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This issue of eLearning Papers deals with the teacher’s role in educational innovation. By focusing on the teacher’s role, we wish to acknowledge and further explore in what ways and with which means teachers can apply their expertise in the design of new teaching practices; ICT-based teaching, learning and materials; networked learning; etc.
The proliferation of technology enhanced learning solutions has not obscured a simple truth: few things are more important to students’ learning achievements than the quality of their teaching and learning experiences, and no-one knows better than teachers how learning takes place in practice. Other innovations may contribute fractionally to improved student learning, but according to John Hattie’s Visible Learning (Hattie, 2009), which synthesizes over 800 meta-analyses of interventions in student learning to rank them by effect size, those related to teacher-student or student-student interactions are most likely to be transformational. Yet often when edupreneurs, policymakers and researchers imagine the future of school, they focus on digital textbooks, self-directed environments, and learning games. Teachers, schools and the collaboration with peer-students are too often bypassed.
We know that this type of innovation tends to be collective - teachers working with peers, principals and as part of the school community. From research we know that teachers’ innovations arise in informal settings, together with colleagues and other supporting people, and, in addition, the role of an encouraging principal is essential (e.g., OECD, 2014).
For this issue, we invited papers which would inspire more teacher-led innovations in Europe. We present three in-depth articles, four reports from work in the field (short format), and finally two design papers. The papers deal with the topic in various ways, and we present papers that look into the work of teachers in collaborative innovation, papers that deal with the topic of innovation in education, and papers which present the results of an innovation. Both technological, psychological and educational aspects of teacher led innovation are presented and discussed, and in this way the papers in this issue represent a wide range of perspectives of the topic.
In the first paper, Boschman et al. present an analysis of the knowledge and beliefs of a group of teachers and the impact of this on their collaboration. Hunter et al. deal with the impact of teacher inquiry on the process of carrying out teacher led innovations in the teachers’ own classrooms, and the paper provides a detailed insight into the role teacher inquiry may play in a broader approach to professional development. In the third paper, Chelioti et al. present yet another perspective on the issue of developing teachers’ and schools’ capacity for teacher led innovation, namely by looking at how teacher networks may serve as an alternative forum for learning. The paper presents the concept of Open Discovery Space and discusses the both obstacles to change, change management strategies, and successful examples of organisational change.
In the first of the four reports from the field, Lappalainen presents a case study of a pedagogic endeavour aiming to integrate degree studies into working life skilling. In the second report, Garreta Domingo et al. present the HANDSON MOOC as an approach to continued professional development. The article by Nkuyubwatsi et al. introduces the Open Scholars Network, located in Rwanda, and the role of the network in increasing accessibility to higher education for underprivileged learners in Rwanda. Finally, Burden and Jones present examples of innovative use of mobile technologies in teacher education across Europe in a quest for transformation.
This issue also presents two design papers. In the first one, Okada et al. present the first findings from European project ENGAGE, where teachers integrate dilemma lessons into science teaching. Analysis shows that among 3500 teachers, 70 different strategies are shared on how to engage students with dilemma materials. The second design paper deals with game-based learning and its’ potential for renewing education. Nousiainen et al. present ways in which games-based pedagogy can be used in teaching and include guidelines for teachers on how to facilitate this process.
As the recent frenzy about the OECD report on students, computers, and learning reminds us - no matter how good the technology, the curriculum or the policy, the defining factor in any educational experience is the interaction between teacher and student. This issue celebrates those teachers who are leading the way to better education.
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ArticlesTeacher design knowledge and beliefs for technology enhanced learning materials in early literacy: Four portraits
‘Talking in Class’: School-based approaches to enhance the impact of teacher inquiry across an organisation.
Teachers’ as Leaders of Change Suggestions from the Open Discovery Space project large-scale implementation
Author(s):Katerina Riviou, Sofoklis Sotiriou
Reframing engineering curriculum with integrated education to foster future innovation ecosystems
A project-based MOOC to facilitate teacher-led innovation
Author(s):Jean-Francois Colas, Slavi Stoyanov
Towards innovation in digital and open scholarship for nonrivalrous lifelong learning and supporting open learning: The case of the Open Scholars Network
Barriers and solutions to innovation in teacher education
Innovative Teaching of Responsible Research and Innovation in Science Education
“Let’s do this together and see what we can come up with!” Teachers’ Views on Applying Game-based Pedagogy in Meaningful Ways
Author(s):Tuula Nousiainen, Mikko Vesisenaho
Guest EditorsMarianne Georgsen
Yishay MorChief Editor
Tapio KoskinenSecretary General - EDII Secretariat
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