ATEE 2016

2016 ATEE Annual Conference

Association for Teacher Education in Europe

 

22-24 August, 2016 - Eindhoven, the Netherlands

The theme of the 2016 ATEE annual conference was "Education the best teachers: a challenge for teacher education". InFo-TED contributed with the symposium "Professional development of teacher educators – lessons learned in international cooperation". Abstracts and presentations are available below.

Professional development of teacher educators - lessons learned in international cooperation

Symposium overview

 

Jurriën Dengerink, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, NL

Michal Golan, the MOFET Institute, ISR

Mieke Lunenberg, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, NL

Aim of this symposium is to get more insight in

  • the learning needs of teacher educators across Europe and Israel
  • how experienced teacher educators, who collaborate internationally to bring together, exchange, and promote research, policy and practice related to the professional learning of teacher educators, learn from each other.

The presentations in this symposium are based on the work of the International Forum of Teacher educator Development (Vanassche et al, 2015), especially a collaborative selfstudy of members of the Forum, and an international comparative survey (n= 1158), conducted by the Forum, on the researchly dispositions and professional learning needs of university- and college-based teacher educators across Europe and Israel.

These presentations are relevant and important contributions, due to their unique character and—regarding the surveystudies—scale to the improvement of the quality of teacher educators and as a result of that to the improvement of teacher education. They are closely related with the conference theme of Professional roles of teacher educators and the work of the ATEE-RDC Professional Development of Teacher Educators.

The questions of the survey-study are theoretically grounded in earlier national studies on the researcherly dispositions of teacher educators (Tack & VanderLinde, 2016) and on the professional learning needs of teacher educators (Dengerink, Kools & Lunenberg, 2015; Smith 2011). The study of the InFo-TED community is grounded in self-study-research (Laboskey, 2004) and closely related to studies about professional learning communities of experienced professionals (Wenger, 1998; Stoll et al., 2006).

The main questions we want to discuss and share in this symposium are:

  • What kind of professional learning activities teacher educators are most supportive for their professional learning?
  • In which respect are specific roles, context and experience relevant for the choice of their most relevant learning activities?
  • Who should use the results of the presented studies and how do the results contribute to the improvement of teacher education?

View presentation (PDF)

 

References

Dengerink, J., Lunenberg, M. & Kools, Q. (2015). What and how teacher educators prefer to learn. Journal of Education for Teaching 41(1), 78-96.

LaBoskey, V. (2004). The methodology of self-study and its theoretical underpinnings. In J. J. Loughran, M. L. Hamilton, V. K. LaBoskey, & T. Russell (Eds.), International handbook of self-study of teaching and teacher education practices (pp. 817-870). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Smith, P.K. (2011) Professional Development of Teacher Educators. In: E. Baker, B. McGaw & P. Peterson (Eds.) International Encyclopedia of Education 3rd Ed. Oxford, UK: Elsevier. 681 – 688.

Stoll, L., Bolam, R., McMahon, A., Wallace, M. & Thomas, S. (2006). Professional Learning Communities: A Review of the Literature. Journal of Educational Change 7(4) 221-258.

Tack, H., & Vanderlinde, R. (2016). Measuring teacher educators’ researcherly disposition: item development and scale construction. Vocations and Learning. DOI 10.1007/s12186-016-9148-5.

Vanassche, E., Rust, F., Conway, P., Smith, K., Tack, H., & Vanderlinde, R. (2015). InFo-TED: Bringing Policy, Research, and Practice Together Around Teacher Educator Development. In Craig, C., & Orland-Barak, L. (editors) (2015). International teacher education: Promising pedagogies. Brinkley, UK: Emerald Books.

Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning and identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Professional development of experienced teacher educators: learning across boundaries

 

Mieke Lunenberg, VU University Amsterdam, NL

Jean Murray, University of East London, UK

Kari Smith, Norwegian University of Technology and Science, NO

Ruben Vanderlinde, University of Ghent, BE

 

Aim

Although the number of studies on teacher educators has been increased in last decade, there are few studies on professional learning across boundaries. In this paper, we—experienced teacher educators—focus on our learning through our involvement in the International Forum for Teacher Educator Development. InFo-TED was established in 2013 with a mission to bring together, exchange and promote research, policy and practice related to teacher educators' professional development. Since its establishment members of the forum have engaged in a series of activities (Vanassche et al, 2015), here seen as learning opportunities.

In Belgium (Flanders), England, the Netherlands and Norway we have supported the professional development of colleagues nationally, studied these processes, and tried to influence policy makers. We are convinced that professional development needs more attention, but we also know that what is already done and what is still needed differs for our countries. That raises the question what it means to be and learn as European teacher educators.

 

Research Question

What is the interplay between our own learning and the ways in which we can support colleagues, taking into account the reciprocal effect of working in national as well as in international contexts?

 

Methods

Data collection included 1) personal narratives about our learning 2) documents of the group’s activities. Following a collaborative self-study approach to analyse these texts, we utilised an interactive exploration of the narratives and the other documentation, using a grounded theory approach. The findings were shared in a roundtable discussion at the European Educational Research Association conference (Porto, 2014). Here critical feedback from the public was requested. This discussion helped us to ‘see a situation through others’ eyes’ (LaBoskey, 2004, p. 847) and also aimed to add to the rigour and trustworthiness of the analysis.

 

Findings

Our involvement in InFo-TED has provided us powerful learning experiences. How then can these create models for our colleagues’ learning?

We have identified the following supportive aspects:

  1. a positive learning environment which allows for collegial but critical discussion and the generation of learning activities which enable deep debates on the underpinning of teacher educators’ work,
  2. a deep, personal involvement in wanting to strengthen the professionalism of teacher educators,
  3. being in positions to contribute to the knowledge about the learning of teacher educators,
  4. awareness of the practices in the policy and institutional contexts for teacher education, nationally as well as internationally.

 

Conclusion and reflection

The most important theme emerging from this study is that it is possible to make productive use of different national voices and develop common understanding and goals for being and learning as European teacher educators. We hope that our work in InFo-TED will enable European teacher educators to develop the feeling of belonging as a teacher educator. Only then can working together, to

‘help us to develop our understanding of professional learning in complex and changing times when global imperatives have an increasing influence on the policies and practices that shape professional learning at the local level’ (Stevenson, 2015, 758).

 

References

LaBoskey, V. (2004). The methodology of self-study and its theoretical underpinnings. In J. J. Loughran, M. L. Hamilton, V. K. LaBoskey, & T. Russell (Eds.), International handbook of self-study of teaching and teacher education practices (pp. 817-870). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Lunenberg, M., Dengerink, J., & Korthagen, F. (2013). The Professional Teacher Educator. Roles, Behaviour, and Professional Development of Teacher Educators. Rotterdam, Boston, Taipei: Sense Publishers.

Stevenson, H. (2015) Professional learning in global times, Professional Development in Education, 41(5), 757-758. Vanassche, E., Rust, F., Conway, P., Smith, K., Tack, H., & Vanderlinde, R. (2015). InFo-TED: Bringing Policy, Research, and Practice Together Around Teacher Educator Development. In Craig, C., & Orland-Barak, L. (editors) (2015). International teacher education: Promising pedagogies. Brinkley, UK: Emerald Books.

The professional development needs of teacher educators - lessons from InFo-TEDs international study and the Israeli perspective

 

Michal Golan, the MOFET Insitute, ISR

Ainat Guberman, the MOFET Insitute, ISR

As a key to education quality, improving teacher education is a widely accepted goal (European Commission, 2015). Teacher educators' work (Ben‐Peretz, Kleeman, Reichenberg & Shimoni 2010; Lunenberg, Dengerink and Korthagen 2014; Swennen, Jones and Volman, 2010) consists of a variety of roles, each of which may require professional development: teaching, coaching, facilitation of collaboration between diverse organizations and stakeholders, assessment, ‘gatekeeping’, curriculum development, research and critical inquiry. Driven by the relatively little attention the professional development needs of teacher educators have received, this study aimed to discover what professional development activities do higher education-based teacher educators value, and how best can these activities be realized?

 

Methods

The participants were 1,158 teacher educators working in higher education institutions, from six countries participating in the International Forum for Teacher Educator Development (InFo-TED): Belgium, Ireland, Israel, the Netherlands, Norway and the UK. They were recruited through the institutes in which they work, professional associations and meetings (e.g., study days, local conferences and college staff meetings). In order to assess their professional development needs and preferences a questionnaire was constructed, partially based upon earlier questionnaires (Sagee, 2014; Tack & Vanderlinde, 2016). It was pre-tested and then distributed in English in all participating countries except the Netherlands and Belgium, where it was translated and distributed in Dutch. Statistical analysis involved frequency distributions, univariate comparisons and factor analysis.

 

Findings

Teacher educators are only moderately satisfied with their experiences of professional development to date, yet they have a strong desire for further professional learning. They form a heterogeneous group. One of the most conspicuous divisions is between those whose main interest involves the development of their educational capacities and those who prefer to enhance their academic career. The former prefer updating on curriculum developments in teacher education, enhancing their subject knowledge, assessment procedures, and mentoring/coaching student teachers, whereas the latter are more interested in promoting their research and writing skills and presenting at conferences. This division reflects teacher educators' recruiting methods (Griffiths, Thompson and Hryniewicz 2014; Smith, 2011) and is apparently maintained throughout their career. Teacher educators wish to be part of a community of learners, however time constraints were perceived as a major obstacle to engagement in professional learning.

Israel's colleges of education educate teachers for pre-school through lower secondary school. Traditionally, teacher educators were recruited from schools, whereas nowadays, they are mainly recruited from universities and must have Ph.D. Teaching experience, though desirable, is not required. The MOFET Institute provides professional development opportunities to college based teacher educators. These include teacher educators' learning communities, research support, publishing house, and studies in diverse aspects of teaching and mentoring (Reichenberg, Kleeman & Sagee, 2013).

The highest ranking options for professional development among Israeli respondents were personal reading, academic writing, informal conversations with peers and international exchanges. They were slightly more interested in academic than in educational subjects and activities. Relative to other countries, Israelis were more interested in specialization in academic administration.

 

Conclusions

Findings suggest that respondents' background as well as current working conditions play a role in shaping their professional development preferences. Allocating designated time for professional learning may enable teacher educators to acquire and develop a more diversified and balanced ‘toolkit’. Furthermore, working together may help teacher educators create distinct and coherent professional identity and further develop their profession.

View presentation (PDF)

 

References

Ben-Peretz , M., Kleeman , S., Reichenberg, R., & Shimoni, S. (2010). Educators of educators: their goals, perceptions and practices. Professional Development in Education, 36(1-2), 111-129.

European Commission, (2015). Strengthening Teaching in Europe: New Evidence from Teachers compiled by Eurydice and CRELL, June 2015.

Griffiths, V., S. Thompson and L. Hryniewicz. 2014. “Landmarks in the Professional and Academic Development of Mid-Career Teacher Educators”. European Journal of Teacher Education 37 (1): 74–90.

Lunenberg, M., Dengerink, J., & Korthagen, F. (2014). The professional teacher educator: professional roles, behaviour and development of teacher educators. Rotterdam: Sense.

Reichenberg, R., Kleeman, S., & Sagee, R. (2013). The professional development of teacher educators in the context of the school of professional development at the Mofet institute. In: M. Ben-Peretz, S. Kleeman, R. Reichenberg, and S. Shimoni (Eds.) Teacher educators as members of an evolving profession (pp. 105-133). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Sagee, R, (2014). College based teacher educators' perception of their professional identity. In: H. Ezer (Ed.), Through the professional lens: a collaborative multi-methods research to understand teacher educators' identity (pp. 42-72). Tel Aviv: MOFET (In Hebrew).

Smith, K. (2011). The multi-faceted teacher educator: A Norwegian perspective. Journal of Education for Teaching, 37(3), 337-349.

Swennen, A., Jones, K. & Volman, M. (2010). Teacher educators: their identities, sub-identities and implications for professional development. Professional Development in Education 36(1) 131-148.

Tack, H., & Vanderlinde, R. (2016). Measuring teacher educators’ researchly disposition: item development and scale construction. Vocations and Learning. doi: 10.1007/s12186-016-9148-5.

The professional development needs of teacher educators - lessons from InFo-TEDs international study and the Dutch perspective

 

Jurriën Dengerink, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, NL

Mieke Lunenberg, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, NL

The work of teacher educators is multi-faceted (Davey, 2013; Lunenberg, Dengerink, & Korthagen, 2013). This study, which is part of an international study on the researcherly dispositions and the professional development needs of teacher educators, conducted by the International Forum for Teacher Educator Development (InFo-TED) (Vanassche et al, 2015), focuses on the multifaceted character of the work of teacher educators and their differentiated professional development needs in the Netherlands. Specific research questions were:

a. what are the main elements or the work of beginning and more experienced teacher educators in Dutch universities (research universities and universities of applied sciences)

b. what are the levels of interest for specific areas and activities for their professional learning and

c. in which respect play experience and work context of teacher educators a role in their preferences for professional development goals and activities?

 

Methods

The questions of International InFo-TED survey on researcherly dispositions and the professional learning needs of teacher educators were leading for the Dutch survey. The Dutch translation was validated in a pilot with 40 teacher educators. Participants in the survey were 355 teacher educators, of which 124 were working in a research based university and 239 in a university of applied science. Teacher educators of universities of applied sciences were recruited from the memberlist of the Dutch association of teacher educators VELON, teacher educators of research universities were recruited from the staff-lists of these universities. Results were processed in SPSS and analysed by descriptive analysis.

 

Findings

The work of Dutch teacher educators is, as in other countries, characterised by a large variety of work, though they are relatively less than their colleagues in other countries (but still more than 60%) involved in the continuing professional development of teachers and also relatively less engaged in research, which may be related to the low percentage of teacher educators with a PhD in the Netherlands (20%). Especially teacher educators in Dutch research universities have relatively small part-time positions. The Dutch teacher educators, especially the more experienced ones, are, compared with their colleagues in other countries, the most satisfied with their professional opportunities. Reading, informal conversations and observation of colleagues are most valued as professional learning activities among Dutch teacher educators. Themes directly related to the pedagogy of teacher education and coaching of students are prominent in their learning needs, but there is also a substantial interest in the more meso- and macro-aspects of teacher education. The interest in academic themes like improving research skills, scholarly writing, presenting at conferences and reviewing papers is compared to other countries (except Belgium) rather low. Preliminary findings show that years of experience, work-context and position are important factors for differences in satisfaction about professional learning opportunities, and that position and level of prior education are important factors for the degree Dutch teacher educators are interested in the more academic aspects of professional development.

 

Conclusion and Discussion

Learning preferences of teacher educators in the Netherlands are closely related with their day to day practice of teaching students. Dutch teacher educators value relatively high informal Findings align to a high degree with an earlier survey, conducted among Dutch teacher educators (Dengerink, Kools & Lunenberg, 2015). But compared to that survey, interest in academic and scholarly activities is increasing. The relatively high interest for observation by and of colleagues may be due to the success of several lesson-study-projects in the Netherlands.

View presentation (PDF)

 

References

Davey, R. (2013). The Professional Identity of Teacher Educators. Career on the cusp? London: Routledge.

Dengerink, J., Lunenberg, M. & Kools, Q. (2015). What and how teacher educators prefer to learn. Journal of Education for Teaching 41(1), 78-96.

Lunenberg, M., Dengerink, J., & Korthagen, F. (2014). The professional teacher educator: professional roles, behaviour and development of teacher educators. Rotterdam: Sense.

Vanassche, E., Rust, F., Conway, P., Smith, K., Tack, H., & Vanderlinde, R. (2015). InFo-TED: Bringing Policy, Research, and Practice Together Around Teacher Educator Development. In Craig, C., & Orland-Barak, L. (editors) (2015). International teacher education: Promising pedagogies. Brinkley, UK: Emerald Books.