A Fresh Update to the Knowledge Horizons at Masaryk University

It is always good to update and expand methodological knowledge in doing research. The EDiTE Early Stage Researchers and their PhD colleagues from the Department of Educational Sciences had a fortunate opportunity to attend a methodological workshop organised by the Masaryk University on October 9 and 10, 2017.

The workshop was facilitated by Professor Angelika Paseka from the University of Hamburg and through their two-day journey the group has covered topics of school development and use of innovations in schools. In particular, the focus was an effective application of focus group discussions as a methodological approach and documentary method in data analysis. Part of the workshop also elaborated on possibilities of extracting metaphors from the participants of the focus groups and techniques of macroscopic and microscopic two-step data analyses. The most interesting detail of the workshop was the idea of five building block of learning, namely Irritations, Resistance, Community of Experience, Experimentation and Search for Language. This input created an intensive exchange of opinions among all participants.

Throughout the two days of workshop the sessions were implemented in an interactive way, in form of group activities and discussions which supported a holistic way of sharing and gaining knowledge. It comes without saying that this methodological workshop made a useful input for the EDiTE researchers as it broadened the horizons of their methodological knowledge and capabilities.

Conference: Inclusion. Educational Challenges and Opportunities at the University of Lower Silesia

On October 4, 2017, the University of Lower Silesia together with the EDiTE partner institution Stanisław Tołpa Primary School no. 90 in Wroclaw and the European Commission Regional Office hosted a conference for teachers and educators on the challenges and opportunities of inclusion in mainstream education. After the welcome addresses by the Dean of the Faculty of Education Prof. DSW dr hab. Pawel Rudnicki and the Dean for Student Affairs Dr. Urszula Dzikiewicz, the  conference was kicked off with an inspirational key note speech by EDiTE supervisor Professor Maria Czerepaniak-Walczak, University of Szczecin, on “School Culture as an Agent and Medium of Respect of the Right to Education”. International guests from Italy, Spain and Romania, participating together with Stanisław Tołpa Primary School no. 90 in the Erasmus+ program Art and Emotions, introduced themselves and presented experiences from their schools with inclusive learning. Throughout the rest of the day, roughly 70 practitioners from schools from all over Wroclaw were able to choose from five different workshops that ran twice for two hours each. The workshops included topics, such as “Counteracting exclusion: Class and school diversity as a challenge” by Ewa Stoecker and The Human Library project introduced by Kamila Prociow. Furthermore, there were workshops dealing with the practice of inclusive education in public schools by Ewa Granat and social inclusion of kids with disabilities as well communication about the topic of disability by Agnieszka Kossowska, author of “Big Issues in Small Heads”. A fifth workshop in English was offered by the Spanish teacher participant, Gracia Sonia Jimenez Vega on the TEI program (peer tutoring) in Spanish education. Translators ensured smooth communication between different language speakers throughout the whole conference day. The event also attracted the interest of the Polish media. In advance, EDiTE supervisor Prof. DSW dr hab. and rector of the University of Lower Silesia, Hana Cervinkova together with the vice-director of primary school No. 90, Malogorzata Gluch, promoted  the conference in an interview and informed about the topic of social and educational inclusion. To find out more about the conference schedule please click here, to read a detailed description of the workshops, please click here, if you are interested in Prof. Czerepaniack-Walczak’s speech, you can check it out here.

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(E)merging Into a New Future: Michael Schratz Retires

Michael Schratz, dean of the School of Education at the University of Innsbruck and head coordinator of the EDiTE project, retired on 29.09.2017. The whole day was dedicated to get a glimpse into Michael`s academic work, as well as his fruitful collaborations with schools in Innsbruck and around the world. In the morning, three schools opened their doors for visitors: Bundesrealgymnasium in der Au (EDiTE partner school), Volksschule Innere Stadt (EDiTE partner school), and UNESCO Neue Mittelschule Gabelsbergerstrasse. In the evening, family, friends and colleagues, international and Austrian academics, school practitioners; moreover, government representatives gathered to honour Michael Schratz`s lifetime work as part of his retirement ceremony. Speeches by Michael`s colleagues addressed his projects from the different stages of his career. EDiTE, Michael`s most recent grandiose project on teacher education, a unique initiative to join doctorate programmes of five universities and to improve teacher education in Europe, was introduced by Vasileios Symeonidis, EDiTE researcher, and Romita Iucu, collaborator within the EDiTE network during the previous phases. Malte Gregorzewski, EDiTE researcher, also presented his work with Michael in the Leadership Academy. Michael received the “Austrian Cross of Honour”, the highest possible award scientists can receive in Austria, for his outstanding research activity. The ceremony ended with a grand hall full of people on their feet applauding for Michael, including many EDiTE members. EDiTE is grateful for Michael to initiate the project, and to support the EDiTE researchers with never-ending enthusiasm. Although Michael is retiring from most of his duties, he will still stay with EDiTE until the end of the project.

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Michael receives the “Austrian Cross of Honour”. (from the left: Tillman Mark (rector of University of Innsbruck), Michael Schratz (dean of the School of Education), Bernhard Tilg (councillor)). Photo courtesy to University of Innsbruck

 

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The EDiTE project introduced at Michael`s retirement ceremony

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The EDiTE project presented by Vasilis Symeonidis (on the left) and Romita Iucu (on the right)

 

 

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National Conference on Assessment for Learning and Teaching for School Change

On 2nd September 2017, a national conference on assessment for learning and teaching for school change for teacher members of Facebook Assessment for Learning group was held in the University of Lower Silesia, Poland. The conference was a grassroot event organized with the teachers and academics as a part of EDiTE researcher Beata Zwierzynska’s action research with the group.

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It started with the teachers’ requests to learn and to meet in real space. Since May 2017 teachers decided in polls and discussions on the group’s event site about the length and the place of the conference. One day event in Wroclaw with 12 workshops, 2 lectures, a panel discussion and a teachers’ exchange of practices, ideas and resources were decided.

The aim of the conference was to create a space for teachers to learn from one another but from the feedback it also turned out to be practitioner-academic meeting place.

The event was attended by about 70 participants from Poland – regular and  special needs education, primary, junior high school and high school teachers of different subjects, headmasters, school superintendent officer, professors, PhD students and democratic schools activists.

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Pic. 1 – before the first plenary session

Practitioners were a part of the organizing committee. They volunteered to register participants, run all 12 workshops (including one by EDiTE researcher and practitioner Beata Telatynska). The teachers inspired the questions for the ‘Better School’ panel discussion and also took responsibilities to organize the workshops, dinner, coffee breaks, lead the exchange of practices, ideas and resources time, were participants of the panel, others were photographers and reporters on Facebook of the various things from the agenda during the conference and after it. Teachers opened and closed the conference.

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Pic. 2 – registration for the conference

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Pic. 3 – thanking teachers for workshops, closing the conference

Teachers’ involvement in the creation of the learning space can be best visualised by some artefacts visible on the photos: dozens of butterflies handmade by the teacher and headmaster who wanted to welcome the participants in her own way. Also, by the amount of materials brought by the teachers running the workshops (e.g. crafts, pendrives, handouts, teaching aids and resources to show or give out to the colleagues).

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Pic. 4 – a workshop about assessment for learning in special needs education

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Pic. 5 – a panel discussion and in the foreground, gifts prepared for the participants of one of the coming workshops

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Pic. 6 – a workshop about students’ involvement through art in EFL classes

The conference programme:

8:00 – Registration
8:50 – A welcome–
room 112
9:05 – Lecture by prof. DSW dr hab. Paweł Rudnicki: “Teachers as true agents of school change. Resistance in educational practices” – room 112
10:05 – Discussion lead by prof. DSW dr hab. Paweł Rudnicki –
room 112
10:35 – 10:50 coffee break
10:50 – Workshops in parallel sessions

1) mgr Ewa Szpot, “Assessment (not only) with ICT” – room 112
2) mgr Beata Minta, “Using ICT in assessment for learning” –
room 113
3) mgr Beata Telatyńska, “‘Guilty’ of dyslexia” –
room 114
11:50 – Workshops in parallel sessions
4) mgr Alicja Nimirska, “Motivation techniques and methods for students to learn” –
room 112
5) mgr Paulina Hawrylewicz-Kowalska, “Individual teaching – a win or loss?” –
room 113
6) mgr Iwona Wojsznis-Gruszka, “Photos, pictures, mutisensory techniques” –
room 114
12:50 – Lecture by prof. DSW dr hab. Jolanta Zwiernik, “Is the change of the education model possible/necessary? Based on a project ‘Alternative education in pre-schools'” –
room 112
13:20 – 14:20 Dinner break and
teachers’ exchange of practices, ideas and resources
14:20 – Panel discussion – “Better school”: mgr Beata Minta (teacher), mgr Dorota Pląskowska-Grodzki (headmaster), mgr Beata Pazdej (
school superintendent officer) , mgr Marianna Kłosińska (democratic schools activist).
Moderator: prof. DSW dr hab. Ewa Kurantowicz –
room 112
15:20 –
Workshops in parallel sessions
7) mgr Ewa Szymkowiak, “Students discovering, creating, loving to bring their crafts to school” –
room 112
8) mgr Wiesława Mitulska, “A student learns better when they know what and why they learn” –
room 113
9) mgr Magdalena Fijak, “Decroly’s method for young learners in
special needs education” – room 114

16:20 – 16:30 Coffee break

16:30 – Workshops in parallel sessions
10) mgr Jola Gradowska, “Assessment for learning in British schools – observations by a Polish teacher” –
room 112
11) mgr Katarzyna Ratkowska, “Break the school routine or eTwinning in a nutshell” –
room 113
17:30 – 18:00 A lecture by mgr Beata Zwierzyńska “When assessment for learning becomes oppressive for students and teachers.” Closing remarks on the conference –
room 112

An interview in a local TV about the initiative http://www.echo24.tv/odcinek/rozmowa-echo24-beata-zwierzynska-1843

Edutainment: Lecture on Museums as Places for Lifelong Learning

As primarily places of art and culture, museums are often disregarded in regards to their potential of being powerful learning environments. The general role of the museums today is to mainly cater service to society unlike in the past when they were protagonists of power and wealth accumulation. Yet, from the educationalist point of view, this all can change.

On 26th and 27th September 2017, Masaryk University has invited a guest lecturer Dr. Zsuzsa Koltai, from the University of Pecs in Hungary to give a presentation on topics of “Museums as a place for lifelong learning” and “New tendencies in museum learning and museum education”. Accompanied by students from the Faculty of Arts, EDiTE’s Early Stage Researchers Kinley Seden, Deisi Yunga and Dev Raj Paneru attended the lectures and the discussions. As the lecturer explained there are growing new trends in museum education that focus on learning activities for senior citizens, thus promoting active involvement of the elderly. Another strand of educational trends in museums is delivered through activities that promote the social integration of immigrants.

In addition to this, the discussion brought forth possibilities of more innovative methods in museum education including approaches such as “hands on – minds on – bodies on” and “museum on wheels”, yet the mere fact that this type of educational activity can increasingly improve the lives of people and particularly the elderly was an interesting perspective to discuss. At the end of the day why shouldn’t we think of marrying education and entertainment in order to get “edutainment”: education through entertainment or entertainment through education.

Breaking the Walls Between Scientific Disciplines

Located in the Leopold Park in Brussels, Belgium, House of European History is a significant landmark for history of science. It is the place where Marie Skłodowska Curie met with other scientists in the early years of 1900s to present and discuss their research results and implications. These gatherings known as the Solvay Conferences, as they were initiated by a chemistry entrepreneur Ernest Solvay, supported a better cross-disciplinary understanding between researchers and had the potential of pushing the individual fields further.

On Monday, 25th September 2017, the MSCA research fellows had the chance to have their research presented and shared in the same House of European History in Brussels. Under the framework of “Science is Wonder-full”, European Commission organised the very first Falling Walls Lab Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions, an event that gathered 30 MSCA researchers from different disciplines to present their work and ideas in only 3 minutes. One of the presenters was EDiTE’s Early Stage Researcher Helena Kovacs who in her presentation called “Breaking the walls of teaching routine” disclosed her work on teacher learning in innovative learning environments by using metaphors of pineapples and seeds. While this might sound unusual in terms of conventional research presentations, Helena and the other Falling Walls contestants received a training a day before in how to prepare an impactful presentation in only 180 seconds that will leave a mark on diverse audiences. A strong emphasis of the training was the idea that the content needs to both be understandable and interesting to spectators coming from different sciences, as well as those coming from outside of academia. Another strong point of the training was to focus on the actual skills of presenting, such as body posture, breathing, tone and voice, movement and hand gesture.

The Falling Walls Lab MSCA was indeed a great opportunity to learn, network and meet researchers from other scientific fields, but it was also a chance to win a ticket to participate in the amazing Falling Walls Conference in Berlin. Among all 30 contestants, the great honour to represent MSCA and their own work went to Fabien Wagner who was breaking the wall of paralysis with neurotechnologies and to John Palmer who researches mosquito-born diseases. Even though Helena was not among the winners this year, she did manage to gather a lot of great feedback from the trainers and from the jury which she will try to spread as wide as possible through the EDiTE network.

 

Equity and Europeanisation: EDiTE at ÖFEB-Kongress

Inclusion in education is a very important discussion in Austria today and this was also the main topic of this years’ ÖFEB-Kongress in Feldkirch, Austria. The ÖFEB-Kogress is the biggest educational research conference in Austria and it takes place every two years. This year, the conference happened between September 19-22 under the joint organisation of Austrian Association of Research and Development (Die Österreichische Gesellschaft für Forschung und Entwicklung im Bildungswesen) and Pädagogische Hochschule Vorarlberg.

The overarching theme of ÖFEB-Kongress 2017 was Education: Excellence. Equity. Inclusion? (Bildung: Leistungsstark. Chancengerecht. Inklusiv?) and EDiTE community did not miss the chance to join the important discussions. EDiTE was represented by Vasileios Symeonidis who pointed out the perspectives on the topic from his own research on Europeanisation in teacher education, focusing on the case of Hungary.

The central discussion followed the thread of how education systems define success in terms of student performance, thus a comprehensive approach to equity in education that provides best possible development of all learners is a must for both policy-makers and practitioners. In the relevant conversations, Vasilis did point out the importance of European policies and what kinds of quality criteria are translated into national teacher education system.

A Visit to the Ghent Summer School as Part of Preparing for the Next Summer in Budapest

When it comes to organising a great summer school, it is never too early to start with preparations. EDiTE Summer School 2017 in Wrocław was an excellent example and ELTE University who is organising the next one in Budapest has already started gathering ideas.

The Summer School 2018 will have a special feature and as such will be organised in exciting collaboration with the Norwegian National Research School in Teacher Education (NAFOL). With this in mind, EDiTE’s Early Stage Researcher Csilla Pesti and project manager Judit Saád participated in the Joint Summer School that NAFOL and Ghent University delivered in Belgium this summer. The two ELTE representatives went to the event as part of the organisational committee of the EDiTE Summer School 2018 thus they had a chance to observe and experience a collaborative summer school design partly implemented by NAFOL. It is also important to note that NAFOL is lead by Kari Smith, member of the EDITE’s Scientific Advisory Board.

The Joint Summer School took place in Ghent, Belgium, 23-25 August 2017, and the overarching theme was Conducting research in the field of teacher education: Challenges, pitfalls and important themes. The main aim was to educate the participating PhD students how to go through the world of academia by giving them the opportunities to introduce keynote speakers and draw conclusions in an open space discussions. Other elements included practicing and learning through presenting own research and developing critical analyses of the research work they and their peers are conducting, as well as hints and tricks in preparing a good article for publishing and keeping the motivation high.

The Joint Summer School in Ghent brought many interesting ideas that will be useful for planning a well-structured and carefully designed summer school next year. Furthermore, ideas extended to possibilities of continuation of EDiTE, as well as collaboration between other PhD programmes. It was beneficial to experience a joint event that contributed to researchers’ professional work, as well as supports collaboration and elevates the research spirits of the participants. ELTE organisational committee has taken some valuable notes from this event and will be looking forward to implement them in next EDiTE Summer School in Budapest, 2018.

EARLI and JURE 2017 Conference in Tampere

EDiTE was present at the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI) conference which took place from 26 August to 2 September at the University of Tampere in Finland. EARLI is an international scientific community aiming to promote an active research culture in the field of learning and instruction. The biannual conference attracts researchers from around the world through a highly selective process. This year, 2.100 participants attended the conference which had the theme ‘Education in the crossroads of economy and politics’. For more information you can visithttps://www.earli.org/programme

During the Junior Researchers (JURE) conference, Csilla Pesti presented her research on ‘The role of training programs in the preparation for autonomy in reflection of CPD’. During the EARLI conference, Vasileios Symeonidis gave a presentation on ‘Europeanisation in Teacher Education: Framing the mobility of European policies and practices’. Moreover, Professor Kari Smith, EDiTE Scientific Advisory Board, referred during her keynote speech on EDiTE as a project which ‘moves beyond rhetoric’ by actively promoting research based teacher education.

Overall, EARLI offered EDiTE researchers the opportunity to network and establish connections with many colleagues from Europe, reaching out to the scientific community and disseminating the idea of EDiTE to both researchers and practitioners.

EDiTE at ECER 2017

European Conference on Educational Research (ECER) is one of the main events in Europe that gathers educational researchers across disciplines and contexts and satisfies a wide range of different tastes. As such, ECER 2017 in Copenhagen was a great opportunity for EDiTE Early Stage Researchers to offer a flavour of their culinary skills as well as to develop their taste buds and expand their palates across different EERA networks, topics and discussions.

This year, ECER took place in Copenhagen, Denmark, from 22nd to 25th August, with the theme Reforming Education and the Imperative of Constant Change: Ambivalent roles of policy and educational research. As every year, an array of different research was presented across the 28 EERA networks and beyond.

EDiTE was this year represented at ECER by seven Early Stage Researchers and several of professors, supervisors and partners from all five of the consortium members. Already at the first day, as part of EERA Network Social Justice and Intercultural Education, Tamás Toth presented his work on transformative teacher learning through cultural action and has shared insights from Poland and Romania. Second day continued with greatly-attended Leadership for Learning symposium chaired by EDiTE’s head of consortium Michael Schratz, which among other featured the collaborative work of Malte Gregorzewski and EDiTE’s partner organisation BIFIE, which was represented by Christian Wiesner and David Kemethofer. Later the same day, as part of the session on Multilingualism and Plurilingualism Research, Ezra Howard talked about his research on professional alternatively certified teachers of English and present first batch of results from his study in Czech Republic.

The third day has seen the first ever EDiTE symposium which was chaired by Markus Ammann. The symposium presented the works of Vasileios Symeonidis, Helena Kovacs, Josefine Wagner and Andras Fehervari, after which one of the heads of EDiTE consortium, Gabor Halasz acted as a discussant. At the beginning Vasileios took the opportunity to present the EDiTE to the audience, after which he talked about his extensive work on Europeanisation of teacher education and the case of Hungary. Helena followed showcasing part of her work on teacher learning in innovative learning environments and providing insights into a Finnish platform called HundrED. The third title featured essential work on inclusive education in Poland, in which Josefine brought to life vivid excerpts from her ethnographic field work in Polish schools. Finally, Andras Fehervari explored the field of pre-service teachers’ perceptions and his work in Portugal, as an important step for the university change in terms of initial teacher education. As a discussant, Gabor Halasz, emphasised on the diversity and richness that the EDiTE holds and that was clearly presented throughout the symposium, and he pointed out valuable ideas that the four researchers could amplify in their further work.

Next to having an opportunity to present the fruits of their labour, the EDiTE researchers had an invaluable chance to network and discuss with a large number of educational scholars and experts from all over Europe and the world. Finally, it is needless to mention that this was also a good occasion for discussing further pathways, directions and possible endeavours as EDiTE community. One of such conversations included ideas for the next year ECER conference that will be organised in Bolzano, Italy, and to which EDiTE shall certainly stand prepared.