Rethinking the nature of collaboration between teacher organizations and the academy in the global futures of education remains a core aspiration of the network. A number of ongoing initiatives are sustaining this effort.
The Futures of Large Scale Assessment
At the Manchester summit, November, 10-11, 2019, a commitment was made to advance collaboration in the futures of large-scale assessments. An overview of this strategic opportunity was presented to Education International’s research network by Sam Sellar, Manchester Metropolitan University (October, 29, 2020).
A Profession Learning to Become: A Collaboration Between Teacher Organizations and Academia
A paper was commissioned by UNESCO as background information to assist in drafting the Futures of Education report to be published in 2021. An overview of the paper and a discussion of the implications for teacher organizations was presented by Roar Grottvik of the Norwegian Education Union to Education International’s ResNet group (Oct. 30).
Couture, J.-C., Grøttvik, R. and Sellar, S. 2020. A profession learning to become: the promise of collaboration between teacher organizations and academia. Paper commissioned for the UNESCO Futures of Education report (forthcoming, 2021).
The views and opinions expressed in this paper are those of the author(s) and should not be attributed to UNESCO.
December 2020 Conference Call
You might recall our last message on July, 30, where we reviewed the revised plans for continuing the work of the EFP including the launch of the website https://education-futures-partnership.education/ It is hard to believe that it has been just over one year since the Manchester summit (November 10-11) continued the effort previously launched in Sydney (March 25-26) to rethink the relationship between teacher organizations and the research community. While the pandemic has shifted much in our lives, the aspirations shared in both venues continues on.
As the EFP website describes, while obviously the pandemic has led to restrictions on travel and rethinking the work ahead, there are numerous ways we have maintained momentum. Most recently these included publication of a background paper commissioned by UNESCO, “A profession learning to become: the promise of collaboration between teacher organizations and academia” and efforts to reach out to Education International on the futures of large-scale assessments. Both documents are available on the EFP website – Current Activities. https://education-futures-partnership.education/index.php/current-activities/
Meetings were held in December to discuss the following proposal:
Here is summary of these two conversations:
1. Update on the EFP
Since the last face-face-face meeting of the EFP in Manchester (November 10-11, 2019) it has been a challenge to maintain the momentum of the network. Nevertheless, work has continued including the launch of this website . The underlying commitment of the partnership remains strong: to help reimagine and enact forward-thinking strategies to enhance the ways that teacher organizations and the academia work together.
While the pandemic has led to restrictions on travel and rethinking the ways that we do our work as teacher organizations and researchers, we have maintained considerable momentum. Most recently these included publication of a background paper commissioned by UNESCO, “A profession learning to become: the promise of collaboration between teacher organizations and academia” and efforts to reach out to Education International on the futures of large-scale assessments. Both documents are available on this website on this page.
2. Research Proposal and Discussion
Sam Sellar (Manchester Metropolitan University) offered participants an overview of a design for a co-produced research project that will enable leveraging of funding and research expertise in service of teacher organisation agendas. The project will involve case studies focussed on the over-arching question: How do teachers imagine the next generation of assessment within current and future contexts of their professional practice?
Sam’s presentation is here: https://education-futures-partnership.education/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/EFP-Project-Proposal-2.pdf
A co-production model will provide (1) teacher organizations with academic support to design and conduct relevant research and (2) academic researchers with opportunities to better understand, inform and support teacher organization’s research agendas. The aims of the project are two-fold: 1) conduct a pilot study that develops and demonstrates the efficacy of a model for co-produced research; and, 2) generate initial research findings on developments in digital assessments to increase understanding of changing conditions for teacher professional autonomy.
In both sessions, there was general support for the project and a shared sense that, while time would be needed to consult with the organizations and institutions, there is interest in the proposed work and moving forward sooner rather than later. Some of the comments from participants included:
- Clarifying the nature of collaboration, for example will teacher organizations initiate the proposals?
- While funding is not intended to cover costs associated with the activity, it is important to be get commitments up front from potential partners.
- The construct of an umbrella research question and framework will help deal with administrative issues such as ethics approval.
- Given developments locally and globally, the timing of the initiative is very helpful.
- Given the pandemic and other long-standing issues, some unions have other priorities at this time, however interest in participating in the EFP remains.
3. Next steps – Sustaining the Partnership
Based on feedback from the two sessions, the proposal will be refined and forwarded to the meeting participants and potential funders and partners such as Education International for consideration.
The research proposal represents one of a number of activities the EFP will pursue in the months ahead. For further information regarding the research proposal and/or the activities of the network, contact:
J-C Couture [email protected]
Roar Grøttvik [email protected]
Sam Sellar [email protected]
David Rutkowski [email protected]