EDiTE @ 7th International Conference on TEFL




EDiTE early-stage researcher, Shaima Muhammad, who is still on her mobility in Lisbon had the chance to attend and present at the 7thTEFL International conference under the theme: Intercultural Language Education for Increased European Identity and Cohesion. Many presentations focused on the need to incorporate cognitively demanding content in language teaching and to address issues of intercultural education, which has been a part of global and regional efforts to cultivate a critical democratic global citizen.

The conference was unique in that it didn’t just feature researchers who presented their studies but it was also an opportunity for schoolteachers to attend and reflect on some strategies and approaches to implement intercultural and democratic citizenship education in the classroom. Although a recent educational reform has enforced a new pilot subject on democratic citizenship in Portugal, the cross-curricular approach is still present and teachers of all subjects are expected to address issues of intercultural and democratic education in their subjects including language teaching.

Shaima’s presentation focused on a case study of an innovative course designed by English teachers to address issues of democratic citizenship.

Please find more information about the conference here, including the conference program and the list of abstracts.

Partner Organisations Annual Event

Each year ELTE organises an event that gathers all Hungarian EDiTE partner organisations with an aim to reflect and discuss past and future activities, developments and possibilities. This year, the event took place on 8 October at the Faculty of Education and Psychology. The programme was devised to give space to three ELTE early-stage researchers, Csilla Pesti, Helena Kovacs and Deisi Yunga, to present and share their research insights and results, as well as to discuss ideas in open format of conversation. The three presentations were particularly interesting this year as they reflected on analyses and conclusions of researchers’ work and the partners were eager to listen and provide feedback to these findings.

Next to this, Judit Saad, the EDiTE project manager for ELTE has managed to collect and present perceptions of researchers from all four consortium institutions about the value of working with partner organisations across the entire network. The results provided a great feedback on this important aspect of the EDiTE network and also give some base for possible future collaborations.

NAFOL conference: Validity and Value of Teacher Education Research

This year, NAFOL Conferencetook place in Hamar, Norway, from 22-24 October and two of EDiTE researchers, Helena Kovacs and Vasilis Symeonidis, were invited to participate and present their work. NAFOL is a network of 17 teacher education institutions across the country and this year’s event was hosted by Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences. With a number of exciting activities, keynote speeches and knowledge sharing opportunities, this conference was surely a place of learning and community building.

The first two days were open to English speaking guests, including EDiTE and colleagues from Stockholm, Munich, London, etc. The first day keynote speaker, Gert Biesta from Brunel Unviersity London provoked critical reflections on teaching and researching through his talk on Should we be widening the gap between teaching and research?The second day added to the discussions with the keynote on The issue of relevance in researching educational leadership given by Jorunn Møller, Univeristy of Oslo, while in the afternoon the final keynote speech was given by Ernesto Panadero, Universidad Autónomia de Madrid on the topic of assessment. These diverse and interesting themes were sandwiched by parallel paper sessions and poster presentations given by the participants. Helena Kovacs had the chance to speak about the value of teacher learning in innovative schools and Vasilis Symeonidis provided insights on his research on European policies and Europeanisation of national teacher education in Greece, Austria and Hungary.

Beyond this, NAFOL Conference in Hamar was a great opportunity to see a practice that heavily values the sense of community as well as individual contribution. Artistic expression that is an important aspect of teaching practice and is often lost when doing research was part of the official programme. Many of NAFOL students have engaged in sharing their talents during the joint dinner, as well as integrating elements of fun physical activities during the programme.


This year’s 8th International Conference on Critical Education took place at the University of East London from July 25 to 28 and focused on the theme of “Critical Education and Activism Against Neoliberalism/ Authoritarian Neoconservatism in Education, State and Society.” EDiTE researchers from the University of Lower Silesia, Tamas Toth and Josefine Wagner had the unique opportunity to present their research on “Pedagogy of the Spectacle” and “Inheriting Education?”, respectively, at the Early Career/PhD Invited Sessions. Also, EDiTE supervisor, Prof. György Meszaros from ELTE University attended ICCE and offered the audience his excellent talk on “Returning to Reality: Critical Ontology for Anti-Capitalist Research and Activism in Post-Socialist Semi-Periphery.” The conference is highly recommended to critical young scholars as the atmosphere is warm, welcoming and encouraging to thinkers who want to share their thoughts and actions for social and education justice and receive excellent feedback for further improvement and reflection

Democracy & Diversity Institute, Wrocław, Poland

From 6-22 July, EDiTE researcher Beata Zwierzynska participated in 2018 Democracy & Diversity Institute organized annually by the New School’s Transregional Center for Democratic Studies. Beata took part in Agnes Heller’s open lecture, and a discussion on Kielce Jewish pogrom events and screening of Bogdan’s Journey documentary, and two courses (each one consisting of 12 meetings): “’Europe is dead,’ Philosophy, History, and Politics in the Thought of Jan Patocka” led by James Dodd – Professor of Philosophy, NSSR; and “Democratic Crisis and the Politics of Social Media” led by Claire Potter – Professor of Historical Studies, NSSR.

The first seminar focused on the philosophy of Jan Patočka, in particular to his conception of Europe, and its moral death. Patočka was a Czech philosopher who is also remembered for being one of the original signatories of Charter 77 – human rights movement in communist Czechoslovakia. He was interrogated by the police because of his involvement in the movement. During the seminar, the required readings included Patočka’s Heretical Essays, Plato and Europe, “Titanism”, “Masaryk’s and Husserl’s Conception of the Spiritual Crisis of European Humanity”, “On Masaryk’s Philosophy of Religion, Hannah Arendt’s The Human Condition, Dostoyevsky’s Brothers Karamazov and The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and many more. But most importantly for Beata’s interest in the Havel’s “The Power of the Powerless” (dedicated to Patočka and influenced by his thought) – a famous essay  first published in Poland, and an important text and inspiration for the Polish Solidarity movement leaders.

The second seminar was devoted to the history of democratic crisis mainly through the examination of different types of media, including the most influential ones: Facebook and Twitter, and the rise of a global digital public sphere. This sphere, and numerous counter spheres inspired both democratic, and anti-democratic actions; life—saving initiatives and destructive populisms: grassroot democratic organizing, but also cynical political influence on elections; communication between fleeing refugees, but also bots, fake news, or antivaccination movements. The discussions were not only theoretical, but also debates on the role of citizens and intellectuals to counteract such phenomena; understanding the mechanisms of the online spaces, but also finding the principles to create democratic spaces, rather that participating in provocation, misinformation, or information chaos by being unaware of the usage of attention economy and media manipulation. The discussions were based on the close readings of 4-5 articles for each class ranging from more traditional texts like Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities, Jurgen Habermas’ The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, and Nancy Fraser’s “Rethinking the Public Sphere: A Contribution to the Critique of Actually Existing Democracy” to current analyses of cybermedia, political realms, and societies, for example: Sanjay Sharma’s “Black Twitter? Racial Hashtags, Networks and Contagion”, Anne Applebaum’s “Britain After Brexit: A Transformed Political Landscape”, and Wendy H. Wong and Peter A. Brown’s text “E-Bandits in Global Activism: WikiLeaks, Anonymous, and the Politics of No One.


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.

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.


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!


Prof. Irma Eloff presenting the South African educational system


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


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.