02 SES 08 A, E-Facilitators And Web Services For Vocational Teacher Education
Parallel Paper Session
As stated in the special issue of Teacher Education Quarterly on internationalization: “Little research and minimal attention has been given to international issues in teacher education … ‘ a comprehensive body of literature does not currently exist in the areas of international education and teacher education.’ (2007, 34 (1). Current research reports on the experiences of teacher educators who participate in exchange projects and who engage in teaching in the receiving country. Yet, participation in international projects is more often than not an aim formulated by teacher colleges and faculties of education.
This paper reports on an internationalization project between VET teacher education at the University of Gohenburg, Sweden and Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, Australia. As opposed to other students, VET teacher students are older, and have jobs and families. The VET teacher programs in our universities are organized as part-time and distance studies. Many students work in upper secondary VET education and adult education , but without a degree. Others are in their vocation, and take the VET teacher degrees in order to become qualified. The work and domestic circumstances they work under do not provide realistic options to engage in international experiences by visiting other countries. This made us think about exchange possibilities via a platform on the Internet.
Here we present the ways in which we have planned, implemented and evaluated an exchange project via blogspot.com. We present results and the analysis of two phases.
The project started as a pilot project for 15 students and five teachers in spring 2011. The conclusions of the student evaluations were:
• Strong consensus about the importance of internationalization in VET teacher education.
• The method of using ‘a blog’ was effective and facilitated interaction between the two groups.
• There is a need to create support for students in the use of ICT.
• There is a need to match students from similar occupations
• There is a need to have an identified member of staff available to support and scaffold the students in each university
From our evaluation the project was revised and consolidated and in April 2011, a second phase of the project has been carried out, now involving 90 students. Our paper is structured as a narrative on the trajectory of the project. Our process of planning, acting, observing/experiencing and reflecting is framed by concepts from action research (e.g. Carr & Kemmis 1986; Zeichner 2001; McNiff 2002, Rönnerman et al 2008). In the concluding parts we reflect on how to enact a project like this in a successful way. The Bernsteinian concepts of classification and framing (e.g. Bernstein, 1990) are used. The possibilities for the sustainability of collaborative international projects such as this are also critically discussed within the bigger context of constant reorganization within the University sector in both countries.
Reason, P. (2001). Learning and Change through action research. In J. Henry (Ed.) Creative Management. London: Sage. Bernstein, B. (1990). Class, codes and control, The structuring of pedagogic discourse. London: Routledge Carr, W. & Kemmis, S. (1986). Becoming Criticial: Education, Knowledge and Action Research. Basingstoke: Falmer Press Cordeiro, P.A. (2007). A Modest Proposal for the Improvement of Scholarship in Internationalizing Teacher Education. In Teacher Education Quarterly, 34 (1). McNiff, J. (2002). Action research: principels and practice. Basingstoke: Macmillan Education. Rönnerman, K., Salo, P. & Moksnes Furu, E. (2008). Action research in the Nordic countries. In Rönnerman, K. Moksnes Furu, E. & Salo, P (Eds.). Nurturing Praxis: Action research in partnerships between school and university in a Nordic light. (Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
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