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.

EDiTE at the ICSEI 2018 in Singapore

The International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement (ICSEI) is one of such global educational conferences that shouldn’t be missed, and this year again EDiTE had its representatives ready for the challenge. The conference was organised in Singapore between 8 and 12 January under the overarching theme of Deepening School Change for Scaling: Principles, Pathways and Partnerships. From our research rows, EDiTE was represented in Singapore by an early-stage researcher Helena Kovacs and the head of the EDiTE consortium Michael Schratz.

The highlights of the Congress included a number of great keynote speakers including Dr Carol Campbell, Lucy Crehan, Professor Kiyomi Akita and Dr Alicia Grunow, as well as several thought-provoking keynote panel discussions. Already at the beginning of the conference, the head of the EDiTE consortium, Michael Schratz, was awarded a lifetime membership for his dedication to educational research and commitment to ICSEI where he served as a previous president.

During the parallel sessions, Helena Kovacs had presented the outcomes of her collaborative work with Malte Gregorewski, an EDiTE early-stage researcher from Innsbruck who was not able to attend the Congress himself. Their joint work spans over a year and was described as a core value of EDiTE which enables the potential of international collaboration. Titled as A mix that works: insights into Portuguese flagship schools, the presentation provided both an overview of EDiTE that facilitated this collaboration and the exploratory model authored by the Kovacs-Gregozewski team and used to analyse schools in Portugal that they jointly visited during their secondments.

ICSEI 2018 was also an opportunity to explore other parallel sessions describing different educational systems, practices and initiatives that sever for bettering educational experiences and lead to more meaningful outcomes for all involved. Among these, there was a number of sessions on Singaporean system analysed from different angles, providing great insight into this educational super-power. The next International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement is planned to take place in Norway, in January 2019.

 

 

Planning Educational Research: A Collaborative Workshop at ELTE

It sometimes happens that what we imagine of our PhD journey is not how it ends up being in reality – this was the starting point provided by the host and one of the main organisers of the Planning Educational Research workshop, Saule Anafinova, the second year international doctoral student at ELTE. The workshop that happened on 14 December 2017 at ELTE Budapest brought together first and second year international doctoral students at ELTE with three EDiTE ESRs for a four-hour session that was an outcome of several preparatory meetings and discussions. The aim of the workshop was focused on understanding the challenges and bottlenecks of planning doctoral research and as such it offered space for a dialogue in ways to overcome them. This type of doctoral meeting will now be established as a regular practice each semester.

Prior to the event, seven ELTE doctoral students were separated into three groups and paired with EDiTE researchers, Tamás Tóth, Andras Fehervari and Helena Kovacs. Each group met on their own and, as part of their preparation, discussed the potential issues and analytically observed their research roadmaps. The three ESRs were involved in their capacities to facilitate the small team discussions and share their experiences of creating project proposals and how they battled some of the problems throughout their research.

The format of the workshop followed an interactive design through which, instead of classic PowerPoint presentations, the doctoral students provided a background to their dilemmas allowing more time for reaction and discussion. Furthermore, an online platform padlet allowed for dissemination of a vast number of useful references that was made available to all participants. Overall, the participants expressed their high satisfaction with the event as well as the groupwork support prior to the workshop.

Experiential Learning Through Exchange Between Portugal And Poland

 

With an aim to support exchange of ideas and good practices, but also as part of his research work, EDiTE’s early stage researcher Wiktor Bernad has organised a binational teacher exchange between Portugal and Poland. Wiktor’s research focuses on pedagogical supervision, teacher cooperation and personal development, and he is exploring this in the two mentioned countries, thus providing an opportunity for an exchange and learning was a great way to deepen the aspects of his research work and to give something back to the practitioners. This was also a perfect opportunity for Wiktor, whose home university is in Lisbon, to start off his secondment in Poland and introduce himself as both a researcher and a valuable capacity for a school he will work with.

The first day of the exchange event took place on 31 August 2017 in Wrocław, Poland and was hosted by the Polish primary school. The principal and vice-principal of the school, welcomed the representatives (the principal and the project coordinator) of the school cluster from Portugal who arrived together with Wiktor to the Wrocław primary school’s yearly opening conference. Approximately 70 teachers that work in the school joined this occasion.

The principal of the Polish school introduced Wiktor and the two guests from Portugal, after which Wiktor presented his research, himself and had talked about pedagogical supervision. His lecture included the core of international literature and evidence from the case study Wiktor developed based on his work in Portugal. This was a great introduction to the workshop provided by the two guests from the Portuguese school cluster. They presented a thorough overview of how the project of pedagogical supervision developed and became an integral part of the school culture, how it spread across the teacher community and what benefits it bore.

During the second day of the exchange, on 4 September, the Portuguese guests and Wiktor gave a more practical outline through which they talked about different examples but also provided space from Polish teachers to try some of the pedagogical supervision practices. Simulations of activities, through group work and creation of internal rules, gave the group of around 70 Polish teachers a taste of how this collaborative peer-learning technique could look.

This event was a truly valuable interaction between teachers from two different national contexts that not only provided opportunities for teachers to talk about their pedagogical realities, innovations, fears and learn good practices, but also to build on possible further building blocks of grass-root European exchange.

Twists and Turns: EDiTE Doctoral Workshop at ELTE

 

On Tuesday, 21 November in Budapest, ELTE’s Doctoral School of Education has organised an EDiTE doctoral workshop under the title Twists and Turns of PhD research. This event followed a slight experimental note by inviting four EDiTE Early Stage Researchers, namely Deisi Yunga, Tamás Toth, Andras Fehervari and Helena Kovacs, and four Hungarian doctoral candidates, Ivett Kovács, László Horváth, Ágota Szücs and Kinga Káplár-Kodácsy. Split in two groups (2 EDiTE and 2 Hungarian doctoral students per group) the young researchers present their research to the audience from the Department of Education. Apart from providing the opportunity to present the research, the aim of the workshop also involved the intention to create peer-to-peer learning format, share methodological dilemmas and receive feedback from established academics.

The presentations in each of the two groups were closely followed by two senior researchers and one methodological expert who provided valuable input on the progress and the quality of the research. Prior to the workshop, the presenters drafted an abstract of the research and were asked to elaborate on three dilemmas that they battle while working on their research, namely content-, methodology- and design-related problems and questions. After the presentations, and the Q&A session addressing specific points in the presentations, an entire session was allocated to discuss dilemmas proposed by the young researchers.

The fact that doctoral research does involve twisting and turning was indeed evident through the session discussing dilemmas and questions and the senior ELTE researchers tried to provide useful input for young researchers who were also at different stages in their academic work. EDiTE Technical Secretariat, Judit Saád and Kinga Káplár-Kodácsy, made sure that the event was well-coordinated and smoothly implemented, and overall the satisfaction by those involved and the success of this event provided a good reason for Twists and Turns to be repeated in the nearby future.

Democratic Accountability – Now More Than Ever: EDiTE at The 42nd Atee Conference

One-third of the EDiTE Early Stage Researchers have travelled to Dubrovnik, Croatia, from 23 to 25 October 2017, joined by two EDiTE supervisors Erika Kopp and György Mészáros. And it is not difficult to discover why: the event was 42nd ATEE Annual Conference on teacher education focused to capture the main theme Changing Perspectives and Approaches in Contemporary Teaching. The conference was organized as a continuation of the research dissemination and outreach event, aimed to provide teachers,  teacher educators and researchers an opportunity to promote teacher learning, quality enhancement and change-making for the overall improvement of education.

The other main purpose of the conference was to promote research development communities by gathering a diverse and global list of participants and develop a progressive research-oriented teacher learning campaign geared to enhancing quality in education by means of research-based knowledge supporting teachers’ professional development.

The 42nd annual ATEE Conference was organized by the Faculty of Education, University of Osijek, Croatia, and it invited approximately 400 participants from more than 45 countries. With well-articulated sub-themes constituted to addressing changing perspectives and approaches in contemporary teaching, the conference was designed in a way that could provide plenty of exposure for each member to take active participation in most of the events throughout. The conference highlights included a key-note speech of Marylin Cohran-Smith on Democratic accountability for teacher education: Now more than ever as well as the insights of European dimension in education in Croatia: A long way to go and a speech on Changing teaching practices through creating communities of critical friends and action researchers.

In addition to the main conference presentations, discussions, symposiums and work groups, it was noteworthy that the ATEE executives showed a soulful engagement on promotion, formation and expansion of the research development communities (RDCs) formulated on diverse themes and different areas of teacher education like: European teacher education, digital competence in teacher education, inclusion and related issues in teacher education, innovation and learning teacher education and so on. As the research presentations on all levels seemed remarkably competent and demonstrated high academic standard in quality, it was obvious that the organizing committee had done their best in giving all the necessary efforts in bringing global thoughts and research experiences on teacher education, teaching and learning together with excellent decision processes, this providing a great exposure to novice and early career researchers and practitioners striving to enhancing innovation and innovative turn in their professional career in contemporary teaching.

Complexities of Evaluation: EDiTE at ENTEP Annual Conference

 

To have the European Network on Teacher Education Policies (ENTEP) annual conference held in Lisbon last week, was not only significant but also symbolic. ENTEP was constituted in May 2000 at the inaugural conference in Algarve following the proposal put forward by Guilherme d’Oliveira Martins, then the Portuguese Minister of Education. The proposal addressed other policy-makers and ministerial colleagues in the EU Member States with the purpose to develop the political dimension of teacher education in Europe. Thus, the first chair of ENTEP was Prof. Bártolo Paiva Campos.

As Mr Martins recalled in opening the conference in Lisbon, when ENTEP was first established the links between education and changing society was reflected through the work of teachers and their abilities of creating communities in schools that are based on ideas of democracy and underpin the principles of active citizenship.

Last week, on the 19-21 October, the ENTEP took a challenging main topic for a conference titled Evaluation Frameworks for Teachers and Schools. This overarching theme connected experts and opened up discussions from different perspective and the conversations were introduced by a welcome address of Maria Luisa Oliveira, the State Secretary for Education at the Director-General for School Administration of the Portuguese Ministry of Education.

The conference was also attended by some of our Early Stage Researchers, namely Lucie Bucharová and Malte Gregozewski, as well as Inês Alves, the project coordinator of EDiTE at the Institute for Education, University of Lisbon. Along with other participants, EDiTE representatives had the chance to discuss lessons from individual cases, including issues such as greater attention to formative assessment, importance of schools’ self-evaluation for improvement, creation of evaluation frameworks and the role of teachers as employee, technicians and professionals. Some of the conclusions emphasised that a different concept and vision of education inevitably must imply a different framework for assessment.

 

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.

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.