Student Teacher Exchange

The annual North South Student Teacher Exchange project is funded by SCoTENS and managed by the Centre for Cross Border Studies (CCBS) in partnership with the participating colleges. The participating student teachers spend three weeks in colleges of education and on school placements in the other jurisdiction, with all travel and accommodations costs paid by the project.  Students on teaching practice during the North-South Student Teacher Exchange Project are assessed by both the host college in the other jurisdiction and their home college. There will be a minimum of two supervisory visits to the placement school and the instrument of assessment normally used by the home college will be used. Each student also has an Observation Day in their placement school in advance of the exchange. This gives students an opportunity to get to know their placement school and its teachers, observe its teaching and learning methods, and prepare teaching materials in advance of their placement.

This is an innovative cross-border exchange project and SCoTENS is interested in learning how it helps to overcome barriers, reduce prejudice and lead to increasing co-operation between colleges of education and their students on the island of Ireland. Students are required to participate in two evaluation procedures as part of their overall participation in the project: a simple questionnaire and an Evaluation Day for students and lecturers at the conclusion of the project.

The 2019-2020 North-South Student Exchange Project will involve 10 students from five colleges of education:

  • Stranmillis University College, Belfast;
  • St Mary’s University College, Belfast;
  • DCU Institute of Education, Drumcondra, Dublin;
  • Marino Institute of Education, Dublin; and
  • Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education, NUI Maynooth.

Project Aims

For Participating Students

  1. To broaden students’ experience of teaching practice by undertaking part of it in the neighbouring jurisdiction on the island of Ireland.
  2. To increase students’ cultural sensitivity by engaging educationally and socially with other students, teachers and pupils in a cross-border, cross-community context on the island of Ireland.
  3. To enable students to experience the education system of the neighbouring jurisdiction.
  4. To enable students to explore similarities and differences in curriculum provision and approaches in a cross-border, cross-community context.
  5. To encourage adaptability, reflexivity, confidence and an increase in personal and professional self-awareness in students through engagement with culturally diverse groups.

For Participating Lecturers

  1. To provide opportunities for colleges of education on the island of Ireland to affirm and respect cultural difference and to promote positive attitudes towards cultural diversity.
  2. To develop a model of professional practice in response to cultural diversity by supporting students who engage in a period of teaching practice in the other jurisdiction.
  3. To develop a deeper sense of community among educators on the island of Ireland that recognises the contributions of different cultural and religious communities.
  4. To become more familiar with a variety of curriculum programmes and methodologies, North and South.
  5. To explore and develop strategies and approaches currently in practice in colleges of education and universities, North and South, and to contribute to the development of an inter-college culture of collaboration on the island.