The IOA-project aims at
• identifying the intercultural competence (IC) areas of those vocational teachers who are responsible for the international activities of their respective vocational institutes
• designing criteria and tools for assessing this intercultural competence
• and developing/transferring this competence into the competence of an International Operation Agent by designing and piloting an internet based training module.
The scope of international activities is rapidly expanding in the vocational education and training institutes. It is a common European phenomenon that internationally oriented teachers end up taking care of the international activities in their respective institutes. However, they seldom receive any training for this “international operator’s” task.
Surveys in Finland and professional discussions in Vocational Teachers European networks show, that as the work load of these teachers acting as international operators gets heavier, the teachers long for further education to meet the challenges of their broadened job description. At the same time, on the organisational level, more teachers should get engaged in the international activities to share the important work. These newcomers need motivators and mentors.
By identifying and recognising the existing intercultural competence of the current international operators, and by transferring this know-how into the competence of an International Operation Agent (a promoter) the vocational institutes could systematise and secure the continuity of the international activities. Internationally conducted project would also contribute to designing European wide frame and criteria for VET teachers’ intercultural competence.