Keynote Speaker

Prof. Dr Justin Dillon: The role of informal science institutions in teacher education

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In many countries, preservice and inservice teacher education take place under the aegis of university/school partnerships. There is a danger, perhaps, that such a system perpetuates some of the weaknesses in the formal education system. In the US, a significant amount of professional development takes place in museums and science centres and has done for many years. A number of EU projects have provided opportunities for exploring the possible affordances of such informal science learning institutions. This talk will describe some of the strategies that have been used in projects such as FEAST (Facilitating the Engagement of Adults in Science and Technology) and INQUIRE (which focused on teacher education in botanic gardens). A number of issues emerged from those and other projects which might assist in the development of more integrated approaches to teacher education across formal and informal institutions.


Justin DillonAfter taking a degree in chemistry from the University of Birmingham, Justin Dillon trained to be a teacher at Chelsea College (University of London). He taught in six London schools over a period of 10 years with spells as Head of Chemistry and Head of Science. During this time he studied for an MA (Science Education). Prof. Dillon joined King’s in 1989 as a Lecturer in Science Education. He was Deputy Director of the PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education) from 1992-5 and Director of International Education from 1995-2003. In 2006 Prof. Dillon was appointed Senior Lecturer in Science and Environmental Education having completed his PhD and he was awarded a personal Chair in 2010. He has been Head of the Science and Technology Education Group since 2007. Together with two colleagues, Prof. Dillon coordinated the ESRC’s (Economic and Social Research Council) Targeted Initiative on Science and Mathematics Education and he has directed King’s involvement in a number of research projects including PENCIL, INQUIRE, FEAST and IRIS. He co-edits the International Journal of Science Education and was President of the European Science Education Research Association from 2007-11.


Prof. Dr Konrad Krainer: Scaling-up professional development: Chances and challenges

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The keynote shows that scaling-up professional development as larger regional or even nation-wide initiatives needs taking into account the learning of individuals, schools, teacher education institutions, educational administration and policy and the whole educational system itself. Asking some questions related to the scaling-up of professional development (why, how, how long, with whom), a naïve, a technical and a reflective rationality approach are compared. Based on international experiences and research, the keynote elaborates crucial conducive and hindering factors for sustainable scaling-up of professional development. Finally, some of these factors are discussed related to the Austrian PFL- and IMST-programme (focusing mainly on mathematics, science and language education) which combine nation-wide scaling-up professional development with other measures like the establishment of competence centres and networks.


Konrad KrainerKonrad Krainer is professor and director of the School of Education at the Alpen-Adria-University Klagenfurt (Austria). He worked several years as mathematics teacher and wrote his doctoral and habilitation theses in the field of mathematics education. His recent research focuses on mathematics teacher education, school development and educational system development. He is co-editor of several books (e.g., one volume of the International Handbook of Mathematics Teacher Education) and leader of the nation-wide IMST project. Krainer was associate editor of JMTE and is co-editor of the newly established “Journal Praxisforschung”. He was founding and board member of ERME and is member of international scientific committees (e.g., Education Committee of EMS, advisory board of DZLM). He gave several plenary presentations at international conferences (e.g., ICME and PME) and is the Chair of the IPC for CERME 9 (Prague 2015).




Peter Birch: Teacher professional development in Europe: perceptions, policies, and practices

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Peter Birch will provide an overview of policies and practices for continuous professional development (CPD) in European countries. His presentation will focus on the status of CPD and the different approaches that responsible authorities in education have towards professional development of teachers. The presentation will also deal with the relatively recent findings of the TALIS report (OECD, 2013) on professional training for teachers, and illustrate the paths of investigation that the Eurydice network is undertaking on the subject, as well as the main policies of the European Commission in this area.


Peter BirchPeter Birch is coordinator for education policy and systems analysis at the Executive Agency Education Audiovisual and Culture of the European Commission. Among other things, he is currently coordinating a report on the teaching profession in Europe focusing on initial teacher education, continuous professional development, job satisfaction, and attractiveness and retention. He has a degree in foreign languages and Master degree in Education with the Open University UK. He has been involved in projects dealing with e-Learning, language learning, and school quality assurance. He has experience as teacher and trainer.



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The project mascil has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement n°320693