The Teacher Education Policy in Europe (TEPE) academic network brings in teachers, educators, scientists and practitioners from all over the world. During cyclic international conferences the key challenges facing education are discussed. This year the main theme was teachers’ professional education and further training. The event attended by over 200 participants was organized in Kraków by the Foundation for the Development of the Education System (FRSE), University of Warsaw, and the Pedagogical University in Cracow. Among 50 presentations prepared by academics and educators from universities all over the world, there were also examples of good practices developed by NGOs, including programs of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation.
The conference participants discussed the following issues, among other things:
- What does high quality of teacher’s work mean?
- What is needed to educate good teachers?
- How to create a system guaranteeing that every student will be taught by qualified and motivated teachers?
The speakers emphasized that the critical problem is a quite big difference between research results and educational practice. And that is where examples of PAFF programs played significant role. Magdalena Radwan-Röhrenschef, the Foundation for Quality Education President and Grażyna Czetwertyńska, a lecturer at the PAFF and UW School of Education presented the implemented at the PAFF and UW School of Education model of educating future teachers, based on combining theoretical knowledge with practical work at school. Jędrzej Witkowski, the President of the Center for Citizenship Education Foundation shared the “Learning Schools” Program experiences and activities aimed at improving teachers professional skills on the basis of cooperation, feedback, and reflection on school practice. Dr Mariola Bogucka of University of Gdansk analyzed the factors important for facilitating high motivation, involvement and work quality of teachers participating in the “English Teaching” Program.
The conclusions of presented studies clearly indicated to the necessity of looking for a new model of education based on dialogue, cooperation and reflection. The participants emphasized the significant role of educating, social, and civil competences in teachers’ work. They pointed to the need of educating teachers-researchers who would collect and analyze data and be able to make autonomous decisions regarding the process of teaching their students. Many times the speakers emphasized he significance of practical attitude to education of teachers.