Skip to main content

European Joint Doctorate in Teacher Education

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - EDiTE-EJD (European Joint Doctorate in Teacher Education)

Reporting period: 2017-10-01 to 2020-02-29

EDiTE was developed by a consortium of five universities, pursuing the following goals: (a) develop an original, transnational and interdisciplinary 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 an European perspective; and (e) promote standards, procedures and unifying principles for the design, organization and development of doctoral study programs in teacher education. The transnational program offers a leading-edge contribution to provision and qualification in European teacher education.
Early-stage researchers from around the world were recruited to jointly conduct research on the overarching research dimension “Transformative teacher learning for better student learning in an emerging European context”. The EDiTE community has grown into a European network for innovation in teacher education, accessible to academics, practitioners and policy makers. Through the complementary expertise of the consortium partners in different methodological research approaches, insights on a European comparative level were gained. The focus on diversity and cross-cultural perspectives helped in searching for the identification of ‘Europeanness’ within the dynamics of professionalism, policy-making, and social practice.
After the start of the EDiTE Project in October 2015, 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) were recruited (>100 applicants, 57 nationalities), they started their PhD training with individual research plans developed in close cooperation with the host and secondment universities. Annual “EDiTE Summer Schools” and joint “EDiTE Virtual Seminars” offered transnational exchange among the partner universities and included research presentations by the ESRs, lectures and interactive workshops focusing on different theoretical and methodological topics.
The mobility phase provided ESRs with cross-cultural research experience at one of the partner universities, resulting in manifold exchanges on a European level. In their research they had to align the transnational data sets from field work obtained in various countries. Complementary initiatives helped the ESRs to grow into larger scientific communities in Europe and beyond: A joint conference with the Norwegian National Research School in Teacher Education (NAFOL) offered ESRs the opportunity to stage a joint conference with Scandinavian peers by taking roles as presenters, discussants and chairs under the guidance of their (co-)supervisors. The joint publication of a special issue of the Center for Education Policy Studies Journal on “Transnational Perspectives of Transformative Teacher Learning in an Emerging Europe” made it possible for ESRs and other researchers involved to practice scientific community work on (co-)editing, writing articles for peer reviewed journals, reviewing manuscripts etc. with the support of (co-)supervisors. In addition, the final European joint virtual seminar was dedicated to career development as a researcher in teacher education. Prof. Marilyn Cochran-Smith (USA) shared her professional journey starting from becoming a PhD student through progressing up the career ladder to become a world-renowned scientist and commented on trends in teacher education.
The transnational dimension provided an essential opportunity to deal productively with different academic cultures in Europe and to build research communities – both individually and institutionally. The collaboration in international research groups engaged ESRs in scientific projects that far exceeded the scope common for individual doctoral research. In all instances, EDiTE has increased transnational awareness in implementing doctoral programs at the participating universities.
Overview of results and their exploitation and dissemination
• organization of 4 international conferences, 3 summer schools, 3 virtual conferences, 39 network events (bilateral, multilateral)
• 15 secondments
• 71 publications (in journals and books)
• 76 conference papers
• 15 project meetings (physical and virtual)
• special “EDiTE Lecture” series at partner universities
• 2 books “European Perspectives in Transformative Education” (2017) and “European Doctorate in Teacher Education. Researching Policy and Practice” (2019)
• Special issue of Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal (Vol 8, No 3, 2018): “Transnational Perspectives of Transformative Teacher Learning in an Emerging Europe”
During their secondments, the ESRs encountered the challenge of European professionalism by experiencing different relations between teachers, students, parents, researchers and practitioners across different research cultures. Internationally, there has been very little scientific knowledge about what makes researchers working in Europe “European” 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.).
An important element of the social impact was achieved through the partner institutions – many of which were schools – that came to see doctoral education as producing knowledge relevant for practice. The researchers’ projects provided a critical perspective on issues key to teacher education for the emerging European future. Among other examples, research on teacher education policy was shared with national and international decision-makers in teacher education. School-based research results illuminated such important challenges to European TE as educational inclusion, citizenship education, school leaderships, pedagogical supervision and professional development. With this experience, the ESRs started to build their transnational networks that should facilitate a continuing dialogue after the end of the project. Furthermore, partner organizations were influenced by the multicultural perspectives of the EDiTE research fellows during their cooperation and some 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 outcome. The EDiTE program may act as a generative model for the development of other European joint doctoral programs through the promotion of standards and procedures in teacher education. Through ongoing promotion and dissemination of the project, EDiTE is already visible on the landscape of European higher education and new institutions are interested in becoming part of the future and emerging network.