Promoting innovative teaching and learning is the order of the day at a time of rapid technological developments and a changing world of work and professional life. MINT disciplines are at the centre of these developments. In June 2019, 120 education institutions were awarded the MINT quality seal.
MINT in education and VET
Technological developments are constantly changing the world of work and professional life, affecting the demands placed on young people entering the labour market. There is increasing demand for competences in MINT disciplines, i.e. mathematics, informatics, natural sciences and technology.
Kindergarten and school education are of crucial importance when it comes to stimulating interest in MINT disciplines and encouraging the acquisition of skills in these fields. This interest must be further promoted and competences need to be developed on a subject-specific basis in vocational education and training (VET). The success of these efforts depends largely on the teachers who design diverse MINT lessons in an engaging way to draw learners’ attention to these disciplines. However, they can only accomplish this challenging task in an appropriate environment and under the right framework conditions, such as support from the management of the education institution, an opportunity to take advantage of suitable CVET offers, facilitation of cooperation with non-institutional learning venues, implementation of MINT-relevant projects, etc.
MINT quality seal
In 2016, the Ministry of Education together with the Federation of Austrian Industries ‘Wissensfabrik Österreich’ (i.e. Knowledge Factory Austria) and the Vienna University College of Teacher Education launched the MINT quality seal to present to the outside world the efforts made by education institutions and teachers in promoting innovative learning in MINT subjects with diverse access pathways for young women and men. This seal has since been awarded annually to education institutions that promote innovative and inspiring learning in MINT disciplines through various measures.
120 awarded institutes
This year's award ceremony took place on 4 June 2019. From a total of 134 applications, a jury of experts selected 120 education institutions for the award. These institutions can now use the MINT quality seal for advertising purposes, and make their efforts of innovative teaching of MINT competences visible to the outside world. All institutions that have been allowed to bear the seal since its introduction – including many schools in the VET sector – have also been included in a MINT map, multiplying the publicity effect. The quality seal is awarded for three years, after which time a new application is possible and encouraged.
This initiative aims to highlight committed teachers and institutions that fulfil the necessary framework conditions. The seal functions as an incentive for institutions, with the ultimate goal of making MINT disciplines equally interesting for young women and men and the acquisition of skills in these fields enjoyable.
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