EDiTE @ Falling Walls Lab 2018, Wrocław

Beata Zwierzyńska, EDiTE researcher, participated in the Falling Walls Lab 2018, Wrocław. Falling Walls Lab is an international event commemorating the Fall of Communism and the Berlin Wall through the promotion of science and innovation. The winners of the local events take part in the finals in Berlin and present their project in 3 minutes long speeches. The researcher can apply in any location convenient but the rules limit the performance to one time only. The most represented fields are hard sciences as the 2018 winners’ list shows. Therefore, there is still a space for humanities and social sciences to fill in!

If you are interested in participating in the 2019 edition, here is an example of Beata’s 3-minute speech based on one of her research projects and PPT presentation to download:

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Internationally, there has been interest in school democratization, but only few countries actually achieve that. Intellectuals, practitioners, and activists all over the world are critical of educational reforms and the resistance of schools to theoretical, practical and political attempts of school democratization: in Poland 30 years after Round Table Talks on education, schools still struggle to be democratic spaces

Why do we need democratized education? We need it especially now: when 30 years after breaking the walls of communism in Europe, we are experiencing a shift towards authoritarianism, racism, homophobia, and hate. Young eastern democracies but also old ones are experiencing democratic crisis. Solidarity has changed into barbed-wires and new walls; rational debate gave place to fake news. Schools became a fertile soil for propaganda instead being a vaccine for it. Teachers are silenced and schools monopolized by ruling parties. The crisis now is therefore not only political but also educational.

What is the solution?

Education for democracy prepares people for democratic values like freedom, trust, participation, and more. The difficulty in achieving fully democratized schools is traced to teachers’ disempowerment and lack of emancipatory competences. Teachers can make the console “sliders” go up to build civil society, teach respect and debate. Mandela’s words are still true that “Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world”. Are teachers able to do it?

Is it possible to prepare teachers for democracy at school if they are products of a system? How can teachers implement fully democratized and pluralistic model of education if they don’t experience autonomy and freedom? These are old questions in Poland.

One of the ways to help teachers to change is through action research. In collaboration with teachers from a large FB group, we selected a problem, designed and implemented a plan and reflected on it. Teachers organized a grassroot event with workshops, panel discussion and more. It created emancipatory experience for them to become more autonomous and empowered. EMANCIPATED TEACHERS are foundation for DEMOCRATIZED SCHOOLS which is a basis for DEMOCRATIC AND HUMANISTIC SOCIETY


Author and presenter: Beata Zwierzyńska

Falling Walls Lab, Wrocław 2018

European Doctorate in Teacher Education

University of Lower Silesia, Masaryk University


EDiTE at ONK 2018

XVIII National Conference on Education (ONK) is the biggest conference on educational research in Hungary and this year ELTE Faulty of Education and Psychology had the role of being the host of the conference. As such, members of the EDiTE network took the opportunity to participate in different roles, as well as present their research. The event took place between 8 and 10 November in Budapest.

Most of the conference was delivered in Hungarian although there were several important parts in English, such as two keynote speeches during the first two days. The first day Markku Niemivirta from University of Helsinki and University of Oslo has talked about students’ achievement, motivation and success through his keynote titled Striving for achievement – A double-edge sword?During the second day, keynote was given by Meg Maguire from King’s Collage, London about educational values in the UK and how they affect the key participants such as teachers and students. Both of these keynotes are available through video stream here.

The programme provided a vast diversity of topics through parallel sessions, symposia and poster presentations. Helena Kovacs, one of the EDiTE researchers, gave a presentation based on her research entitled The importance of school innovation for teacher learningand raised some interesting discussion among the audience. Csilla Pesti, another of ELTE EDiTE researchers participated in a different role this time, delivering logistical support as a leader of the volunteers that assisted throughout the event and ensuring the smooth running of the entire conference.


Open House Day at the University of Innsbruck

Last Wednesday, the Department of Teacher Education and School Research at the University of Innsbruck opened its doors to students and people interested to learn more about the research conducted at the department. EDiTE was there with researchers Vasilis Symeonidis and Malte Gregorzewski, as well as project manager Maiko Stürz, who presented the main ideas of the project and their own contributions.

The audience learned about the origins of the project, its development and impact, as well as future plans to expand the network. In the discussions that followed the presentation, students asked about the opportunity of undertaking such an international doctorate and expressed an interest to stay tuned with future developments!

EDiTE @ 7th International Conference on TEFL




EDiTE early-stage researcher, Shaima Muhammad, who is still on her mobility in Lisbon had the chance to attend and present at the 7thTEFL International conference under the theme: Intercultural Language Education for Increased European Identity and Cohesion. Many presentations focused on the need to incorporate cognitively demanding content in language teaching and to address issues of intercultural education, which has been a part of global and regional efforts to cultivate a critical democratic global citizen.

The conference was unique in that it didn’t just feature researchers who presented their studies but it was also an opportunity for schoolteachers to attend and reflect on some strategies and approaches to implement intercultural and democratic citizenship education in the classroom. Although a recent educational reform has enforced a new pilot subject on democratic citizenship in Portugal, the cross-curricular approach is still present and teachers of all subjects are expected to address issues of intercultural and democratic education in their subjects including language teaching.

Shaima’s presentation focused on a case study of an innovative course designed by English teachers to address issues of democratic citizenship.

Please find more information about the conference here, including the conference program and the list of abstracts.

Partner Organisations Annual Event

Each year ELTE organises an event that gathers all Hungarian EDiTE partner organisations with an aim to reflect and discuss past and future activities, developments and possibilities. This year, the event took place on 8 October at the Faculty of Education and Psychology. The programme was devised to give space to three ELTE early-stage researchers, Csilla Pesti, Helena Kovacs and Deisi Yunga, to present and share their research insights and results, as well as to discuss ideas in open format of conversation. The three presentations were particularly interesting this year as they reflected on analyses and conclusions of researchers’ work and the partners were eager to listen and provide feedback to these findings.

Next to this, Judit Saad, the EDiTE project manager for ELTE has managed to collect and present perceptions of researchers from all four consortium institutions about the value of working with partner organisations across the entire network. The results provided a great feedback on this important aspect of the EDiTE network and also give some base for possible future collaborations.

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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EDiTE Focus Issue – CEPS Journal

We are glad to announce that our EDiTE focus issue in the CEPS Journal has just been published online! You can download the whole focus issue and individual papers in the following link:


The theme of the focus issue is “Transnational Perspectives of Transformative Teacher Learning in an Emerging Europe” and guest editors were Michael Schratz and Vasileios Symeonidis. The issue includes seven papers of the EDiTE researchers related to the theme of transformative teacher learning, as well as two Varia papers and two book reviews. The researchers provide findings of their particular research in one or more European countries. In their work, they approach the theme of the focus issue from different angles by drawing on different aspects of teacher learning, including teacher education, school leadership, diversity, innovation, and others.

The CEPS journey has been truly a community endeavour that lasted approximately two years, from the moment that the EDiTE researchers made a proposal for a focus issue to the CEPS editorial board until revisions took place and the final outcome is now published. Several authors collaborated with their supervisors, as well as partner organisations.

We sincerely hope that you enjoy reading the focus issue and looking forward to receiving your comments!

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News from the South: WERA 2018 and International PhD-Programs in Teacher Education – Mutual development and exchange of ideas

Christian Kraler and Maiko Stuerz (University of Innsbruck) from the European Doctorate in Teacher Education (EDiTE) and Irma Eloff (University of Pretoria) from the African Doctoral Network in Teacher Education (DNTEA) presented a paper on strategies, ideas and findings on international PhD programs in Teacher Education at the WERA 2018 conference. The World Education Research Association conference “Reimaging Worldwide Education Research” took place between the 3rd and 5th of August in Cape Town, South Africa.

The presentation “International Doctorate in Teacher education. Lessons learned and considerations for the future” was an outcome of an ongoing and expanding collaboration between Prof Dr Irma Eloff from the University of Pretoria and the Department of Teacher Education and School Research, University of Innsbruck. Prof Eloff visited Innsbruck in May 2017 and was guest professor at the department during summer term 2018. Irma Eloff is Deputy-chair of the Council of the SA Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns (South African Academy of Arts & Sciences). She serves on the UNESCO International Task Team for Teacher Education and is founding member and lead facilitator of the continental African Deans of Education Forum (ADEF) and. The ADEF is currently planning the African Doctoral Network in Teacher Education (DNTEA). Its aim is to generate knowledge in teacher education to support Global Goal #4 (SDG4) and to leverage the potential of doctoral networks for indigenous knowledge creation in Africa, by African scholars. The DNTEA will have a strong focus in and on Africa, whilst taking a globally connected approach.

At the WERA Conference Prof Eloff, Christian Kraler and Maiko Stuerz presented ideas based upon (1) the ongoing research collaboration between Pretoria and Innsbruck and (2) experiences drawn from EDiTE and the planned DNTEA project. The need of international continental based PhD programs in teacher education derives from the idea to see school as a societal subsystem that mirrors society in its substantial structure in a self-similar way. In a world of globalisation, acceleration, economization, diversification, pluralisation and strong movements of political ideas, people and goods ““The importance of the role of the teacher as an agent of change, promoting understanding and tolerance, has never been more obvious than today. It is likely to become even more critical in the twenty-first century. The need for change […] places enormous responsibilities on teachers.” (Delores 1998, p. 141f). PhD-programs like EDiTE and DNTEA explore and research these issues with a strong emphasis on dissemination and the implementation of ideas.

Main aspects of the presentation and lively discussions where:

  • (Importance of a theoretical framework) International PhD programs in teacher education with focus on fundamental principles facilitate frameworks that foster collaboration between different learning, teaching and research cultures (eg. in EDiTE: Transformative Teacher Learning for Better Student Learning within an Emerging European Context or in DNTEA: UN Sustainable Development Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all).
  • Despite of mostly short term funding policies, the alignment with long-term continental strategies support sustainability (human resources, curricula, implementation of ideas) and the building of institutional networks (that might change after a first project phase).
  • International programs in Teacher Education face multiple (partially contradictory) national and institutional regulations (especially because of usually extensive and complex national bureaucracy-driven regulations in the field of formal education).
  • Even within an international and inter-institutional program, sometimes problems (legal, technical, administrative issues) are more likely to be solved bilaterally than with a project wide approach.
  • The value of institutionalised, well-prepared and planned direct personal interaction of all project members can never be underestimated.
  • Supervision and Co-supervision shared between supervisors from different countries and institutions might lead to challenges but foster mutual understanding and enrich the PhD candidates’ academic experiences in the end.
  • Content or subgroup specific social media and platforms foster continuity in communication and the constant exchange of ideas. They are an important pillar of self-organisation.
  • A feasible period for an international PhD would be 4-6 years (including planning process).
  • One crucial factor for success and sustainable effects is creating strong networks on different levels of an international PhD project (project network, PhD-students network, supervisor-network, local project management network) supported by adequate software solutions. Keeping them alive is worth the effort and needs systematic planning.
  • At least some aspects of the project should be implemented funding independent to ensure continuity in times without project specific financial support.
  • A content wise focused program with an overall goal (compatible with strategies of international organizations or institutions) lifts conceptualizations of teacher education and teacher identities beyond the national level.

One of the most motivating aspects to experience was that the collaboration between members from EDiTE and DNTEA serves as a problem solving machine and idea generator. The different cultural and structural backgrounds of the two programs enrich the discussion and give hints to future directions.


Left to right: Christian Kraler (Austria) and Maiko Stürz (Austria) from EDiTE, Therese Tchombe (Cameroon), Irma Eloff (South Africa) and Alois Chiromo (Zimbabwe) from DNTEA


Contact: Christian.Kraler@uibk.ac.at


EDiTE Course in Lisbon is About to Restart!

After the success of the last semester, IEUL continues to host an EDiTE-organised module titled ’Educational Issues in Europe’. The aim of the course is to discuss relevant topics in current European education with higher education students that both reflect EDiTE research and respond to the needs of university students. The seminars are going to be held by several EDiTE researchers and provide glimpses into their research areas. The planned topics will include prescriptive teacher training, initial teacher education and curriculum, supervision, democratic citizenship and cultural diversity in education. The lecturing EDiTE members are Luís Tinoca, Catarina Sobral, Ezra Howard, Shaima Muhammad, Wanderson Oliveira, Sofia Sá and Nikolett Szelei.

EDiTE at ECER2018

The annual conference of EERA took place between 3-7th September in the charming city of Bolzano, under the theme of ’Inclusion and Exclusion: Resources for Educational Research?’. We made sure that EDiTE was well represented at the conference: a number of EDiTE supervisors and ESRs (Anna Babicka-Wirkus, Lucie Bucharová, Malte Gregorzewski, Gábor Halász, Petr Novotny, Michael Schratz, Nikolett Szelei, Vasileios Symeonidis, Tamás Tóth) presented their EDiTE-related or independent work. Moreover, EERA designated a key session to EDiTE where the programme coordinators and researchers presented the EDiTE framework, reflected on their learning journey and started brainstorming about future possibilities.

The full list of EDiTE related presentations at EERA ECER2018:

EERA ECER Central Event:

Schratz, M., Halász, G., Tinoca, L., Swennen, A., Symeonidis, V., & Howard, E. : European Doctorate in Teacher Education: Bridging the gap between research and professionalism in Europe.

(Presented by: Malte Gregorzewski, Gábor Halász, Michael Schratz, Anja Swennen, Vasileios Symeonidis, Nikolett Szelei, Tamás Tóth)

 EDiTE-related paper sessions:

Bucharová, L. : Changes or tradition in daily practice in elementary teaching in Czech Republic, Poland and Portugal.

Gregorzewski, M., Paasch, D., Wiesner, C., & Schratz, M. : What values drive school leaders? — An instrumental approach for evidence-informed school leadership.

Angerer, S., Pham, G., Schreiner, C., Pisanu, F., Paasch, D., & Gregorzewski, M. : Innovative Contributions to School and Classroom Development.

Szelei, N. : Schools at crossroads: how to respond to cultural diversity? A case study from urban Lisbon

Szelei, N., & Alves, I. : Conceptualisations of student diversity in an area-based intervention in Portugal (TEIP).

Symeonidis, V. : Europeanisation and education governance: The case of teacher education reforms in Austria, Greece and Hungary.

Symeonidis, V., & Kovacs, H. : The European Doctorate in Teacher Education (EDiTE): Insights and potentials of a European joint doctorate.

Tóth, T. : The pedagogy of hopelessness.


Michael Schratz, Vasileios Symeonidis, Tamás Tóth, Anja Swennen, Malte Gregorzewski and Gábor Halász after the EDiTE Central Event


Michael Schratz introducing EDiTE


Nikolett Szelei and Michael Schratz in discussion with the audience


Vasileos Symeonidis presenting his paper