EDiTE Open Lecture: Prof. Irma Eloff on the Contrasts and Contradictions of the South African Educational System

On 29.05.2018, EDiTE UIBK organised an Open Lecture with Prof. Irma Eloff from the University of Pretoria, South Africa, who is currently a visiting researcher at the University of Innsbruck. Prof. Irma Eloff’s speech titled „Learning from contrasts and contradictions: South African educational challenges within the global context” engaged the audience in reflecting on the tensions and opportunities of education in an emerging democracy. She showed the key features of the current South African system by investigating contrasts such as apartheid and hope, inspirational leaders and corruption and dysfunctional and high quality schools. She also presented a few South African educational research projects centring around social innovation in such a contradictory context and the current debates that take place in South African education, for example, the importance of decolonising the curriculum, wellbeing throughout the lifespan, multilingualism, free higher education and fighting poverty and inequality. The professor also connected these local trends to the global by drawing parallels between her local South African and global UNESCO activities. Prof. Irma Eloff was inspired by the idea of EDiTE – the establishment of a joint doctoral programme focusing on teacher education in Europe – and embarked on a mission to set up something similar in Africa. She is now involved in conceptualising a doctoral network between five universities across Africa. EDiTE is grateful for Prof. Irma Eloff for such an inspiring lecture and is curious to follow the progress of the future doctoral network!


Prof. Irma Eloff presenting the South African educational system


Prof. Irma Eloff’s  open lecture hosted by EDiTE UIBK


Maiko Stürz (left), EDiTE Project Coordinator; Prof. Irma Eloff (middle); and Eveline Christof (right); Head of the Department of Teacher Education and School Research at UIBK, happy about the EDiTE Lecture

EDiTE at CESE 2018

The Comparative Education Society in Europe (CESE) organised its biannual conference at the University of Cyprus in Nicosia. The theme of this year’s conference was entitled ‘Identities and Education: Comparative Perspectives in an Age of Crisis’ and brought together around 300 scholars dealing with comparative education from around the world. The conference programme with all abstracts can be downloaded here: https://www.cese-europe.org/2018

EDiTE was represented by ESR Vasilis Symeonidis, who presented findings of his doctoral research in the working group of ‘Governance, Nation State and the New Transnational Order’. His paper ‘What makes a ‘European’ teacher? A comparative study of teacher education reforms in Austria, Greece and Hungary from a Europeanisation perspective’ sparked discussions around issues of European governance and teacher education. Participants of the session were interested to hear about policy developments in the respective countries, as well as about the teacher policy ideas that the EU is promoting through various diffusion mechanisms.

The conference provided great opportunities for networking and future collaborations, while Cyprus and its capital city of Nicosia proved suitable locations for exploring identity and education!

EDiTE Lecture with Prof. Graciela Slesaransky-Poe: The Changing Paradigm of Inclusive Education

On May 16 – 18. EDiTE Students at the University of Lower Silesia had the exceptional opportunity to participate in two seminars and a conference with Prof. Graciela Slesaransky-Poe from Arcadia University, who is an expert in Educational Inclusion. On the 17th of May 2018, Prof. Graciela Slesaransky-Poe gave a public lecture with the title “The Changing Paradigm of Inclusive Education”. Prof. Graciela Slesaransky-Poe’s presentation was followed by a panel discussion among invited guests from Poland, who contributed with personal experiences on inclusion and inclusive education to the discussion. The conference was organized by IISCE (International Institute for the Study of Culture and Education). The day before and the day after the conference EDiTE researchers had the honourable opportunity to have two seminars with Prof. Graciela Slesaransky-Poe, and to discuss challenges related to inclusive education – the social construction of identities, the participation of people with disabilities in education, gender stereotyping, racial profiling, etc.

During the Doctoral Seminar on inclusive practices students gained insight to a variety of learning strategies and experiences, and became familiar with current inclusive education theory, practice, advocacy and legislation in the United States. The course emphasized the perspectives of individuals with disabilities and of diverse identities, to ensure access equity and quality education for every student.  During the seminar students engaged with a critical pedagogical lens to study, understand, and address matters of disability, race, gender, identity and expression, sexual orientation, class, and any other minoritized identity, their intersectionality, in the pursuit of equity and social justice.


EDiTE at the German School Awards

EDiTE coordinator, supervisor and professor Michael Schratz and EDiTE-ESR Malte Gregorzewski participated in the ceremony of the German School Award on 14 May. The award was launched in 2006 by the Robert Bosch Foundation and the Heidehof Foundation to honour educational achievements and help make them usable to improve the quality of schools across Germany and in German international schools. The competition is based on six quality criteria: academic achievement, approach to diversity, quality of instruction, responsibility, school culture, and school development. Amongst his many duties Michael Schratz serves as the spokesman of the jury, while Malte Gregorzewski, besides working on his PhD-thesis about Leadership for Learning, is part of the Innsbruck-based research group which conducts case studies about selected schools awarded with the German School Award, led by Michael Schratz.

Altogether 15 schools were nominated for the 2018 German School Award and invited to attend the award ceremony in Berlin on 14 May with a delegation of students and teachers. Anja Karliczek, the Federal Minister of Education and Research, presented the award at the event in Berlin. The jury nominated Evangelische Schulzentrum Martinschule in Greifswald as a winner of the 2018 German School Award, which includes a prize of 100,000 euros. Apart of the winner, the top five schools received a prize of 25,000 euros (Gesamtschule Bremen Ost, Franz-Leuninger-Schule in Mengerskirchen, Integrierte Gesamtschule Hannover-List, Annette-von-Droste-Hülshoff-Gymnasium in Münster, and the Matthias-Claudius-Schule in Bochum). All nominated schools that have not been awarded receive a recognition prize of 5,000 euros. Nevertheless, being among 15 selected for the award means that the schools will benefit from the German School Award development programme, and will receive individual process support and participation in seminars over the next two year. Read more here.

kinley ISfTE

EDiTE at ISfTE in Japan


The 38th Annual international seminar of International Society for Teacher Education (ISfTE) happened last week in Japan from 13 to 18 May, hosted by Joetsu University of Education. The main participants of the conference were teacher educators, researchers and associated professionals, among which also Kinley Seden representing EDiTE and providing insights into her research findings.

The theme for the conference was Teacher Education in the Post Nation State Era: Education for welfare instead of warfare. The conference allowed groups to explore on critical global educational issues from a broad perspective by keeping the local challenges at the forefront during the discussions. It also enabled group to discuss on research findings and paper that are still in progress.

One of the unique trend of ISfTE’s was its small working group engaging in intensive dialogue following the papers offering feedback and suggestions to each paper within the working group. The essence of such platform was to improve the overall aspects of papers. During the conference, the first 2 days was spent on reading the group members papers and the third day was spent on presenting what each of the member expects from their members on the paper followed by critical and intensive dialogue on it. And during the final day, each group had to work on a way to present the final discussions capturing the essence of the whole group’s paper.

Kinley, who engaged in all activities throughout, had a very active role in one of the groups in staging a roleplay and facilitating knowledge from the group through their active engagement. She emphasized her group’s common theme as “active learning” wherein she briefly explained that the educators from all walks of life are expected to translate learning into action with assessment assessing learning rather than testing knowledge and by involving student in the assessment process. She also highlighted that the decolonization of curriculum should be done following a bottom up approach rather than top down and it should be deconstructed by the students. As the theme of the group was active learning, the presentation was ended with the note: “Teachers should do less of talking and more of doing in the classrooms.”

Kinley had the chance also to share information about EDiTE and discussed about the EDiTE project with the conference participants. Her biggest accomplishment from the conference was networking and finding expert in her research area who promised to render their support and feedback to better her research work. She looks forward to collaborating with these experts.

kinley japan kinley ISfTE


EDiTE at JustEd18 conference on „Promoting Justice Through Education”

EDiTE researcher, Nikolett Szelei, presented her study at the JustEd18 conference in Helsinki, 22-23 May 2018. The „Justice Through Education in the Nordic Countries” is a research network within the Nordic Centre of Excellence that promotes research with the overarching theme of understanding how systems, cultures and actors in education enable and constrain justice. The JustEd18 conference specifically focused on areas of changing conceptualizations of justice in education, educational practices for social justice, marketisation effects on education, multiple diversities in education, politics and policies for justice in education and related research methods. Nikolett presented parts of her EDiTE PhD research, showing classroom examples on how pre- and primary school teachers in urban Portugal introduced ’cultural activities’ in the classroom, and how students were positioned in certain discourses around cultural divesity. Applying the lenses of critical multiculturalism, Nikolett argued for engaging with student voices in order to counteract those (mis)repsentations, as well as for a change in how teachers operationalised the concept of ’culture’. Nikolett also raised the importance of working with teachers in the classroom in order to reach such visions.


Nikolett presented at JustEd2018


EDiTE at TEPE2018

The Teacher Education Policy in Europe (TEPE) organisation held its annual conference on 17-19th May 2018 in Braga, Portugal at the University of Minho under the theme „Recruiting the Best Teachers: Policy, Pedagogy and Professionalism”. The network specifically aims at advancing research in teacher education, increasing mobility and extending the European dimension in teacher education and improve the quality of teacher education through the renewal of evaluation cultures. TEPE2018 was a platform for various members of the EDiTE network to actively engage with a larger academic audience: EDiTE researchers, supervisors and scientific advisory board members presented the many projects they are currently involved in independently, or with researchers from other networks. As the conference took place in Braga, Portugal, it was a particularly relevant event for the EDiTE Lisbon team to share findings from Portugal and discuss the implications with researchers from other countries, reflecting together on transnationally emerging patterns in current educational systems. Shaima Muhammad discussed parts her PhD thesis on „Teaching the ’good’ citizen in a diverse classroom: teachers’ conceptualization and approaches to citizenship education in Austria and Portugal”. Furthermore, Nikolett Szelei and Inês Alves presented their joint work on “The missing link: teacher learning for diversity in an area based intervention in Portugal (TEIP)”. EDiTE members enjoyed the fruitful discussions and insightful presentations of TEPE2018!


Shaima Muhammad presenting at TEPE2018


Inês Alves (middle) and Nikolett Szelei (right) presenting at TEPE2018


Lecture About Education in Turkey by Professor Vesife Hatisaru

EDiTE team at the University of Lisbon has been delivering a course this semester called Educational issues in Europe. Last week the course team had the opportunity of inviting a colleague from Turkey, professor Vesife Hatirasu, who is a member of Erasmus+ programme and a professor at the Faculty of Education of University in Ted.

The lecture was an interesting event for everyone involved; for EDiTE researchers who deal with questions and comparisons of education systems across the Europe in their daily work, as well as for the course students – who were able to get acquainted with the perspectives of education in a large European country, often in trouble and conflict.

Vesife Hatirasu presented a predominantly critically perspective of the possibilities of education in her country, by using a reflective method and pointing out to similarities of the classroom setting where participants are not only Portuguese but Erasmus students from four other countries. Meanwhile, she also mentioned pathways of private education in Turkey, which seemed to be very popular in the country and the students were keen to understand the scope of this. This was brought into the lesson together with other pros and cons of the educational provisions in Turkey.

Furthermore, Vasife showed the results of different international researches, in particular on mathematical literacy and key knowledge and skills that are essential for full participation in modern societies. There was a discussion about the country’s outline in adult competencies (PISA 2015) that raised a question on what the consequences of such an outline are on current work of schools.

Perhaps one other specific topic that was of great interests for everyone was the topic of initial teacher education in Turkey. Through a quick classroom comparison, the situation seemed to be similar to the majority of European countries: teacher education takes four years and it is implemented as an undergraduate education. Prospective school teachers are required to earn a bachelor degree from a department of education as well as to achieve a the required minimum score on the public servant selection examination. Upon successful completion of this first phase, the graduates are appointed by the Ministry as trainee teachers. After one year, trainee teachers must pass another examination in order to become regular teachers.



Power Hour on Effective Presentation Skills

Doing great research is often not enough in academia; being able to present valuable research results in both written and oral way has become an essential trait of the academic job. However, with more and more research done daily, leaving an impact on the audience is not as easy as it might seem. To address one of these aspects and provide space for practice and for exchange of knowledge, ELTE Technical Secretariat has organised a Power Hour specifically focused effective presentation skills.

Power Hour is a title of a series of workshops through which the domestic and international doctoral researchers at ELTE can engage and discuss on topics of interests, provide feedback and encouragement, and share valuable insights. Kinga Kaplar-Kodacsy is part of the ELTE EDiTE technical secretariat and is also in charge of organising workshops of Power Hour.

For the April workshop, ELTE’s early stage researcher Helena Kovacs was invited to provide a learning opportunity related to presentation skills. Organised in two consecutive Wednesdays (11 and 18 April), the workshop was developed with a plan to mirror the Falling Walls Lab Marie Skłodowska Curie event and offer the chance for the participants to work in real-time on pre-prepared presentations. The presentations had to provide the essential elements of research in just few minutes by drawing attention to the urgency and importance of the topic or by inspiring imagination with the audience. Helena who participated at the Falling Walls Lab event modified a few rules to fit the needs of the Power Hour workshop, thus the presenters had 5 minutes and the workshop did not have a competitive element but intensive learning element. Both presenters and the audience received a handy presentation preparation guide, which especially presenters used to generate few innovative ideas, such as for example using a metaphor of a bus to describe quality systems for educators. The feedback and knowledge generated in the sessions was empowering, and in the final stage the presenters received very detailed comments on their voice, diction, posture, movements and overall presentation content.


EDiTE at EURODOC Conference

EDiTE researcher, Beata Zwierzynska has participated at the annual EURODOC conference (http://www.eurodoc.net/conference-agm-2018) as a national representative of Polish Doctoral Association KRD. KRD is a non-profit organization established in 2005 representing obev 43000 Doctoral Candidates in Poland. Eurodoc is the European Council of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers – a federation of 32 European national associations. It develops policies for early-career development, doctiral training, employment equality, interdisciplinarity, mental health, mobility, Open Science, and reseach integrity.
The Eurodoc Conference 2018: Research career – a living dream? is held in Finland at the University of Tampere. The sessions cover topics from Policy making and current situation of ECRs, developing doctoral training in Europe, career development and improving ECRs’ working conditions, mobility, and many more. Among the guest speakers there are representatives of European Commission, science Europe, Rectors, Eurodoc researchers, Doctoral schools directors, grant and funding institutions, and international networks. During the open discussions several important isues were raised so far: a need to return to a more diverse model of academic assessment instead of concentrating only on publicatins and impact factor, suporting researchers in their further carees and transerable skills, a need for supervisors’ training to work with early-career researchers, unclear meaning of Open Science notion, and a growing problem of researchers’ mental health and poor working conditions.
The conference will be followed by Eurodoc Annual General Meeting (AGM) with lectures, workshops, discussions, and elections for new board members and coordinators of Eurodoc Working Groups.