10 SES 04 D, Research on Values, Beliefs & Understandings in Teacher Education
The training of teachers in specific areas of their functions is becoming increasingly necessary. The main topic of this research is the training required to meet the needs of students in the transition period between the stage of early childhood and primary education. Research on the transition between these two educational stages has been approached from the perspective of the students themselves as the main actors of the transition (Kain et al, 2017; Sierra, 2018), even studying the importance of emotional well-being and anxiety that this change between stages generates for students (Hall & Lindorff, 2017; Lehrer, Bigras, & Laurin, 2017; Parent et al., 2019), as well as families (Castro, Ezquerra, & Argos, 2018; Lehrer et al., 2017; Yim, 2018) and teachers (Tantekin & Altun, 2014; Yim, 2018). In this psychological part, great importance has also been given to the study of the expectations that students, families and teachers have about the beginning of compulsory schooling (Lehrer, 2018).
The role of the agents involved is fundamental in order to achieve a progressive and successful stage change. The management style of the transition from early childhood to primary school will influence the academic future of the students (Argos, Ezquerra, & Castro, 2011; Rantavuori, 2018; Sierra, 2018). International research shows that families seek information and communication with their children's teachers about the transition to primary school (Castro et al., 2018; Yim, 2018), but it is proving that the perspective of both (family and teachers) on the educational transition process is not the same.
Focusing on the line that studies the involvement of teachers at this stage, in researches such as Castro et al. (2018) 86.8% of teachers recognize the importance of the change between infant and primary, compared to 13.2% who consider the transition to Primary Education to be of little importance. But in spite of giving them importance, the teachers of early childhood and primary education do not always reach an agreement regarding the abilities and skills with which the children should arrive at primary education (Sierra, 2018). Primary school teachers consider that students are not prepared for academic change and adaptation to the dynamics of primary school (Sierra, 2018; Tamayo, 2014). However, both teachers show a lack of knowledge of the teaching practices developed in the other stage of education (Tamayo, 2014; Tantekin & Altun, 2014).
It is necessary for teachers belonging to both educational stages to contrast opinions and expectations and to promote the construction of a common framework that contributes to the students' transition process. As agents involved in change, their management skills in this transition with students, family and peer groups will be decisive in adapting to the students' compulsory education system (Kain et al., 2017; Tamayo, 2014; Yim, 2018).
The aim of this study is to describe the lines of lifelong learning that the governments of European Union (EU) countries recommend for teachers involved in the transition stage between pre-school and primary education. As specific objectives, on the one hand, we describe the differences between countries and, on the other hand, we analyse the specific mentions of the transition in permanent teacher training.
Several countries of the EU have been analyzed to make this study. The countries selected in the sample are the largest in extension of Continental Europe (Spain, France, Italy and Germany), with the selection of Portugal in the sample to complete the Iberian Peninsula. The Nordic countries were also added for their reputation at an educational level (The Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway). The United Kingdom has not been considered because of the diversity of the constituent nations that make up the State. In this way, we will analyze ten European countries: Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Portugal, The Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway. The methodology followed in this study for the analysis of the ten countries was a documentary analysis. The search for information to analyze has been made from the web portal of the European Commission - Eurydice (European Commission, 2018). This information is provided and classified by the governments of each of the countries. It is accessible in English and in the country's own language. It also has links to the regulations of the countries and to the websites of the ministries of education for more information. These priority lines are made for teachers, covering both stages, early childhood education and primary education so it is not necessary to search separately for each stage. The information obtained was classified into ten categories according to the subject of training and the country, comparing them among the ten countries analyzed: • Digital literacy (ICT) • Creativity, entrepreneurship and leadership • Languages • Cultural diversity • Disability • Scientific culture (mathematics, science, technology) • Promotion of reading • Healthy lifestyle • Methods of teaching, evaluation or competences • Educational transitions
In relation to the areas of teacher training proposed by the governments, the most demanded topics are: Digital competition (n=6), a concern of the government of most countries. Teaching methods and assessment: teaching techniques, skills or alternative forms of learning is the second topic most recommended by governments (n=5). Training for cultural diversity or integration, in countries of central and southern Europe and only in a Nordic country. Scientific culture (science, mathematics or technology) (n=4). Entrepreneurship, creativity and leadership are mentioned only by Finland and Spain. Language learning, a priority issue in Southern Europe (Spain, Portugal and Italy). Of the ten countries analysed, there are no priority topics for the governments of France and The Netherlands. The specific mentions of the transition in permanent teacher training are only given in Germany. The German government gives priority to the training of teachers in "a smooth transition between the stages of childhood education and primary education". In summary, there is no specific mention to the transition in the teacher training programs in none of the governmental strategies rather than Germany. The topics most recommended by governments in teacher training are related to digital competence and teaching methodologies. Topics such as cultural diversity or languages are more present in the southern EU countries, reflecting the cultural diversity of these countries and their need to improve the acquisition of a second language. Current topics such as entrepreneurship or leadership are present in Finland and Spain. Due to the impact on success of students in the future, more specific teacher training should be considered within the lifelong learning governmental strategies for early childhood and primary teachers.
Argos, J., Ezquerra, M. P., & Castro, A. (2011). Escuchando la voz de la infancia en los procesos de cambio e investigación educativos. Aproximación al estudio de las transiciones entre las etapas de educación infantil y educación primaria. Revista Iberoamericana de Educación, 54(5), 1–18. Retrieved from https://dialnet.unirioja.es/servlet/articulo?codigo=3698302 Castro, A., Ezquerra, P., & Argos, J. (2018). Deepening the transition between childhood education and primary education: the perspective of families and teachers. Teoría de La Educación, 30(1), 217–240. doi:10.14201/teoredu301217240 PROFUNDIZANDO European Commision (2018). Eurydice. Retrieved from: https://eacea.ec.europa.eu/national-policies/eurydice/national-description_es Hall, J., & Lindorff, A. (2017). Children’s Transition to School: Relationships between Preschool Attendance, Cortisol Patterns, and Effortful Control. Educational and Developmental Psychologist, 34(1), 1–18. doi:10.1017/edp.2017.3 Kain, J., Leyton, B., Concha, F., Close, M., Soto-Sánchez, J., & Salazar, G. (2017). Preschool children’s physical activity intensity during school time: Influence of school schedule. Preventive Medicine Reports, 8, 6–9. doi:10.1016/j.pmedr.2017.07.011 Lehrer, J. (2018). Written communication with families during the transition from childcare to school: how documents construct and position children, professionals, and parents. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 26(2), 285–308. doi:10.1080/1350293X.2018.1442044 Lehrer, J., Bigras, N., & Laurin, I. (2017). Preparing children and families for the transition to school_ the role of early childhood educators. International Journal of Transitions in Childhood, 10, 3–23. Parent, S., Lupien, S., Herba, C. M., Dupéré, V., Gunnar, M. R., & Séguin, J. R. (2019). Children’s cortisol response to the transition from preschool to formal schooling: A review. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 99, 196–205. doi:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2018.09.013 Rantavuori, L. (2018). The problem-solving process as part of professionals’ boundary work in preschool to school transition. International Journal of Early Years Education, 26(4), 422–435. doi:10.1080/09669760.2018.1458600 Sierra, S. (2018). Investigaciones sobre la Transición a Educación Primaria : la mirada infantil a examen. Revista de Investigación Educativa, 16(2), 136–152. Tamayo, S. (2014). La transición entre etapas educativas: de Educación Infantil a Educación Primaria. Participación Educativa. Revista Del Consejo Escolar Del Estado., 3(5), 131–137. Retrieved from https://sede.educacion.gob.es/publiventa/d/20206/19/1 Tantekin, F., & Altun, D. (2014). An Investigation of the Opinions of Primary School Teachers ’ on Preschool Education and the Transition Process From Preschool to primary School. Elementary Education Online, 13(2), 481–502. Yim, E. P.-Y. (2018). Supporting the kindergarten–primary school transition in Hong Kong: reform in a teacher training programme. International Journal of Early Years Education, 26(4), 436–449. doi:10.1080/09669760.2017.1316243
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