10 SES 03 F, Special Call: Mapping Teacher Education across Europe and Beyond
With the increasing attention for the foundational literacies, competences, and character qulities required for the rapidly changing world, preparing students with 21st century skills has been the central educational concerns in many countries. Around the globe, foundations, international organizations, scholars, and educators are working together to advocate the importance of developing students’ knowledge, competences, attitudes, and values that are the components of 21st century skills. Many educational systems and schools are called to redefine curriculum priorities and to make change to their curricula (Voogt & Roblin, 2012; Halász & Michel, 2011; Asian Society, 2018). However, in the process of curricular change, teachers’ attitudes, beliefs, competences, and practices are determinant factors in the realization of change in teaching and learning. Therefore, more attention should be given to the role of teachers and teacher professional development (Guerrieo, 2017; Voogt & Roblin, 2012; Halász & Michel, 2011).
International Baccalaureate Organization, as one of the school networks focused on developing global competence, reflect a great deal of components of 21st century skills in its philosophy and mission statement. With the aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people, IB programs encourage students to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners with five domains of skills: thinking, communication, social, self-management, and research (IBO, 2015; 2017). Nowadays there are more than 4,800 IB schools around the world to help students develop the skills needed to live, learn, and work in this rapidly changing world (IBO, 2018; Asian Society, 2018). Consequently, to meet the great demands of preparing competent teachers for implementing approaches to teaching and learning in IB programs, teachers are expected to possess the 21st century skills and are expected to facilitate the acquisition of related skills in their students (IBO, 2015; 2017). Of course, such expectations can be quite daunting and challenging (Twigg, 2010).
Since teaching in IB programs is inquiry-based, concept-driven, contextualized, collaborative, differentiated, and informed by assessment (IBO, 2015, 2017), it reflects important pedagogical principles of teaching for 21st century skills (Guerrieo, 2017; Voogt & Roblin, 2012). There is no doubt that there must be a greater focus on constructivist pedagogy and teacher’s role shifts from ‘dispenser of knowledge’ to facilitator or coach to support students’ inquiry learning. In opposition to traditional pedagogies, however, many teachers do not possess sufficient knowledge of, confidence for, attitudes toward, and efficacy for implementing 21st century skills. Thus, it is imperative to reconstruct teacher education program (teacher training and professional development) to empower teachers for teaching 21st century skills (NIE, 2009; Darling-Hammond, 2006). In order to profile the pedagogical knowledge and practices of quality teaching for 21st century skills, this study is to investigate into the characteristics of IB teaching practices that would offer students better opportunities to acquire needed skills. In other words, it is intended to identify the essential pedagogical indicators of quality teaching in IB programs that can be used for generating implications for preparing teachers for teaching 21st century skills (Culross, & Tarver, 2011; Lee, Hallinger, & Walker, 2012; Ryan, Heineke & Steindam, 2014).
Based on analysis of IB documents and interviews with IB school leaders and experienced teachers, as well as teacher educators, this paper will address the following questions: (1) To what extent and in what ways do IB pedagogical practices differ from traditional teaching practices? (2) What are the required knowledge, skills, and dispositions of an IB teacher in order to prepare IB learners with 21st century skills? (3) What are the possible ways of incorporating IB teachers’ performance indicators into teacher education programs in different contexts?
To explore the needed knowledge and skills for teaching 21st century skills effectively, this tow-year study is a joint construction of performance indicators of quality teaching and learning in IB programs with the intention to generate implications for 21st century teacher education. Methods applied in the first year of this study (August 2018 – July 2019) include document analysis, school visits and classroom observations, and individual and focus group interviews. 1. Document analysis—IB documents are reviewed and analyzed for understanding IB philosophy, program principles and practice, approaches to teaching and learning, pedagogical principles and so forth. 2. School visits—1 IB school in BC, Canada; 2 IB schools in Hong Kong; 2 IB schools in Singapore; and 3 IB schools in Taiwan. 3. Classroom observations—During each school visit, 1 or 2 classroom observations will be arranged for capturing the actual pedagogical practice at IB schools in different jurisdictions. 4. Interviews with IB practitioners—During each school visit, there will be group discussions with faculty team and Individual interviews with IB school leaders/coordinators and IB trainers to get their views on quality teaching performances of IB teachers. Also, when necessary there will be focused group interviews conducted with experienced IB teachers to get their feedbacks on the preliminary analysis of performance indicators. 5. Interviews with IB teacher educators/trainers—After preliminary analysis of performance indicators, interviews or group discussions with IB teacher educators and trainers will be arranged to discussed the implication for teacher education. Because there has been an existing close working partnership with an IB school in Taiwan, an Canadian IB teacher/trainer at UBC, there will be on-going research team discussions through out the research process.
In this paper, preliminary findings of the first year of study will be shared, including the unique features of IB pedagogical practices to help understanding and appreciating the required knowledge, skills, and dispositions for quality teaching in preparing teachers with 21st century skills. If possible, cultural and contextual attributes in jurisdictions around the world will be compared and addressed. Also, implications and ways of incorporating IB teachers’ performance indicators into teacher education programs in different contexts will be explored and discussed. As Darling-Hammond (2017) points out, the teaching challenges nowadays though are greater and tougher, will be better met if we can learn from each other about what matters and what works in different contexts. It is hope that this paper can benefit researchers, practitioners and policy-makers for constructing alternatives teacher training and professional development programs to empower teachers for better equipping students with 21st century skills.
Asia Society (2018). Teaching for global competence in a rapidly changing world. Retrieved from: http://asiasociety.org/eduction/teaching-global-competence-rapidly-chainging-world Culross, R. & Tarver, E. (2011). A summary of research on the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme: Perspectives of students, teachers, and university admissions offices in the USA. Journal of Research in International Education, 10(3), 231-243. Darling-Hammond, L. (2006). Constructing 21st-century teacher education. Journal of Teacher Education, 57(3), 300-314. Darling‐Hammond, L. (2017). Teacher education around the world: What can we learn from international practice? European Journal of Teacher Education, 40(3), 291-309. Guerrieo, S. (Ed.) (2017). Pedagogical knowledge and the changing nature of the teaching profession. OECD Publishing, Paris. Halász, G. & Michel, A. (2011). Key competences in Europe: interpretation, policy formulation and implementation. European Journal of Education, 46(3), 289-306. International Baccalaureate Organization (2015). MYP: From principles into practice. International Baccalaureate Organization (2017). Approaches to teaching and learning in the Diploma Programme (pre-publication). International Baccalaureate Organization (2018). Facts and figures, Retrieved from http://www..ibo.org/fact/fastfacts/index.cfm Lee, M., Hallinger, P. & Walker, A. (2012). A Distributed Perspective on Instructional Leadership in International Baccalaureate (IB) Schools. Education Administration Quarterly , 48(4),664-698. National Institute of Education. (2009). A teacher education model for the 21st century. Retrieved from http://www.nie.edu.sg/files/about-nie/TE21%20online%20version.pdf Ryan, A. M., Heineke, A. J. & Steindam, C. E. (2014). Preparing Globally Minded Teachers through the Incorporation of the International Baccalaureate. Journal of Education, 194(3), 39-51. Twigg, V. V. (2010). Teachers’ practices, values and beliefs for successful inquiry-based teaching in the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme. Journal of Research in International Education,9(1),40-65. Voogt, J. & Roblin, N. P. (2012). A comparative analysis of international frameworks for 21st century competences: Implications for national curriculum policies. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 44(3), 299-321.
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