10 SES 08 E, Replication, Quality and Teacher As Researcher
The Teacher Education at the University of Umeå is one of fifteen universities in Sweden participating in a National Project over five years concerning the establishment of ‘advanced’ education training schools.The goal is threefold: 1) to develop teacher education with a focus on developing the school based studies (VFU) for student teacher, 2) to increase the knowledge and skills of the SBTEs (school based teacher educators) and IBTEs (institute- based teacher educators) by offering in-service education and 3) to initiate research programs with the participating municipality schools (Umeå teacher education application document, 2014). The background is that Teacher Education in Sweden as well as in the rest of Europe struggle with issues concerning how to increase the quality of teachers in our schools, not only as a single problem for the schools but also the effects on student teachers’ practical part of teacher education, and in the end, it has shown that the quality of Teacher Education has a strong influence on pupils’ performance in school (European Commission, 2008). Research has shown that there is a common challenge in the European countries to educate and develop student teachers with valid qualifications, both on a practical and a scientific level (Råde, 2014).The importance of well-educated and qualified teachers, and thus a high-quality Teacher Education who can respond to these demands, are highlighted in policies (e.g. European Commission, 2013, 2014; Swedish Ministry of Education and Research 2010), as well as in research (e.g. Harris & Muijs, 2005; Timperley, 2011; Darling –Hammond, 2006; Valliant and Manso, 2013; Ievers et al., 2013; White, Dickerson & Weston, 2015). The Swedish pilot project is trying to face these challenges by using different strategies to increase the qualities in Teacher Education.
One of the main strategies in VFU is to increase the concentration of teacher students at advanced teacher training schools and thus also increase the concentration of the educated supervisors (SBTEs). The idea is that an elevated concentration of both SBTEs and student teachers at the advanced teacher training school, will have a positive impact of the quality as a variation of supervising and peer learning will occur (Government Offices, 2013).
The present study is the second part
of a process evaluation of a pilot project on School Based Studies (VFU) in teacher education at the University of Umeå, Sweden, which was launched in 2015 and will be finished in 2019. An organizational focus was in the first part of the evaluation. In this second part the focus is on quality, identified as increased concentration of student teachers in VFU.
The purpose with the present study is thus to take a closer look at the chosen strategy for raised quality in VFU and the following questions have guided the study:
- Has the concentration of student teachers and SBTEs increased?
- In what ways have the concentration of student teachers and SBTEs been utilized?
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