It’s hard work, but I guess someone has to do it!
Herstmonceux Castle in Sussex, U.K. was the romantic venue for the recent S-STEP (Self-Study of Teacher Education Practices) International Conference, which I recently attended. The castle is in fact the Queens University (Ontario) Bader Study Centre in the UK.
S-STEP is one of the largest special interest groups of AERA (the American Education Research Association). Its biennial residential conference is focused on action research and other forms of self-study for teacher educators. It is a small conference of c.150 leading teacher educators, representing something of a ‘who’s who’ of teacher education internationally. Everyone presents and is encouraged to be innovative in their forms of presentation – ‘stand and deliver’ is frowned upon almost as much as in our own ULEARN conference :-).
Most attendees were from the USA or Canada, and others came from Holland, Iceland, Belgium. There were about 10 Australasians present, and even a few local English teacher educators!
Popular education research topics and focus
Some repeating topics covered by papers included:
• Ethical issues arising in self-study research
• The professional transition of teachers into teacher educators
• Reflection in teacher education
• Team teaching and collaborative teaching methods in teacher education
It seems that, internationally, the focus in research studies of teacher education is largely on pre-service teacher education and the ‘training’ of neophyte or student teachers. But there is a growing recognition of the importance of inservice teacher education and professional development /professional learning as part of the broader field of teacher education, especially among those of us interested in action research, practitioner research, and teachers as researchers of their own practices.
The conference publishes a formal Proceedings with brief papers from all presentations – many of which go on to become chapters in one of several Self-Study in Teacher Education book series published by Sense, Springer and Routledge.
Role of collectivity in professional learning for teachers and teacher educators
At the conference Ronnie Davey (University of Canterbury) and I presented an account of the role of collectivity in professional learning for teachers and teacher educators, coming out of CORE Education’s work with teacher educators at the University of Canterbury in the last phase of the Ministry of Education’s INSTEP programme.
Links and download:
• Materials from various NZ INSTEP projects: http://www.instep.net.nz/
• The CORE/University of Canterbury 2010 conference paper: Professional Learning through Collective Self-Study: Sharing tales from the field
• Castle conference Proceedings: http://sites.google.com/site/castleconference2010/
Dr. Vince Ham is the Director of research at CORE Education. A former New Zealand Rhodes Scholar, Vince has particular research interests in educational research methods, especially action research, the professional learning of teachers and teacher educators, and the use of ICTs for teaching and learning.
Latest posts by Vince Ham (see all)
- Self-Study of Teacher Education Practices (S-STEP) Conference - November 29, 2010