SPIRAL Final Conference, 9th July, Sèvres

SPIRAL aims at improving the quality of teacher training programme by facilitating the integration of a training placement abroad for students. The project final conference will take place in Sèvres (Paris) on July, the 9th 2018. On this occasion, project partners will share their experience and make recommendations on how to maximise the benefits of a placement abroad for teacher trainees.

Here is an overview of the programme.

10.00-10.30 | Coffee Room

Registration – Welcome coffee

10.30-12.30 | Marie Curie Conference Room

Plenary session – simultaneous interpretation FR/EN


Mr Pierre-François MOURIER, director, CIEP

 The SPIRAL project

Mr Thomas ARBOUET, Head of Europe Unit, CIEP

 Presentation of the major milestones of the SPIRAL project

– Objectives, milestones, deliverables;

– Discussion.

 The SPIRAL placements

Mr Cédric SARRÉ, University lecturer, Sorbonne Université

 Presentation of the SPIRAL placement framework

– Procedures, tools, benefits

12.30-14.00 | Great Library

Lunch cocktail

14.00-16.30 | Marie Curie Conference Room

Plenary session – simultaneous interpretation FR/EN

 Results of the impact study

Ms Patricia Castanheira & Nadia Edmond, University lecturers, University of Brighton

 Presentation of the SPIRAL impact study

– Methodology, results;

– Recommendations.

 Round Table

Testimonies from SPIRAL participants

Animator: Ms Wilma van den BERG, University lecturer, HAN

– Mr Christian Helmchen, Teacher trainer, Hamburg University

– Ms Magali JEANNIN, Teacher trainer, Caen Normandy University (TBC)

– Ms Fleur POLMAN, student, HAN

– Ms Laura REUVERS, student, HAN

 Expert witness

Summary of the conference and perspectives on teacher training at European level

Mr Antoine MIOCHE, General Inspector of National Education


Register here:

On the international colloquium “L´Éducation à la mobilité”, held in Caen, France, on the 23rd and 24th of November and on the SPIRAL conference, held in Hamburg on December 8th, Christian Helmchen and Sílvia Melo-Pfeifer, SPIRAL associates from Universität Hamburg, presented the results of a qualitative analysis of the influence of a two-week period abroad in the scope of the SPIRAL Project on the professional development of trainee teachers in terms of intercultural awareness regarding the following four competence domains: i) professional values; ii) pedagogy and practice; iii) linguistic competence; and iv) intercultural understanding. The data was collected through feedback Emails and Focus group interviews among four German student teachers who participated in a short-term exchange in Alcalá de Henares (Spain), where they learned about local educational policies and observed classroom practice.

Among other things, a shift of focus was observed from expectations regarding the improvement of language skills (before the stay abroad) towards a reflection of other’s and own educational practices and methodologies (after return). In that way, the SPIRAL mobility phase fostered the professional development of the students influencing greatly the imagined self-to-be with regard to teaching through, what we would like to call, a ‘decentration’ from educative practice and professional habitus taken for granted. This, we argue, was caused by dilemmas, crises, and perplexities (cf. Bronfenbrenner, 2005) experienced abroad, as well as an increase in awareness regarding education and professionalization in other contexts.

Results in brief:

  • Development of linguistic skills, even if important, acquire a secondary status (sequences on language in the post-mobility-phase interview are quite rare).
  • Students recognize differences regarding classroom management, school culture, educative values, educational system while maintaining/reinforcing a shared positive image of pedagogical practices at home.
  • Students value the comparison in order to grow as a professional.
  • Students develop/cultivate a ‘teaching identity’.
  • Students engaged in collaborative discursive reconstruction of shared experiences while abroad.


  • Bronfenbrenner, U. (Ed.) (2005), Making human beings human. Bioecological perspectives on human development, London, Thousand Oaks, Sage.
  • Helmchen, C. & Melo-Pfeifer, S. (forthcoming). Professional development of future foreign language teachers during short-term exchanges. On the Horizon.



International Conference on Education and Mobility in Caen, 23-24 November 2017

On 23-24 November, the conference “Education and mobility” proposes to explore the implications of education for mobility across the education system – from primary school to university – and relating to all those involved in both formal and less formal education settings ; to question the very foundations of the concept of mobility and their relationship with pedagogical implementation ; analyse tools and approaches and their effectiveness in all spheres of education; interrogate the impact of Education for mobility on professional identities and professionalism in education contexts; to articulate pedagogies of mobility and otherness; to consider Education for mobility in a pluri- and multicultural context.

For more information and registration, please click here.

Review of the first placement in Paris and Caen

The “Réseau national des ESPE”, associate partner of the SPIRAL project, has posted a review of the first year of the SPIRAL project. It is available on their website here, in French.

This national network counts the 33 French schools of education as members. Created in 2014, it provides support to the schools and helps their development through mutualisation of resources and exchanges of good practices. The Université of Caen-Normandie and the Université Paris-Sorbonne, members of the SPIRAL Consortium are among its members.

Welcome to the SPIRAL Website!

This website is meant for the publication SPIRAL related content by the consortium. Here you will be able to find:

  • general information about the project;
  • information about the consortium and key personnel working in the project;
  • information about the placements abroad;
  • a platform for discussion;
  • an access to the project’s Twitter feed, images and videos in social media repositories and to the Facebook group/page;
  • means to subscribe to the SPIRAL newsletter.

We hope that your visit on our website will meet your expectations.

Spiral - Partners - Universidad de Alcala-01
Spiral - Partners - Universitat Hamburg-01
Spiral - Partners - Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmeg-01