01 SES 01 C, Teacher Educators
Parallel Paper Session
What are the benefits to the workplace as perceived by those in leadership positions in the various teacher education colleges following a professional development course of study?
Do the study programs have an effect on the workplace and what is that effect?
(The term 'workplace' refers to the teacher education colleges in the country? where the teacher-educators work).
Theoretical framework: There is growing recognition that teacher educators are perceived as professionals once they are engaged in further professional development throughout their entire career. Since the recognition of the teacher educator as a lifelong learning professional has only recently emerged as a topic of interest, it is not surprising that the research in this area is still fragmented and limited. Several different perspectives related to the investigation of teacher educators’ professional development can be found in the literature, for example: the induction of teacher educators; the first career stages and the transition from teaching in schools to teaching in higher-education institutions and in teacher training programs; the identities of teacher educators; the characteristics and competencies of teacher educators and the attempt to set standards and quality requirements for teacher educators (i.e., Koster et al, 2005; Murray and Male, 2005; Rieg and Helterbran, 2005; Murray, 2008; Koster et al, 2008; Swennen, Jones and Volman, 2010; Dinkelman, 2011; Mayer et al, 2011). However, there is little information regarding the contribution of professional development activities undertaken by teacher educators (i.e., Kools et al, 2011).
The context of this paper is the School of Professional Development for Teacher Educators at the Mofet institute in Israel. This institute is an intercollegiate professional development institute for teacher educators from all teacher education colleges in Israel. Twelve years ago, four specialization programs aimed at enhancing the professional development of teacher educators were developed. They are: (1) Mentoring and Instruction; (2) Management in Academic Institutions; (3) Research and Evaluation; (4) Information and Communication Technologies. Each program consists of a total of 52 full days of study over a two-year period and includes theory, group discussions, brainstorming and a practicum. The over-all aim of the studies in these specialization tracks is to substantiate theory and link it to practice by furnishing the participants with essential tools for their work in their respective colleges.
Evaluating these programs has been a priority from the start. Over the years, data was gathered from three sources: (a) the teacher educators during the course of their studies; (b) graduates of the different programs (i.e., Feigin, Avissar and Kedem, 2008; Reichenberg, Sagee and Kleeman, 2010) and (c) those in leadership positions in the respective teacher education colleges. Findings from groups (a) and (b) point to a high degree of satisfaction on the part of the teacher educators who participated. The findings from group (c) are presented in this paper.
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