Network 1 attendees in Dublin in 2005 enjoyed presentations from 59 colleagues representing 16 European countries and 5 non-European countries (Australia, Brazil, Israel, Japan, USA). For the first time in several years, Network 1’s programme included two symposia (one organised by Heinz Günther Holtappels, University of Dortmund, DE; the other by Rosie Turner-Bisset, University of Middlesex, UK) and shared a third symposia with Network 7 (organized by Margaret Trotta-Tuomi, University of Jyvaskyla, FI). Numerous papers this year represented large national studies of continuous professional development (CPD) of both teachers and leaders. Several others indicated increasing use of e-learning in CPD, either at the local or national level.
Recurring themes in both paper presentations and symposia included:
- A theory/practice ‘gap’ or ‘space’ or ‘landscape’ – How to share each other’s knowledge (practitioners and academicians)?
- Do we need to re-think the purpose(s) of education (with input from teachers and from society in general)? Are issues like high-stakes tests, teacher competence, etc. distractions from “real” purposes and issues of education? Are means being used as ends?
- Personal Dimensions: teachers as persons; teachers’ well-being. Teachers want intellectual growth, relationships, meaningfulness. Learning Communities: for both students and teachers; practitioners’ learning also has to have real-life connexions and relevance.
- Responsibility: (a) as intrinsic – care for self, students, and the profession; emphasises interdependence. (b) as extrinsic – accountability, obligation – often in the form of mandates
- CPD call for both teacher and whole school development; also calls for development evaluation too (not the traditional bureaucratic or school effectiveness model) with strong links between evaluation and teaching performance. Development includes research (individual and collective research/inquiry, local involvement, feedback, data/evidence. “Teacher as author” emphasises teachers’ perspective, frequently missing in CPD at local and national levels.
Network 1 will offer a programme in Geneva, September 13-16, 2006. Proposals directed to Network 1 for the 2006 conference are expected to be directly connected to the title and description of the network but may also consider incorporating the conference topic where appropriate. (The conference theme is “Transforming Knowledge.” Proposals are due on February 1, 2006. Be sure to designate your proposal for Network 1 (or as a joint submission to Network 1 and another network). Please plan to stay for Saturday sessions which symposia and discussions may be scheduled.