identified topics in the German-Kazakh and subsequently in a trinational (German-Kazakh-Azerbaijani) scientific dialogue. These results will be used to modernise teaching, promote young academics, regional teaching and research networks and will contribute to the development of an international scientific and educational space, the cultural dialogue and networking with non-university actors. Working groups consisting of students, doctoral candidates and experienced academics from the participating universities are set up to work on the project topics. The working groups conduct comparative research based on literature reviews and small-scaled empirical projects. In addition, practitioners and representatives of non-university structures are involved in the working groups to provide multi-dimensional perspectives on the problems and to promote a public dialogue on the results of the project. The project activities include the establishment of thematic project groups, academic mobility and exchange (workshops, development of common curricular elements, job shadowing, visits to schools and other educational institutions, public lectures and events, networking meetings to develop cooperation and a conference), and activities for the sustainability and evaluation of the project results. The project will create opportunities for professional exchange in the participating countries on challenges for pedagogical professionalism in the context of internationalisation, for discussions with interested public, and for personal intercultural experiences of participants, and last but not least establish sustainable structures of international cooperation in the thematic area of the project.