10 SES 13 E, Early Childhood Teacher Educator Identity and Continuing Professional Learning: Perspectives from Europe and beyond
Teacher quality matters and has been accepted as a global priority in policy agendas in the last two decades. Likewise, teacher education quality has been widely acknowledged as an important factor influencing the quality of teachers and teaching, and students’ learning and development outcomes (European Commission 2013, OECD, 2005). Further research has shown that teacher educators play an indirect, but vital role in enhancing the quality of education (Goodwin & Kosnik, 2013; Liston, Borko, & Whitcomb, 2008).
For the purposes of this proposal, a broad understanding of teacher educators is adopted, namely “all those who actively facilitate the (formal) learning of student teachers and teachers” (European Commission, 2013, p. 8). Such an understanding highlights a heterogeneous group with diverse backgrounds and working circumstances (Lunenberg, 2010). A literature review (Ping, Schellings & Beijaard, 2018) showed that research on teacher educators' professional learning was fragmented in focus, even in a growing field of interest. Furthermore, there is little systematic research on the development of identity for teacher educators，and even less said about the scenarios in early childhood education.
An updated comprehensive report underscored the complexity of working with young children, and included recommendations for strengthening professional preparation standards for early childhood practitioners and to better support teacher educators (IOM & NRC, 2015). Understanding how early childhood teacher educators conceptualise their identity, and the potential for on-going professional learning at the service/centre level to improve the learning and well being experiences for children and families is a research imperative for educators to collaboratively handle, within and across nations.
This joint symposium brings together researchers and teacher educators in early childhood education from England, Australia, and China. The symposium investigates early childhood teacher educator professional identity and some of the ways in which continuing professional learning at the service/centre and district level can enhance collective responsibility and mentoring for leadership through the work of professional learning leaders.
The overarching research questions for the symposium are:
i. How might early childhood teacher educator professional identity be conceptualised? (Papers 1 and 3; England and China respectively)
ii. How is continuous professional learning altering early childhood services and early childhood educators’ professional identity? (Papers 2 and 3; Australia and China respectively)
The symposium discussant will be invited to comment on common themes that emerge and reasons for differences.
European Commission (2013). Supporting teacher educators. Brussels: EC. Goodwin, A. L., & Kosnik, C. (2013). Quality teacher educators = quality teachers? Conceptualizing essential domains of knowledge for those who teach teachers. Teacher Development, 17(3), 334-346. Institute of Medicine (IOM) & the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academies (2015). Transforming the workforce for children birth through age eight: A unifying foundation. Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences. Liston, D., Borko, H., & Whitcomb, J. (2008). The teacher educator's role in enhancing teacher quality. Journal of Teacher Education, 59(2), 111-116. Lunenberg, M.L. (2010). Characteristics, scholarship and research of teacher educators. In P. Peterson, E. Baker & B. McGaw (Eds.), International Encyclopedia of Education (pp. 676-680). Oxford: Elsevier. OECD (2005). Teachers Matter – Attracting, Developing and Retaining Effective Teachers. OECD Publishing, Paris. Ping, C., Schellings, G., & Beijaard, D. (2018). Teacher educators' professional learning: A literature review. Teaching and Teacher Education, 75, 93-104, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2018.06.003.
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