10 SES 11 B, Research on Programmes and Pedagogical Approaches in Teacher Education
Teacher Education in Sweden, as well as in the rest of Europe, struggle with issues about how to increase the quality of teacher education programs. A strong drive for this is that the quality of Teacher Education has an important impact on pupils' achievement in school (European Commission, 2008). Another reason is that a high quality in education will make teachers more likely to stay in the profession, and thus reduce the lack of teachers. Research has shown that it is a common challenge in the European countries to train and develop student teachers with valid qualifications, both at a practical and scientific level (Råde, 2014). In Sweden a current issue is how to develop the practical part of the teacher student education, the school based studies (SBS), and to link theory to practice and integrate university-based knowledge with work-place knowledge (Karlsson Lohmader (2015). 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. Kelchtermans, G. Smith, K. & Vanderlinde, R. 2018; Valliant and Manso, 2013; Ievers et al., 2013; White, Dickerson & Weston, 2015).
In order to find ways to develop the practical part of student teachers' education, a national improvement program over five years has been launched in Sweden, concerning the establishment of ‘advanced’ education training schools, so called practice schools. According to the Swedish Higher Education Authority (UKÄ) decision, 15 Universities have received funding to participate in the improvement program (UKÄ, 2014:2). The programs’ framework is wide and conditions and strategies differ between the Universities. However, three quality aspects have crystallized: concentration, competence and collaboration. A higher concentration of students and competent supervisors (SBTEs) in a school is expected to increase opportunities for sharing experiences. The aspect competence investigates if the Universities contribute with supervisors- training for school based teacher educators (SBTEs) and ensures that there are teachers at the Universities (institute- based teacher educators, IBTEs) which follow up the students' development during school based education (SBE). The aspect collaboration investigate organizational conditions and activities where the Teacher Education and the schools jointly develop student teachers' practical part of their education.
The present study is the third part study of the Swedish national improvement program. The first two studies took a local and a regional perspective. In addition, this study covers a national perspective on the improvement program by answering the following questions:
How have the three quality aspects, concentration, competence and collaboration, developed in the program?
What kind of challenges do the improvement program face?
In the present study statistic material, documents, interviews with project leaders from Universities as well as principals and SBTEs experiences have informed us through different useful methods (Bryman, 1997; Patel & Davidson, 2011) and can be seen as an explorative study. Our aim has been to present the problem area in an overall and a general way by using different methods and information sources. One of the authors has been a part of the Swedish Higher Education Authority assessment group (UKÄ report, 2017) and contributes with knowledge from an interview study on a national level, which together with knowledge from an ongoing evaluation (both authors) on a regional level, including interviews with stakeholders, school leaders and SBTEs, have formed the basis for this study. The material has been analysed in relation to the quality aspects that have emerged from obstructive as well as supportive aspects.
The results show that the 15 Universities have had extensive possibilities to develop their own design of their projects, linked to the improvement program but according to interpretation of the three quality aspects concentration, competence and collaboration. However, consensus prevails in terms of competence and is concretized by: all SBTEs must be given supervisor training. Surprisingly, there is no specific competence demands for IBTEs. All schools have organized for SBTEs to be able to attend a supervisors’ education. The mobility among SBTEs and IBTEs have been a challenge in the improvement program. Competence has been more connected to the individual rather than a position as SBTEs and IBTEs, which have made the organisation around school based studies vulnerable. The concentration of SBTEs and students have also been affected by the mobility and has given rise to discussions and questioning of the relationship between more students and increased quality. The collaboration between Universities and the schools has in many ways been connected to assessment. The IBTEs visit students during a lesson and afterwards, together with the student and the SBTE, they discuss the lesson and the students’ different abilities and knowledge linked to the course goals, a so called “ three-part-discussion”. From all school units there have been a desire for closer cooperation between school and University to make schools a clearer and more important part of Teacher Education, which has not been the case for several schools. This was one important reason for schools to join the project - a way to increase the opportunities to participate in research projects and/or gain access to current school research. This democratic way of letting Universities and practice schools develop the VFU in a variety of ways has given important knowledge to the improvement program.
Bryman, A. (1997). Kvantitet och kvalitet i samhällsvetenskaplig forskning. Lund: Studentlitteratur. European Commission. (2008). Content and Quality of Teacher Education across the European Union. Institute of Education, University of London, United Kingdom. European Commission. (2013). Supporting Teacher Educators for better learning outcomes. European Commission: Education and Training. Ievers, M., Wylie, K., Gray, C., Ni Aingleis, B. & Cummins B. (2013). The role of the university tutor in school-based work in primary schools in Nothern Irland and the Republic of Ireland. European Journal of Teacher Education 36(2), 183-199. Karlsson Lohmander, M. (2015). Bridging ‘the gap’ - linking workplace-based and university-based learning in preschool teacher education in Sweden. Early Years 35(2), 168-183. Kelchtermans, G., Smith, K. & Vanderlinde, R. (2018). Towards an ‘international forum for teacher educator development’: an agenda for research and action. European Journal of Teacher Education 41(1), 120-134. Patel, R. & Davidson, B. (2011). Forskningsmetodikens grunder. Lund: Studentlitteratur. Råde. A. (2014). Final thesis models in European teacher education and their orientation towards the academy and the teaching profession. European Journal of Teacher Education 37(2), 144-155. Swedish Government (2014), Improvement program with training schools and training courses in teacher education and preschool education. SFS: 2014:2. Swedish Higher Education Authority (2017). Assessment of the improvement program with practice schools in teacher and preschool teacher education. Report 2017:13. Swedish Ministry of Education and Research. (2010). Top of the class: new teacher education programmes. Government Bill 2009/10:89. Valliant, D. & Manso, J. (2013). Teacher Education Programmes: Learning from Worldwide Experiences. Journal of Supranational Policies in Education , 1. 94-115. White, E., Dickerson, C. & Weston, K. (2015). Developing an appreciation of what it means to be a school-based teacher educator. European Journal of Teacher Education 38(4). 445-459.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
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Network 4. Inclusive Education
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