Nikola Smilkov, Snezana Jovanova-Mitkovska: INITIAL TEACHER EDUCATION, PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND COMPETENCE OF PRESCHOOL EDUCATORS - THE CONDITIONS AND CHALLENGES

Abstract
 
The initial education of preschool educators, their general and professional competencies, needed for their continuing professional developments are very important and actual matters.  These matters have always attracted the professional and scientific community, especially today, with efforts to create a unique and modern system of education of teachers in accordance with the Bologna process (ECTS).
In this the paper we present the results of a descriptive analysis of curricula for preschool teacher education, which present the results of the analysis of multiple parameters, that are fundamental in building a base concept for preschool teacher education; we also analysed competencies that educators acquire during initial education in different faculties of the same country?, but different geographical areas in which specific kind of differences were observed.
We present the results of a survey conducted with 42 student teachers regarding the perceived advantages and disadvantages during their initial education and their capacity for a successful start in their career as preschool teachers. We also present results based on interviews with fifteen preschool teachers about their professional development like an employer – working conditions, needs and opportunities.
This paper is an attempt to elucidate some aspects of the problem with preschool teacher education and to create opportunities for creating a consistent overall structure of their initial education and continuing professional development.