The Faculty of Education of UWB is the oldest and largest faculty of the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen. It was established as a branch of the Faculty of Education of Charles University in Prague. It was solemnly opened on 14 November 1948.
In 1990, the Faculty of Education became part of the newly formed University of West Bohemia. Now, around 3,000 students are studying at FPE in many types of study programs and fields. The main objective and mission of FPE in Pilsen is to provide quality education and training for teachers of all types of schools (kindergarten, primary school and secondary school).
The Faculty organizes a wide range of complementary and extension courses in the framework of Lifelong Learning.
Study programs and courses taught at the Faculty are fully open-structured, except for the field which is, on the recommendation of the Ministry of Education, accredited by the Accreditation Commission for a five-year one-stage study program. As one of the first teacher training faculties in the Czech Republic, our Faculty responded to the idea of the Bologna Declaration, calling for two-stage open-structured study programs. The result is a new model of teacher training, which most other faculties of education in the Czech Republic adopted either completely or with minor modifications. The basic aim of the restructuring was to create Bachelor’s Degree Study Programs and related follow-up Master’s Degree Study Programs in the framework of the Primary School Teacher Training Program and the Secondary School Teacher Training Program, so that more students could participate in higher education. We strive for maximum linkage between study programs within UWB, but also across universities in the Czech Republic. Restructuring allows students to study in a wider range of individual curriculum paths. Bachelor’s Degree Study Programs are designed to give students an opportunity to continue in the teaching program or in another follow-up Master’s Degree Study Program at UWB faculties or other universities, or to allow immediate professional careers. We also follow other goals: we want to make use of the professional potential offered by other UWB faculties, and the coherent learning environment which is given by the credit system of the University, so as to create flexible study programs.
Programs are mostly built as modules with well-defined responsibilities, so that the student can flexibly choose their curricular path. Due to the modular concept in the Bachelor’s Degree Study Programs, a basis for future profiling of students of the Faculty is created. Variable modules are put in the Bachelor’s Degree Study Programs, which the student chooses according to their specialization. Part of any Bachelor’s Degree Study Program is the module Common Base, with the same credit valuations and the same composition of courses.
We assume that a large part of the students of our Bachelor’s Degree Study Programs will choose the path of teacher education and will continue in the follow-up teaching study. Part of the graduates of our Bachelor’s Degree Study Programs will start teaching, and part will be able to continue their study in other UWB faculties, as well as other universities. This will encourage inter-faculty permeability. Open-structured study programs will also allow graduates from other types of schools to obtain teaching qualifications. We assume that this option will be used by the graduates of non-teaching Master’s Degree Study Programs who now teach in schools as unqualified teachers.
A great success of the faculty is having obtained accreditation for Doctoral Study Programs : Theory of Education in Physics, Theory of Education in Bohemian Studies, and Information and Communication Technology in Education. The Department of Mathematics is a training center for the field General Problems of Mathematics, which was accredited at the Faculty of Applied Sciences. By decision of the Ministry of Education, the Faculty has been granted the authorization to carry out the advanced State Examination and grant PhD Degrees in the study programs Teacher Training for Primary Schools and Teacher Training for Secondary Schools, in the fields of Teaching Czech Language, Teaching Physics and Teaching Informatics.
One of the priorities of the Faculty, for the next period, is cooperation with institutions and organizations, especially in the Pilsen and Karlovy Vary Regions. The Faculty enhances collaboration with schools and school inspections, and develops contacts with the Municipal Authority of Pilsen, with other administrative authorities and with business entities. The aim of these activities is to promote the Faculty, increase mutual information flow, source quality candidates for study, and expand opportunities for research, development, artistic and other creative activities. A relatively stable condition in the study area has created space for the development of scientific and research work, which will undoubtedly contribute to a further increase in the prestige of the Faculty among UWB faculties and other universities in the Czech Republic ; it will expand cooperation with other departments, including abroad, and will also bring financial resources to the Faculty.
The Faculty is trying to compete in all three roles which, as part of the university, it has: in education, research and socio-cultural areas. Its primary mission is, however, training teachers, which plays (and will play) a key role in the process of enhancing the education and culture of the nation.