European Doctorate in Teacher Education: Bridging the gap between research and professionalism in Europe

Time Friday, 07/Sep/2018: 9:00 - 10:30
Location A2.16
Speakers Michael Schratz; Gábor Halász; Luís Alexandre da Fonseca Tinoca; Anja Swennen; Vasileios Symeonidis; Ezra Howard
Chair Michael Schratz

This EERA session opens up a discussion space for further developing a European Doctorate in Teacher Education (EDiTE), so far a joint research programme designed by a consortium of five universities and financially supported by the European Union. The session will reflect on the experiences gained during the current phase of the project and will engage the audience in thinking about the future of this European endeavour, inviting new partners to join. The session will bring together teacher education experts and early stage researchers participating in EDiTE (Wiktor Bernard, Malte Gregorzewski, Ezra Howard, Helena Kovacs, Shaima Muhammad, Vasileios Symeonidis, Nikolett Szelei, Tamás Tóth).

The EDiTE joint research programme is a reaction and response to the current challenges in the complex process of transformation of teachers’ lifelong professional development. Research increasingly tells us that ‘teachers matter’ and the quality of their work is the most important factor influencing the quality of students’ learning. Across Europe, several countries are reforming their teacher education systems in an effort to raise teacher professionalism and improve student performance. On one hand, teaching in European countries becomes increasingly assimilated through the backwash effect of global large-scale assessment activities, such as PISA, or through ground-breaking research, such as Hattie’s Visible Learning (2009), which implies that teaching and learning should become more responsive processes across country borders. On the other hand, there are many national traits of what it means to teach in a particularly country, making it difficult for teachers to move their employment in different countries, while little has changed nationally with a cultural perspective towards Europe in mind (Seashore Louis & van Velzen, 2012).

Within this puzzling context, EDiTE aims to raise awareness of what constitutes the ‘Europeanness’ of teacher education and what it means to be a ‘European teacher’ (Schratz, 2014) by establishing joint European research with a comparative perspective. Specifically, EDiTE was developed by a consortium of five universities collaborating in the field of European higher education, over the course of two projects, pursuing the following goals: (a) develop an original, transnational and interdisciplinary joint doctoral programme in teacher education; (b) create a closer link between practice and theory in teacher education; (c) move transnational research in teacher education nearer to national educational institutions; (d) provide a forum for sharing theoretical knowledge and good practice from a European perspective; and (e) promote standards, procedures and unifying principles for the design, organization and development of doctoral study programmes in teacher education (Schratz, 2014). The programme architecture, its transnational and collaborative character offer a leading-edge contribution to provision and qualification in European higher education.

Over the course of the project, the EDiTE community envisions growing into a European network for innovation in teacher education, accessible to academics, practitioners and policy makers. Opening up to a wider European perspective we expect to generate relevant knowledge on transformative professional learning in the field of teacher education. Through complementary expertise of partners in research approaches (e.g. action research, phenomenology, anthropology, ethnography, social action research, case study, grounded theory), insights on a European comparative level will be gained, with a focus on diversity and cross-cultural perspectives of countries, sectors, institutions, classrooms, and the target group of education professionals. The broad methodological approach supports the identification of ‘Europeanness’ within the dynamics of professionalism, transformation, professional learning, policy-making, and supports research as social practice and change process.

Upcoming ECERs

ECER'20, Glasgow
ERC'21, Geneva
ECER'21, Geneva
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The aim of the ‘European Conference on Educational Research’ is to create an inclusive platform for initiating, reporting, discussing and promoting high quality educational research ...
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