BERA Annual Conference 2015
British Educational Research Association
15-17 September, 2015 - Belfast, Northern Ireland
Teacher educator's professional learning and development needs
According to the European Commission, "if teachers are the most important in-school factor influencing the quality of students’ learning, the competences of those who educate and support teachers (teacher educators) must be of the highest order" (European Commission, 2012: 52). In line with this conclusion, a considerable amount of research has addressed teacher educators’ identities, roles and professional development during the last decade. Within this line of studies, special attention was directed at teacher educators’ involvement in research, since it is believed that future research developments in teacher education should be research based, and that research is the key to teacher educators’ professional development. Unfortunately, most of these studies were small scale reports focused upon the personal experiences of beginning teacher educators in unrelated settings.
The current paper reports on the findings from an international survey carried out by the International Forum for Teacher Educator Development (InFoTED). InFoTED is a recently established forum of European experienced teacher educators, with associates from the USA and Israel, aiming to create a coherent set of strategies to develop the professional identities and knowledge bases of teacher educators. At present there are few systemic routes for teacher educators’ ongoing learning and little research documentation of these routes (Berry 2013; Smith 2012). As part of a wider set of strategies designed to address this discrepancy, a survey on teacher educators’ professional learning needs was distributed among InFoTED’s network of participating countries.
The research questions were (i) How do teacher educators perceive their profession? (ii) What are the skills teacher educators possess in order to perform their multiple tasks? (iii) What are the professional development needs of teacher educators throughout their careers? (iv) Are there systematic commonalities and differences between the participating countries as regards teacher educators’ professional learning contexts?
The survey’s initial findings will be reported, and its implications for a coordinated European framework for teacher educators’ professional development.
Berry. M. 2013. Teacher Educators’ professional learning. Paper presented at ISATT, Ghent: Belgium
European Commission. (2012). Supporting the Teaching Professions for Better Learning Outcomes. Strasbourg: European Commission.
Smith K. 2012. The multi-faceted teacher educator: A Norwegian perspective. Journal of Education for Teaching, 37 (3) 337-349
Gerry Czerniawski, University of East London, UK
Ann MacPhail, University of Limerick, Ireland
Ainat Guberman, MOFET Institute Research Authority, Israel