Network members engage in collaborative research projects on, in and for teacher education.
Teaching that Matters for Migrant Students (TEAMS) project (2020 – 2022) addresses the need to understand how teachers, schools and education systems respond to the needs of migrant students. The project aims to identify educational practices and structural conditions that facilitate opportunities for migrants’ academic success, cross-cultural socialization, and developing a sense of belonging in their school communities, across six school sites in Scotland, Finland and Sweden. School staff and migrant students will co-design material and relate their lived experiences of schooling through filmmaking and photography.
TEAMS involves interdisciplinary collaboration between four teams from the Universities of Edinburgh, Stockholm, Jyväskylä and Turku, led by Edinburgh-based PI, Dr Nataša Pantić
Making SENse of Teachers’ Communities of Practice with Social and Epistemic Network Analysis is a PhD project (ESRC Interdisciplinary Steer) conducted by Barbara Dzieciatko
Teachers’ collaboration with others (e.g. colleagues, families, and other professionals) is an essential aspect of their agency for change. Communities of Practice (CoPs) – a form of collaboration characterised by shared purposes and mutual support – can make a difference in student outcomes, including but not limited to achievement, especially for vulnerable learners. But how do teachers build such communities in the first place? The project employs Social and Epistemic network analysis to study how teachers’ beliefs and practices shape and their social networks within and beyond schools. The aim is to understand how CoPs emerge from teachers’ day-to-day interactions with colleagues, families, and other professionals as they seek to improve all students’ learning and schooling experiences.
The MQuITE project seeks to involve all stakeholders in the development of a contextually appropriate means of measuring quality in initial teacher education in Scotland. It engages with both literature and practice to inform this process. The project runs for six years (tracking graduates over five years) and involves all ITE universities in Scotland, as well as General Teaching Council Scotland (GTCS). It is designed to be developmental in nature, securing, as it does, a sound base for the study of quality in ITE in its initial phases and then testing this in subsequent years. An ongoing feature of the project is the way in which markers of quality are returned to and modified in light of accrued data. In this way the project does not seek to maintain a static representation of quality but rather a dynamic interpretation that is modified in light of progression both of students as they become teachers and the various routes into teaching that now exist in Scotland. This work will contribute significantly to the development of quality teacher education in Scotland, and will also offer a useful perspective to the international debate on measuring quality in ITE.
PIs: Dr Aileen Kennedy, University of Edinburgh and Dr Paul Adams, University of Strathclyde
Scoping Review on the pedagogical practices recommended to address the needs of specific vulnerable groups.
This extensive review is in line with the UN Sustainable Goal (DSG) 4 concerning inclusive and equitable quality education for all throughout life, and more recent statements, such as The Brussels Declaration (2018) and the Cali Commitment (2019), which call for ‘particular attention’ to be given to those in ‘vulnerable situations’. These are defined as persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, those in remote rural areas, ethnic minorities, the poor, women and girls, migrants, refugees, and displaced persons, whether as a result of conflict or natural disaster.
The review reflects on the pedagogical meaning of the term , ‘particular attention’ by addressing questions about practice, in order to gain understanding of the classroom level practices ( such as strategies, interventions and approaches) that attend to the specific needs of each of these vulnerable groups, worldwide.
PIs: Prof. Lani Florian University of Edinburgh, Dr. Kristine Black-Hawkins, University of Cambridge, and RA Diana Murdoch, University of Edinburgh
Agents of Change: a toolkit for schools and teachers project is supported by Scottish Universities Insight Institute to design a toolkit that facilitates teachers and schools acting as agents of change for achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The toolkit will help educators a) build the national SDGs indicators into their local targets; b) identify relevant knowledge and network with players within and beyond schools to consider solutions; and c) evaluate their impact. The programme includes 2 seminars (to consider the reserach on teacher agency for change, and on educational potential of game-based learning), and 4 workshops to co-design with various stakeholders a toolkit including a research-informed, pedagogically sound, visually attractive game that will engage school staff in scenarios of planning, implementing and evaluating change towards the achievement of SDGs. The project team involves potential users to develop and promote the toolkit to many more through Scottish and international networks of Continuing Professional Development providers, both within and beyond the project.
PIs: Dr Nataša Pantić, University of Edinburgh and Daisy Abbott, Glasgow School of Art.
Becoming Agents of Change: An examination of teachers’ perceptions of how the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PgCAP) develops their agency as teachers
This project is supported by the Principal’s Teaching Award Scheme to examine if and how those who have completed the PgCAP at the University of Edinburgh take their new knowledge and understanding into the workplace and use it to become ‘agents of change’: teachers who are proactive decision-makers who improve learning environments, specifically towards the creation of more inclusive, student-centred classrooms. The project is directly aligned with recognition of the importance of teaching excellence in Higher Education, and the University of Edinburgh’s commitment to support student-centred teaching approaches that constructively address students’ diverse needs. A second strand of the research is to scrutinise the context in which teaching is located, in line with assertion that all teaching is mediated, constituted and constrained by a number of factors, including institutional culture and politics, and disciplinary identity and practices.
The project aims to understand the role of the PgCAP in the development of teacher agency in the teaching staff of the university, in order to be able to make research-informed improvements and modifications to the Programme, to enable staff to reflect more deeply about their role as teachers. A second aim is to bring to light the ways in which agency may be expressed, supported or constrained within the existing structures and cultures of departments and Schools within the University, in order to be able to support teacher agency to improve learning environments and student experience.
Project participants: Dr Andrea English and Dr Hazel Christie (PIs) and Diana Murdoch