NAFOL conference: Validity and Value of Teacher Education Research

This year, NAFOL Conferencetook place in Hamar, Norway, from 22-24 October and two of EDiTE researchers, Helena Kovacs and Vasilis Symeonidis, were invited to participate and present their work. NAFOL is a network of 17 teacher education institutions across the country and this year’s event was hosted by Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences. With a number of exciting activities, keynote speeches and knowledge sharing opportunities, this conference was surely a place of learning and community building.

The first two days were open to English speaking guests, including EDiTE and colleagues from Stockholm, Munich, London, etc. The first day keynote speaker, Gert Biesta from Brunel Unviersity London provoked critical reflections on teaching and researching through his talk on Should we be widening the gap between teaching and research?The second day added to the discussions with the keynote on The issue of relevance in researching educational leadership given by Jorunn Møller, Univeristy of Oslo, while in the afternoon the final keynote speech was given by Ernesto Panadero, Universidad Autónomia de Madrid on the topic of assessment. These diverse and interesting themes were sandwiched by parallel paper sessions and poster presentations given by the participants. Helena Kovacs had the chance to speak about the value of teacher learning in innovative schools and Vasilis Symeonidis provided insights on his research on European policies and Europeanisation of national teacher education in Greece, Austria and Hungary.

Beyond this, NAFOL Conference in Hamar was a great opportunity to see a practice that heavily values the sense of community as well as individual contribution. Artistic expression that is an important aspect of teaching practice and is often lost when doing research was part of the official programme. Many of NAFOL students have engaged in sharing their talents during the joint dinner, as well as integrating elements of fun physical activities during the programme.

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