On April 5, representatives of the Teach For All network joined nearly 80 people, including European Union officials, educators, policymakers, and civil society organizations from across Europe, in Bucharest, Romania for a conference entitled “FIERST: Inclusive Education Across European Contexts.” The one-day event, which was co-hosted by Teach For All and network partners in Bulgaria, Estonia, and Romania, marked the midpoint of FIERST, a project co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union. Speakers discussed approaches to inclusive education in diverse schools with students from different socioeconomic, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds.
Speakers included Monica Menapace from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture; representatives from the Romanian Ministry of Education and the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science; and principals, teachers, and specialists in the field from Estonia, Romania, and Bulgaria, as well as Teach First Deutschland student, Dewina Leuschner.
From Inclusive Education to Real Scale Transfer (FIERST), a three-year project that will run through December 2020, draws together a consortium of nine organizations from five European countries, including Teach For All's global organization and network partners Noored Kooli (Estonia), Teach For Bulgaria, and Teach For Romania. The project is designed to contribute toward addressing EU-wide challenges facing the education sector, such as teachers feeling underprepared to teach children from diverse backgrounds or to foster truly inclusive classrooms, and the fact that good practices are not effectively scaled. The consortium aims to increase and expand these practices in inclusive education among the education community across the European continent.