Professional Learning for European Higher Education-Based Teacher Educators: Addressing Issues of Pan-European Practices and Policies

Time Wednesday, 05/Sep/2018: 17:15pm - 18:45pm
Location D1.03
Speakers ML White; Jean Murray; Ann MacPhail; Ruben Vanderlinde; Ken Jones; Petra Grell
Chair A. Lin Goodwin

Across Europe teacher educators in Higher Education and schools are recognised as key agents in improving the quality of schooling and achieving higher levels of social justice. However, as the European Commission (2013, 2015) has identified, these educators, involved in both pre- and in-service education for teachers, also need professional learning opportunities to achieve these aims and to support their diverse and multi-faceted roles in fast changing multi-cultural and multi-lingual societies.

This interactive session, supported by Networks 10, 1 and 6, disseminates, evaluates and critiques the continuing work of the International Forum for Teacher Educator Development (Info-TED) project, funded by the European Commission Erasmus+, to develop the professional learning of teacher educators. The session will also highlight the contribution of the project to policy and practice.

The overall purpose of the session, in line with EERA’s mission, is to promote communication between educational researchers, policy makers at institutional and national levels and international governmental organisations, including the EU and the OECD.

The current work of InFo-TED includes developing a website which hosts a range of multi-media resources, an interactive Virtual Learning Platform, an international Summer Academy and national and multi-national dissemination events. All of this work is underpinned by significant empirical research (Czerniawski et al, 2016) and strong conceptual frameworks for understanding professional learning (Vanassche et al, 2016; Kelchtermans et al, 2017).

Teacher educators’ roles clearly include educating current and future generations of teachers to work in diverse communities addressing the needs of all learners. Recent European Commission reports (2013, 2015) have identified that, as our societies shift and change, some teacher educators themselves require on-going support in addressing these key issues of inclusion/exclusion in their work.

Consideration of teacher educators’ professional learning is also relevant to the inclusion/exclusion debates because this occupational group is often marginalised within the complex hierarchies of universities, colleges and schools. Teacher educators’ professional capital can be differentially valued, and their learning de-emphasised within neo-liberal regimes for teacher education. This occupational group is therefore both ‘inside and outside the ivory tower’ (Maguire, 1994: 32; Bates et al, 2010), that is often both excluded and included in higher education in significant ways.

Representatives from the three networks, with their national origins in England, Belgium, Ireland, Wales and Germany will comment on relevant national issues about inclusion/exclusion in teacher educators’ professional learning, based on the increased understanding about the conditions, determinants and difficulties in considering how to achieve and instantiate the desired outcomes of the InFo-TED project. The presenters will then initiate a debate asking for input and feedback from the audience on these broad areas:

  • how the project overall might contribute to the development of policy and practice in learning in teacher education?
  • how the project overall might best address issues of inclusion/exclusion within teacher educators’ professional learning;
  • the development of the structures of the Virtual Learning Platform to support this professional learning;
  • the form and content of the resources on the website as a whole to achieve similar aims;
  • the deployment of these on-line, multi-media resources in face-to-face learning events;
  • the identified scenarios for supporting teacher educators as an excluded/included occupational group;
  • the sustainability plan and its implications for pan-European visions of teacher education

In line with the goals of the InFo-TED project, our overall aims are to work with EERA reseachers and European policy makers to build connections with congruent national and international activities and networks, to disseminate findings to policy makers and researchers alike using appropriate pan-European fora, and to ascertain how InFo-TED can best continue to facilitate the professional development of teacher educators around Europe.

Upcoming ECERs

24.08.2020
ECER'20, Glasgow
03.09.2021
ERC'21, Geneva
06.09.2021
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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