Teacher professional development in Italy, France, Germany, England, Finland and Ontario

Crescentini, Alberto and Ostinelli, Giorgio (2018) Teacher professional development in Italy, France, Germany, England, Finland and Ontario. UNSPECIFIED. In: Abstract book Inclusion and Exclusion, Resources for Educational Research?, 03.09.2018 - 07.09.2018, Free University of Bolzano.

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Following an article on teacher education in five European western countries, published some years ago (Ostinelli, 2009), we present here a similar comparative review on the forms of teacher professional development (PD) in Italy, France, Germany, England, Finland and Ontario. The chosen group of countries is basically the same; the only difference is the presence of France and Ontario and the absence of Sweden. This choice is motivated by our wish to extend the range of our comparison. In this regard, we thought more useful to include also an educational system outside Europe, but with a somewhat homogeneous culture. Moreover, Ontario school is well-renowned for its attention to teacher PD (Campbell, Lieberman & Yashkina, 2013; Pervin & Campbell 2011; Ross & Bruce, 2007). The presence of France is instead due to the fact that we tried to have a better “geographical” balance between the European countries included in our study. The comparison between the six selected countries will be performed on the basis of public documents and published articles At present schools and teachers are often the target of strong pressures exerted by political instances and by society as a whole (Betoret, 2009). The issues at stake range from social change to the increasing presence of children without a basic mastery of local languages (Norberg, 2000). All these topics imply the need for introducing some changes in the teaching profession (Skaalvik & Skaalvik, 2015). This latter can be historically located in-between two poles, combining traits that are distinctive of a true professional (discretion, specific competencies, etc.) with features more characteristic of a functionary’s role (curriculum decided from above, control over teaching exerted by principals and/or external agencies, etc.). At present, depending on every national educational policy, we are witnessing an evolution towards the one or the other of these two ‘poles’ (Ostinelli, 2009). In practice, the emerging needs for change take the form of innovations and/or reforms to be introduced into the school systems also through the contribution of teachers’ professional development (e.g. No child left behind in the USA, or La buona scuola in Italy). Finally, this study will not only compare the various national practices between themselves, but also take into account the evidences stemming from educational research in this domain (Borko, 2004; Avalos, 2011; Joyce & Showers, 2002). References Avalos, B. (2011). Teacher professional development in teaching and teacher education over ten years. Teaching and teacher education, 27, 1 Betoret, F. D. (2009). Self-efficacy, school resources, job stressors and burnout among Spanish primary and secondary school teachers: A structural equation approach. Educational Psychology, 29 Borko, H. (2004). Professional development and teacher learning: Mapping the terrain. Educational researcher, 33, 8 Campbell, C., Lieberman, A., Yashkina, A. (2013). The teacher learning and leadership program: Research project. Toronto: Ontario Teachers’ Federation Clarke, M. & Drudy, S. (2006) Teaching for diversity, social justice and global awareness, European Journal of Teacher Education, 29 Joyce, B. R., & Showers, B. (2002). Student achievement through staff development. Alexandria (VA): Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. Ostinelli, G. (2009). Teacher Education in Italy, Germany, England, Sweden and Finland. European Journal of Education,44, 2 Pervin, B., Campbell, C. (2011). Systems for teacher and leadership effectiveness and quality: Ontario, Canada. Effectiveness Ross, J., Bruce, C. (2007). Professional development effects on teacher efficacy: Results of randomized field trial. The Journal of Educational Research, 101, 1 Skaalvik, E. M., & Skaalvik, S. (2015). Job satisfaction, stress and coping strategies in the teaching profession-what do teachers say? International Education Studies, 8

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