Building on the results of the first conference on this topic, Educating the Educators II will serve as a lever and platform for international exchange about concepts and experiences. The aim is to present and discuss different approaches which ensure a high quality of the education of educators:
This topic will address two models of face-to-face professional development courses that are used to reach a large number of teachers with innovative approaches, such as inquiry-based learning, or deal with heterogeneity. In the pyramid model, engaged teachers or researchers are qualified to become facilitators, who then go on to support other teachers in PD courses. In the second model, teachers themselves organise professional learning communities in which one teacher takes the role of a facilitator. This topic examines both models and aims to – amongst others – draw links between them.
The pyramid model and learning communities have proven efficiency and effectiveness within various contexts and projects. However, educating multipliers poses considerable challenges inherent to the specific requirements of the multipliers’ dual role. Multipliers act as experts in some subject-related content, and at the same time, as professionals in adult education. Therefore, qualifying multipliers has to cover both of these requirements. A consideration with learning communities is that these often lack external input.
The topic focuses on key questions, such as (examples):
Carefully designed classroom tasks and materials can be powerful tools for enhancing the quality of maths and science teaching, influencing the classroom culture and fostering students’ learning. In the process of developing a task culture and implementing good material in classrooms, a spiral model of professional development has proven to be efficient and effective within various projects (e.g. EU projects LEMA, COMPASS, PRIMAS or the German DZLM project PIKAS). In the spiral model, teachers actively experience the innovative approaches in continuing cycles of analysis – implementation – reflection. After gaining some experience, professional learning communities are able to develop their own tasks. This process ensures shared ownership of tasks, and thereby facilitates their use.
Furthermore, PD in the spiral model requires appropriate materials designed for a learning community’s facilitator or multiplier to use with their work with teachers. These PD materials can also be realised in the form of e-learning materials, as innovative technologies enable new approaches and powerful possibilities for collaborative, learner-centred and research-oriented learning with flexible access. Materials for blended learning need to be a combination of those used in face-to-face learning and in e-learning.
Proposals of paper, poster or materials presentations within the scope of this topic will address some of the following questions (examples):
When aiming at improving STEM education and large-scale teacher professional development, different project architectures are possible. This topic will focus on the specific design of projects and initiatives that aim at scaling-up the implementation of innovative, research-based approaches to mathematics education (e.g. also nationwide centres, such as the DZLM in Germany) and will take into account their contextual framing (such as curriculum, assessment, relation between policy and professional development, school context).
For example, we can educate facilitators who in turn carry out professional development courses on a large scale. One can either ask individual teachers for participation or only whole schools. The materials for these courses can be provided either centrally or by the individual facilitator. Another possibility for supporting professional development is to involve teachers in small, action research projects. Other projects work with regional and national centres that have the responsibility of supporting innovation in their region.
In any case, these initiatives must provide both scaled-up professional development activities and sustainable structures for supporting cooperation between different stakeholders, while also taking contextual factors into account.
Proposals of papers or posters in this topic will address some of the following questions (examples):