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EDiTE at AERA

From April 5-9, 2019 the annual meeting of the largest North American research conference on education, AERA, took place in Toronto under this year’s theme Leveraging Education Research in a ‘Post-Truth’ Era: Multimodal Narratives to Democratize Evidence. EDiTE researcher Josefine Wagner was present and participated in Division K’s conference seminar on Theorizing Teacher Education and Teacher Learningwhich was aimed at teacher educators exploring how theory and practice could be better intertwined when teaching teacher students. Before each session commenced many scholars acknowledged that this conference took place in the lands of indigenous people past and present and that they fought with them for a decolonized future. In a similar vein, EDiTE supervisory board member and vice-president of Division K (Teaching and Teacher Education), Kathy Schultz greeted her listeners when she gave the Vice-Presidential Address, entitled What Kind of Teacher Education Do We Need in These Turbulent Times?She drew on her recently published book on Distrust and Educational Change: Overcoming Barriers to Just and Lasting Reformto suggest five principles that might guide the work of teacher educators: 1) Begin with love and compassion, 2) Recognize teachers and students’ enormous capacities for learning, their dignities and histories, 3) Think queerly, 4) Expand who we count as teacher educators, and 5) Nurture teacher activism.

Another unique experience among many was a moving debate chaired by Alfredo Artilles on Contested Citizenship: Knowledge, Race and Politics within the Educational Context, during which critical education scholars Eve Tuck, Nolan L. Cabrera, Michael Apple, Gloria Ladson-Billings, and Zeus Leonardo engaged in questions, such as: What does citizenship mean in the context of public policy seeking to provide narrow and racialized definitions of American citizens? and: What can schools do to challenge the hegemonic practices of citizens making reflected within the current political discourse?

“The purpose of the session was,” as organizer Anthony Brown summarized, “to deconstruct various notions of citizenship as they are taken up through the discourses of national identity, nationality, civil and human rights.”

Furthermore, Division G’s (Social Context of Education) award session was an extraordinary occasion to witness. Nominated by Thea Abu El-Haj, Ariana Mangual Figueroa, and Rosalie Rolon Dow, Pauline Lipman of the University of Illinois at Chicago (The New Political Economy of Urban Education) received the Henry T. Trueba Award for Research Leading to the Transformation of the Social Contexts of Education. With kind permission from Prof. Lipman, please enjoy her remarkable acceptance speech that EDiTE scholars should keep in their hearts and minds as they continue on their academic career paths.

“I want to use my couple of minutes to also trouble the idea of research changing the context of education. Or how research might contribute to that. […] I think that we need to approach our task with humility. So I want to reiterate what I think we know which is that scholars engaged in the context of education that that kind of scholarship is powerful when the voices of the researchers are in dialogue with parents, and teachers, and young people, and communities. In which our multiple knowledges, and epistemologies, and standpoints are brought together to try to understand the context of schooling and how we can transform not just schools but the society as a whole. […] What does it mean that we do research that contributes to the transformation of the social context, when in fact it is only through our collective knowledge that we develop that understanding in the first place. Our understanding of the social world and theorizing about it is rooted in social practice, and in particular, I think through participating in community and education struggles for justice. It is in the process of participating in them, through praxis that we come to more deeply understand our social realities. 

 I think research contributes to the transformation of the social context of education when it is linked to organizing through social movements.  We are contributing as researchers when we address the real questions of those who want “to move forward,” as Maisha Winn said, and when we work side by side, together, in ways that are empirically and theoretically useful to struggles for social justice, and in relation to the visions of developing social movements. And sometimes this means moving tables, and cleaning up afterwards, and taking care of children so that other people can speak. It’s social movements that change the world – not research. It is only when research is in collaboration with social movements, when it is taken up by social movements, that we transform our present conditions.  

I want to end by situating our work in the present moment. I want to say some of what I said on Friday in our symposium on Neoliberalism, race, and disability.  We are in a moment of immense suffering– economic, political, social suffering. But we are also in a moment in which racial neoliberal capitalism is reeling from multiple crises:  economic, social, political. Suffering and the crises of the system are in dialectical relationship. The legitimacy of the neoliberal order is in crisis globally. Although it seems hegemonic, it is actually in crisis. I want to draw on Stuart Hall here. Stuart Hall reminds us that although crises are moments of opportunity because they signal a rupture of the existing order, a rupture of the existing social conjuncture, the outcome of a crisis is not guaranteed. They could resolve in various ways. And that’s the moment that we are in. So on one side we have a resurgence of explicit, explicit because it has always been there but is now blatant and overt, white, nationalist, misogynist, pro-fascist right wing politics. And on the other side, and we need to recognize this, we see resistance and resurgence and a surfacing or a foregrounding of new visions from native water protectors, the Movement for Black Lives, teacher strikes that are not only against neoliberal education policies, they are against the gendered crisis of care, the crisis of social reproduction that Nancy Fraser  illuminates. We have the immigrant justice movement, feminist and climate justice movements, and more that are challenging hetero-patriarchy and racial capitalism and white supremacy. That’s the moment we are in. And, you know number 45, felt compelled to actually explicitly attack Socialism in his State of the Union address so that’s an indication of that moment and of the possibilities for social transformation.

I want to share an anecdote from Chicago as I end. We just had municipal elections, and there is a lot of talk about the mayoral election, but what you need to know about is the city council election. At the City Council level what happened is that grassroots people who have been on the frontlines, many of them have been fighting for education justice and against racist neoliberal policies, were elected to the City Council of Chicago. If you know anything about Chicago, you know it has a long history of entrenched Democratic Party machine politics controlling every aspect of city government, so this is astounding. One of the newly elected City Council representatives is Jeanette Taylor. Jeanette was a Dyett High School hunger striker. She has been on her local school council for 23 years, she is a mother and a grandmother. She is a grassroots person who rose up because her school was being closed and became a leader in the education movement in Chicago, and she was just elected to the City Council in Chicago. That is actually very, very significant and an indication of the possibilities of the moment that we are in. It is definitely a potent marker of the crisis of legitimacy of the racial neoliberal order in Chicago. So this is a moment to engage in struggles for a different future, for us to play some small role by joining our research with social movements.

I want to close with a question that was posed by scholar-activist Andrea Smith. She asked: “Why should academics be any less responsible for taking part in activist work than florists, garbage collectors and bee keepers?”

 

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Prof. Pauline Lipman

The next AERA annual meetingwill take place in San Francisco from April 17-21, 2020, under the guiding theme: The Power and Possibilities for the Public Good: When Researchers and Organizational Stakeholders Collaborate. The call for submissions starts on May 10, 2019.

 

 

 

 

EDiTE FINAL CONFERENCE

 

The first researchers of the EDiTE network were contracted starting on March 2016, and back then, the envisaged end seemed far away embroidered with opportunities, exciting tasks and learning. After three years of path-taking and path-making, EDiTE held its final conference under the title Transformative teacher learning for better student learning within an emerging European context in Lisbon, Portugal, hosted by the University of Lisbon, between 18-20 February.

The overall theme of the conference drew on the interdependence of educational research and practice offered throughout the EDiTE programme and exploited the notions and ambitions of becoming the leading European network for innovation in teacher education, accessible to academics, practitioners and policy makers. The three pillars, teacher learning, student learning and the European context, were explored on different levels and through different perspectives, looking at it from wide range of approaches taken by the EDiTE researchers in their studies, but also from the approaches of practicing teachers that attended the conference.

The first day started with a keynote given by Professor António Nóvoa, a full Professor and the Honorary Rector of the University of Lisbon. His speech On becoming a teacher, on strengthening the profession critically reflected the current state of play in teaching as profession and provided an interesting input for further discussion. The novel elements of creating a “third space” that sits between schools and universities as places of teacher professionalism inspired a fruitful debate and was a point of reference for the rest of the conference. The stimulating discussion continued with an interactive round table on Policy and Teacher Education depicting views from Manuel Miguéns from the National Education Council, Gábor Halász from ELTE University and Vasilis Symeonidis, an EDiTE researcher from University of Innsbruck. The afternoon continued to feed on interesting conversations through parallel sessions in which some EDiTE researchers presented their doctoral studies. The last part of the first day was dedicated to practical sessions called Reflective circles– interactive spaces where research and practice meet, and where concepts get re-discovered, collectively analysed and re-constructed. One such session was facilitated by Wiktor Bernad and Wanderson Alexander Oliviera in Portuguese and the other was in English, facilitated by Helena Kovacs.

The second day brought an inspiring keynote on Practitioner Research as Brave Research: Towards Inclusive and Diverse Inquirygiven by Dr. Anja Swennen of Vrije University Amsterdam. The discussions continued with a rich interactive round table about Diversity, inclusion and equity featuring Helena Salema from Univeristy of Lisbon, David Rodrigues, the president of Pro-Inclusion and Josefine Wagner, an EDiTE researcher from the University of Lower Silesia. The afternoon of the second day offered a changed perspective and took place in a physical setting of the EDiTE partner school Escola Sec. Pe. António Vieira, Alvalade where a panel of school teachers and principals presented their work. This prompted a discussion on school-university partnership which spanned into the last session of the day facilitated by the team from ELTE Budapest.

Arriving to the third day, Maria Assunção Flores, a professor at the University of Minho, opened the debates with her keynote Teacher Education and Professionalism in the Digital Era: What’s New? The proposed question was further looked at from different aspects of the interactive round table involving Christina Kraler from University of Innsbruck, Petr Novotny from Masaryk University and Mariana Feio, a PhD in Teacher Education. In the afternoon, the conversations again became diversified and split into smaller parallel sessions where the rest of the EDiTE researchers presented their doctoral studies. The conference and the third day were closed by a final session on EDiTE 2.0: Emerging Futurescircling initial ideas proposed through a position paper prepared by Anja Swennen, Michael Schratz and Vasilis Symeonidis. The input from small group discussions inspired further thinking of the future of the EDiTE network, its potential transformation and growth.

While the conference in Lisbon was indeed a crowning event for the EDiTE network, the work does not end here. There is still plenty of interesting PhD studies to be finalised in the next few months, and we can anticipate an online seminar in late Spring that will further the academic discussions on teacher learning and give ground to continuous conversation about where is EDiTE heading next.

Photos by Wiktor Bernad

EDiTE at BYOD

Beata Zwierzynska and Wiktor Bernard, EDiTE researchers, participated in workshop for teachers and educators on the topic of the usage of smartphones in education “Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)” on 30th May – 04th June 2018 at University of Algarve, Portugal.

While some schools forbid bringing smartphones to schools and create harsh rules when using technology in the classroom, BYOD encourages students, under teachers’ guidance, to use their own devices to improve learning when used at needed times. Teachers need to learn not only how to use specific tools, but how to facilitate discussions with students on the dangers of the new media, and teach them critical thinking.

Wiktor and Beata had a chance to learn about new software and apps for smartphones, for example: Mentimeter, its admin panel and assessment potential; Symbaloo and similar tools to document the learning process and collect files; Biteable and videomaking lessons; Padlet which is a tool enhancing classroom collaboration and creativity; Socrative tool as another app for lesson preparation, teacher and peer assessment; examples of Kahoot lessons and more advanced functions. The most complex tool was Milage which was developed by a university consortium, including Algarve. The final experience was connected to the augmented reality: smartphones engaging with the physical space, books, art exhibition, and medicine.

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.

EDiTE at LIEMC 2018: Presenting teachers’ voices from Portugal

 

EDiTE researcher, Nikolett Szelei, presented some findings of her study at the Language, Identity and Education in Multilingual Contexts conference in Dublin, 1-3 February, 2018. The conference gathered a wide range of international studies focusing on bi/multilingualism from the aspects of multiple language acquisition, psycho- and neurolinguistics, translanguaging, early bilingualism and heritage language development, speech processing, language use, pluriliteracies, language policies, multilingual education, multiculturalism, and globalisation. Keynote speaker Prof. Jasone Cenoz addressed „Multilingualism and Translanguaging in Language Learning in School Contexts”, while prof. Elizabeth Lanza talked about „Transnational Families as Public Spaces: Multilingualism, Ideologies and Identity Online”, and Prof. Pádraig Ó Duibhir highlighted „Minority Language (Re)vitalization: The Role of Education”. Nikolett Szelei’s paper presentation focused on how teachers experience linguistic diversity, the challenges they face, and the kind of strategies they apply in multilingual classrooms in Portugal. A special attention was given to students of minority languages in a predominantly Portuguese-language school system. Applying an ecological perspective, Nikolett analysed teachers’ situations embedded in their school contexts, and explored teachers’ perceptions, challenges, needs and strategies in the classroom.  Nikolett finds it important to understand teacher realities in multicultural and multilingual school contexts, as a starting point to improve education in Portugal.

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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