In the Heat of Learning: EDiTE-NAFOL Conference and EDiTE Summer School

 

In educational sciences we know that learning takes place in different forms and formats, and that no such thing as one perspective to an issue or a problem. Last week, EDiTE network gathered for two interconnected occasions, a conference and a summer school. ELTE, and the Faculty for Education and Psychology, was the proud host of both of these events despite the fact that it happened in the hottest week of June.

The conference was organised in tight collaboration with the Norwegian National Research School in Teacher Education (NAFOL), on 11-12 June and under the umbrella theme of Doctoral Education in Teacher Education: European Perspectives. It offered a diverse format for learning that included interesting key speakers and presentations, but as well as small group conversations on doctoral themes of the participating researchers. The group approach to discussing conceptual and specific issues among doctoral students is a practice that is common in how NAFOL operates, it provides high level of support and encourages peer collaboration, therefore this element was highly appreciated by the participants. Additionally, it was essential to see how doctoral networks can transform and better support the process of doctoral studies and achieve better quality by using a simple form as small, mixed research groups facilitated by engaged and experienced supervisors.

Beside this, EDiTE-NAFOL conference also introduced interesting keynote content including the input of Hannah Grainger Clemson, the Schools Policy Officer of the European Commission, who talked about the complexities of the European teacher policy, as well as Valéria Csépe, the president of the Hungarian High Education Accreditation Committee, who talked about the national higher education provisions. As the theme of the conference was focus on the doctoral education, the programme included voices from “fresh doctors” and their experiences in completing their doctoral journeys, a session on research-based teacher education and a reflection on how doctoral studies are done in the two networks, EDiTE and NAFOL. Next to this, the participants were provided input on angles and trends of doctoral education in the USA and EU, as well as an informative session on academic writing by Patricia Thomson.

In a slightly different light, EDiTE Summer School continued from 13-15 June and it involved a number of parallel sessions. On the first day, a workshop on writing took place parallel to project meetings of the managerial boards, while the afternoon was dedicated for the researchers’ forum that was discussing emerging opportunities and issues. On Thursday, the summer school participants had an opportunity to see a model class that implements Complex Instruction Programme techniques in Molnár Ferenc School and talk to the teachers, pedagogical advisors and the principal about their approaches and school strategies. Second day was also dedicated to discussing and learning about different strategies in presenting research, and parallel joint supervisory sessions, while the last day included an element of working with data software, thematic analysis and theoretical discussion on transformation in education. Apart from the serious content, EDiTE community also had some fun, as during the last evening together (on Thursday) there was a facilitated fun teambuilding workshop that included music and instruments.

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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!

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Prof. Irma Eloff presenting the South African educational system

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

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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.

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.

ELTE EDiTE Workshop

Eövös Loránd University EDiTE researchers participated as chairs and trainers in the workshop Step forward: Moving from theory to practice in EDiTE doctoral research that took place on April 5, 2018, in Budapest, Hungary.

“It was a very valuable workshop in which I got a lot of useful information that is not commonly passed on the daily basis,” said one of the participants.

This workshop organized by Taisia Muzafarova and Abdalhamid Alahmad brought together EDiTE researchers and Ph.D. students from several research areas of the Faculty of Education and Psychology.

The workshop addressed a number of specific issues necessary for successful completion of the programme, namely, complex examination, writing and submitting research proposal, and publishing research articles. The event was targeted to benefit a new cohort of ELTE Ph.D., doctoral programme students and served as a platform for active dialogue between the students and programme professors and administrators. The students had a chance to get an insight into administrative procedures, as well as gain knowledge from senior colleagues.

“It was rewarding to share two years of doctoral experience with our colleagues and share our inquiries for the next phase of the programme with administrators and professors,” said Abdalhamid Alahmad, one of the organizers.

Challenges in transnational cooperation and international collaboration committed to transformational change: Cross-sectoral (personal) learnings

Innsbruck-based EDiTE-ESR Malte Gregorzewski was last week away on an EDiTE outreach mission to Mainz (Germany) which is located next to Wiesbaden and Frankfurt (Main). Malte was invited by a member of the German Federal Association for Innovative Educational Initiatives and enjoyed this privilege by introducing EDiTE in an elevator-pitch-alike situation to 90 executes/leadership personnel from the private sector in Germany and abroad convincing many of them to attend his workshop about “Challenges in transnational cooperation and international collaboration committed to transformational change: Cross-sectoral (personal) learnings”. The workshop aimed at introducing EDiTE more thouroughly than in the pitch and was carefully designed to enable a structured exchange about the participant’s very own personal drivers for transfomational change within their organization. In the second and final step Malte´s goal was to understand more how leaders from the private sector would tackle the obstacles and challenges of a project bringing transformational change on a transnational -European- level to national public sector institutions.
On the one hand the workshop clearly promoted EDiTE to the non-academic field, on the other hand Malte gained some insights about how the participating leaders would deal with challenging transformational processes. From their perspectives and within their framework of responsibility, it proves to be crucial to align and – within the duration of the project – live up to aims and goals of each particular institution towards a common vision and agreed mission; to hold every stakeholder accountable for its action and – sometimes more important – non-action; to commonly develop growth-mindsets and – last but not least – enact a sense of trust and solidarity amongst each party involved in such an endavour.
The participants were both thankful and happy to have such a deep and meaningful exchange about leadership and transfomational change as well as intensive and thoughtful discussions about personal key success drivers towards the fruitful enactment of the emerging future.

 

EDiTE at ATEE Winter Conference 2018

Association for Teacher Education in Europe (ATEE) in collaboration with the host university Hogeschool Utrecht has organised this year’s Winter Conference under the theme Technology and Innovative Learning. The conference took place on 15-16 February in Utrecht and has truly provided a glimpse of the potential of disruptive innovation in education sector.

The first day of the conference featured a number of amazing keynote speeches, including the presentation of Dr. Caroline Pontefract on essential work of the UNRWA-UNESCO in zones most in need of quality education. The second day offered a truly disruptive feeling to the conference, as the organisers partnered with the Perfect Storm conference that aimed at creativity, design thinking and learning. The programme provided a mix of inspiring speeches, such as the one of Dr. Rebecca Ferguson the lead author of the Innovating Pedagogy reports and senior lecturer at the Open University, as well as Ewan McIntosh, the force behind the NoTosh platform. Most significantly, the second day of the conference took place in the creative and innovative working space of the Perfect Storm group settled in an old refurbished furniture factory. The venue itself was unusual setting for an academic conference, one such that hits the point of innovation in education and inspires waves of creativity and disruption.

Our early-stage researcher, Helena Kovacs, was there to represent EDiTE and to talk about her research findings in relation to teacher learning in innovative schools in Portugal. The presentation provoked a discussion not only related to specific learning potential in innovative schools, but also about the necessity for it, as well as the preparedness of teachers and teacher education institutions to actively deal with it.

Next on ATEE conference agenda is the Spring Conference in Bialystok (Poland) from 7-9 June with the overarching topic of Designing Teacher Education and Professional Development for the 21st Century: Current Trends, Challenges and Directions and the Annual Conference in Galve (Sweden) from 20-22 August with the main theme A Future for All – Teaching for a Sustainable Society. It is worthwhile mentioning that the Spring Conference in Poland will also feature Hana Červinková, the programme director of the EDiTE at the University of Lower Silesia. Call for presentations are currently open for both of these ATEE conferences.

 

 

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.