The EDiTE joint research program is a response to the current challenges in the complex process of transformation of teachersâ€™ lifelong professional development. On one hand, teaching in European countries becomes increasingly assimilated through the backwash effect of...
The EDiTE joint research program is a response to the current challenges in the complex process of transformation of teachersâ€™ lifelong professional development. On one hand, teaching in European countries becomes increasingly assimilated through the backwash effect of global large-scale assessment activities, such as PISA, or through ground-breaking research, such as Hattieâ€™s Visible Learning (2009), which implies that teaching and learning should become more responsive processes across country borders. On the other hand, there are many national traits of what it means to teach in a particularly country, making it difficult for teachers to move their employment in different countries, while little has changed nationally with a cultural perspective towards Europe in mind.
EDiTE was developed by a consortium of five universities from the field of European higher education, over the course of two projects, pursuing the following goals: (a) develop an original, transnational and interdisciplinary joint doctoral program in teacher education; (b) create a closer link between practice and theory in teacher education; (c) move transnational research in teacher education nearer to national educational institutions; (d) provide a forum for sharing theoretical knowledge and good practice from a European perspective; and (e) promote standards, procedures and unifying principles for the design, organization and development of doctoral study programs in teacher education (Schratz, 2014). The program architecture, its transnational and collaborative character offer a leading-edge contribution to provision and qualification in European higher education.
EDiTE involves early-stage and independent researchers from around the world in conducting research on the theme of â€˜transformative teacher learning for better student learning in an emerging European contextâ€™. The three pillars of the research theme function as a continuing research dimension into each EDiTE researcherâ€™s work. Over the course of the project, the EDiTE community envisions growing into a European network for innovation in teacher education, accessible to academics, practitioners and policy makers. It is expected to generate relevant knowledge on transformative professional learning in the field of teacher education. Through complementary expertise of partners in research approaches (e.g. action research, phenomenology, anthropology, ethnography, social action research, case study, grounded theory), insights on a European comparative level will be gained, with a focus on diversity and cross-cultural perspectives of countries, sectors, institutions, classrooms, and the target group of education professionals. Broad methodological approaches support the identification of â€˜Europeannessâ€™ within the dynamics of professionalism, transformation, professional learning, policy-making, and supports research as social practice and change process.
The European Doctorate in Teacher Education PhD Programme started successfully in October 2015, leading to the recruitment of 15 Early Stage Researches (ESRs) for the EDiTE project.
The first semester of the PhD training was determined by an orientation phase towards the specification of the research topics and interests, including intensive literature research. This resulted in the presentation of an Individual Research Plan for each ESR, which was developed in close cooperation with the two supervisors from the host and secondment universities.
The Acadmic Network Events â€œEDiTE Summer Schoolâ€ (June 2016 in Brno, CZ, and June 2017 in Wroclaw, PL) are seen as highlights of each academic year and were attended by more than 50 members of the EDiTE community The training programme included research presentations by the PhD students, lectures and interactive workshops focusing on different theoretical and methodological topics.
The second year of the project was characterised by the mobility phase, where ESRs pursued their research at one of the partner institutions, resulting in manifold exchanges on an European level. It was also marked the European Joint Virtual Seminars seminar, was held succesfully in February 2017 and resulted in transnational collaboration of researchers, who produced academic papers, some of which got published in the â€œEDiTE Conference Volume: European Perspectives in Transformative Educationâ€ and the launch of the researcher driven EDiTE blog â€œAudacityâ€ in March 2017.
During their secondments, the ESRs have encountered the challenge of European professionalism by experiencing different relations between teachers, students, parents, researchers and practitioners within different research cultures. Although internationally embedded we know very little about what makes them â€œEuropeanâ€ in the sense of European professionalism. Under the assumption that European educators should have a distinctive European self-understanding influenced by specifically European academic traditions and disciplines the mutual experiences at the partner universities, including other transnational activities, have contributed to a new understanding of European professionalism. This has also served as a lever for fostering Europeanisation in almost all partner universities and beyond (schools, professional development institutes, national agencies etc.).
The EDiTE research fellows have been in interaction with various institutions across Europe, among them EDiTE partner schools. In some cases they have been involved in the daily activities of schools, where these transnational encounters per se together with the conducted research enable all actors to reflect their processes in a different light, encouraging them to think about how they can use research and the presence of researchers to further develop their practice. With this experience the ESRs have started building their transnational networks what facilitates a continuation structure after the end of the project. Furthermore partner organizations have been influenced by the multicultural perspectives of the EDiTE research fellows during their research stay and will continue to cooperate on the international level after the present project comes to a close.
Through the manifold exchanges of the EDiTE project leaders and supervisors, transnational research activities with a European approach have increased. The EDiTE program has also encouraged practitioners to express their needs towards research and researcher training enhancing the practical use of research outcomes. The EDiTE program may also act as a generative model for the development of other European joint doctoral programs through the promotion of standards and procedures in teacher education. Interest already rose from other universities (e.g. from Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Germany) and even beyond Europe (e.g. UNESCO African Dean Congress considering EDiTE to be a prototype for a similar program on the continent).
More info: http://www.edite.eu/.