EDiTE Researchers at Freire Conference at the University of Gdansk

From April 26-28, 2017 six EDiTE researchers from the University of Lower Silesia made their way to Gdansk University (GU) in Poland where Prof. Maria Mendel hosted a unique conference on Freire Today: Educational Reconstructions in the Contemporary Social Context. Prof. Mendel, director of the Institute of Education at Gdansk University had invited a special guest for these days, Prof. Carmel Borg from the Department of Education Studies of the University of Malta, who has edited the only existing full-scale Freire Reader. His keynote lecture, in which he reflected on Freire’s renowned Pedagogy of the Oppressed, deeply impressed the researchers who commented that he combines experiences of an academic and in-school-practitioner perfectly. The conference days were a wonderful opportunity for each of the EDiTE researchers to present their own take on of Freire’s work and connect it with their area of expertise. Our presentations ranged from “The Grammar of Schooling as the Obstacle to Emancipation in Modern Schools” (Lucie Bucharova), to “Freire’s Solidarity and the Community of the Disabled” (Agnieszka Licznerska), “Growing the Polish Teacher Potato – The Case of Polish Teachers’ In Action on Facebook” (Beata Zwierzynska), “Two Natives and a Colorful Pile- Constituting the Norm in an Austrian Primary School” (Josefine Wagner), over “The Necessary Shift towards Democratic Practices”(Monika Rusnak), and “Anti-discrimination Education and Social Justice in Schools” (Ewa Stoecker). Furthermore, we benefitted from the very welcoming program that Prof. Mendel had planned for us. This included a walking tour through the Old Town of Gdansk and a guided visit to the European Solidarity Center which documents the Solidarnosc movement that started in the former Lenin dockyard of Gdansk in 1980 and eventually struggled successfully for the first free and democratic elections in Poland after World War II. Here, the poems “Nothing Twice” and “The Three Oddest Words” by Wislawa Szymborska, 1996 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, were recited to us and a truly inspiring trip thanks to Prof. Mendel and educational theorist at GU Prof. Tomasz Szkudlarek, came to an end. Please get in touch with the individual researchers if you are interested in their presentations (info@edite.eu). To read an interview with Prof. Mendel, please klick here, to find out more about Prof. Carmel Borg, please follow this link and if you are interested in some of the joint works of Prof. Mendel and Prof. Szkudlarek, check this out.

The Learning Teacher Workshop Conference

The Learning Teacher Workshop Conference was organized within the Learning Teacher research framework of the EU H2020 MSCA funded European Doctorate in Teacher Education (EDiTE) on 25 April, 2017. On this occasion participants could listen to the presentations of PhD students (four on Hungarian and four on English languages) at the Pedagogical and Psychological Faculty of the Eötvös Loránd University – ELTE (Budapest, Hungary). The underlying theme of the conference was teacher education and teachers’ learning, including:

  • the impact assessment study of an innovative school’s pedagogical programme;
  • adult learning models and the role of mentoring in learning management;
  • national teacher education programmes and the role of practice in these;
  • analysis of master teachers’ portfolio;
  • the role of leadership and organization in innovation;
  • the study of teachers’ learning in the context of professional learning;
  • Europeanisation in teacher education.

The conference was closed with an interactive discussion section between the participants and the presenters, and it could be considered as a professional meeting venue for Early Stage Researchers involved in the EDiTE project (Csilla Pesti, Helena Kovacs, Deisi Yunga, Vasileios Symeonidis), students of other PhD programmes from the Doctorate School of Education (ELTE), colleagues from the institution, as well as numerous partner organizations.

For the programme, please visit the following website: http://www.ppk.elte.hu/file/program.pdf

Internationalisation of Teacher Education

EDiTE was present at the 1st European Conference on Internationalisation of Teacher Education which took place at the Goethe University Frankfurt, 29-30 March. EDiTE researcher Vasileios Symeonidis participated in the activities and workshops of the specific conference which aimed at discussing possibilities and alternatives of recognition of study programme achievements as well as final qualifications from across Europe in order to increase mobility activities of teachers and teacher trainees. Bringing together stakeholders from different teacher education institutions and experts from exchange services and the European Union, the aim of the conference was to deliberate and extend existent accreditation strategies.

Some interesting facts: at the EU policy level, the directive 2013/55/EU of the Parliament and of the Council facilitates the accreditation of international teaching degrees in order teachers to be able to change their labour country. However, only few teachers choose to collect experiences as a teacher abroad, mainly due to the difficulty of getting achievements from abroad accredited.

EDiTE was referred to as an example of good practice which innovates at the field of teacher education, by creating the first ever transnational doctoral degree for professionals in the field of teacher education. Professor Romita Iucu from the University of Bucharest, Romania, described how EDiTE was developed through the activities of the European Network for Teacher Education Policies (ENTEP).

The Second Day of the EDiTE Virtual Seminar

On the 2nd of March 2017, the second and final day of the EDiTE Virtual Seminar took place. During the morning sessions, Dr Alpesh Maisuria from the University of East London gave a keynote speech with the theme “Education Policy in Neoliberalism”. Based on the keynote, researchers initiated discussions in local groups at their respective universities and gathered questions which Dr Maisuria replied. A reflective journaling activity followed, helping researchers to align the keynote with their research projects.

During the afternoon sessions, the researchers presented their group work progress on drafting an academic publication, a process initiated in the first day of the seminar. All groups had the chance to briefly present their ongoing work and received feedback from supervisors of each university. The researchers were encouraged to submit their work for publication in relevant academic journals. The final activity of the Virtual Seminar included a group work on designing a research matrix for each of the EDiTE partner universities. Researchers from each university used an online platform to map the predominant themes related to their research and according to the overall EDiTE theme “Transformative teacher learning for better student learning within an emerging Europe”.

Last but not least, the EDiTE community celebrated one year of researchers in action! The next occasion when researchers will meet is the 2nd EDiTE Summer School in Wroclaw, Poland (June 19-23).

The First Day of the EDiTE Virtual Seminar

On 09.02.2017, the first day of the EDiTE Virtual Seminar took place online. The UIBK team organised and moderated the Virtual Seminar and researchers from all partner universities participated in a creative, inspiring and packed with activities day. Virtual Seminars are part of the EDiTE’s research programme and they are organised annually. The concept theme of the 2017 Virtual Seminar was „European Comparative Studies in Teacher Education”.

During the morning sessions, Professor Pavel Zgaga from the University of Ljubljana gave an online keynote, entitled “European Teacher Education in the Grip of “Academic Tribes and Territories””. The keynote triggered vivid discussions in local university groups and several questions were raised with regard to the contemporary role of teacher education in higher education institutions. A reflective activity in the form of Freewrite according to Peter Elbow followed.

The afternoon activities started with an online cultural quiz, followed by the analysis of the EDiTE Theme Survey results by the EDiTE researchers and an analysis of the Research at a Glance documents by Professor Michael Schratz. It was commonly agreed that the documents so far produced by the researchers will be reviewed and further elaborated by the supervisors and researchers in view of updating EDiTE’s research programme. Afterwards, a group work activity was initiated where researchers had to use online means of communication to discuss their prepared abstract for a common academic publication in transnational groups, allowing a comparative research perspective to emerge. The Virtual Seminar closed with a short presentation of each group’s intended work and the EDiTE community members renewed their virtual appointment for the 2nd of March. In the meantime, transnational working groups will further develop their common idea for a common academic paper.

A lecture on Education Systems in Bhutan, Nepal and Tennessee

Between the months of November, 2016 and February, 2017, Masaryk University organized an open lectures for interested students. The theme of the event revolved around the Education System of Bhutan, Nepal and Tennessee. The presenters were the three researchers who are the recipients of Marie-Sklodowska-Curie grant under the European Doctorate in Teacher Education Programme.

The opening lecture was on the Education System of Bhutan presented by Kinley Seden. The presentation mainly focused on Gross National Happiness inspiring education. Ms. Seden also touched on how modern education started in the country and some of the challeges that the education system is currently facing.

The next talk was delivered by Dev Raj Paneru on the Nepalese Education System. The talk highlighted some special cultural features about Nepal, the highest Himalayan habitat and its education in today’s context. The lecture mainly focused on philosophy, system, directions, and some genuine issues that all the stakeholders of education must be aware of in order to correct the directions that in other way should qualify to the theory of localization, a balancing approach for 21st century contexts.

The next lecture, yet to be held, will be presented by Ezra Howard and will focus on the vast and varied nature of the U.S. education system with specific focus on the state of Tennesse. The presenter will also focus on the future agenda under a Trump administration.

The purpose of the event was to allow open interactions amongst EDiTE researchers and local students. The three researchers proudly circulated posters advertizing their lecture and inviting students for the event accordingly. The students who attented the lecture found the lecture to be extremely engaging, interactive and informative. Videos were shown to make the sessions even more lively and focussed. Culinary delicacies from their countries were served and showcased to the partcipants.

EDiTE Innsbruck team at the Leadership Academy

The UIBK EDiTE team attended the Leadership Academy meeting at the Congress Centrum in Alpach, October 16, 2016. The meeting was chaired by Professor Michael Schratz, one of the two directors of the Leadership Academy.
The Academy is a nationwide project in Austria, aiming to improve the qualifications of school leaders from all types of educational institutions by offering innovation training. The Academy is based on an understanding of leadership which focuses on dialogue, shared leadership, trust and creativity to actively promote the quality of education.

At the meeting, there was a delegation from the German School Academy, the Deutsche Schulakademie, which works to transport excellent school practices by building on the knowledge of excellent school practitioners and linking them to research and scientific expertise. In order to make good school practices visible, the Academy is committed to a school development approach and a learning culture across the six quality areas of the German School Award: Performance, dealing with diversity, teaching quality, responsibility, school climate, and school as a learning institution.

Read more here!