Education conference to explore new methods of educating teachers

Education conference to explore new methods of educating teachers

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Two influential figures in the development of new teacher education initiatives have travelled from California to Aberdeen this week to take part in a series of events at the University of Aberdeen.

Ellen Moir and Janet Gless, from the New Teacher Center at the University of California, Santa Cruz, have made the translatlantic journey to Scotland where they are spending two days in Aberdeen leading workshops and seminars on new models of teacher education and support with an audience of teachers and other educational professionals.

The visit by these two internationally respected figures is being hosted by the University of Aberdeen’s Scottish Teachers for a New Era (STNE) team. Established at Aberdeen in 2004, STNE is the only initiative of its kind in Scotland which is changing the way trainee and new teachers are educated and supported. The programme received £1.8million from the Scottish Executive and The Hunter Foundation (THF) to test a new model for teacher education in Scotland in the 21st century. The initiative recognises the challenges of new trends in industry and society and it is investigating how best to prepare teachers to increase pupil gains and promote lifelong learning.

This week’s events, running as part of the Scottish Executive’s ‘International Thought Leaders Programme 2006’, are being held today (Wednesday, May 10) and tomorrow (Thursday, May 11) in the MacRobert Building, King’s College, University of Aberdeen.

Professor Kay Livingston, STNE Director at the University of Aberdeen, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming academics of Ellen Moir and Janet Gless’s standing to the University of Aberdeen.

“Both these highly respected academics are of international repute who lead high quality new teacher induction programmes and the STNE teams are looking forward to working with them.

“The STNE initiative has put the University of Aberdeen and its partner authorities on the international education map and this week’s events allow us to share our experiences to date with a wider audience of educational professionals.”

Today, Ellen and Janet will be leading a workshop on Developing a new model of teacher education – supporting teacher development. This will be followed by a seminar with School of Education staff on The Benefits of Mentoring: Developing a Continuum of Teacher Support and from Initial Teacher Education to Early Professional Years.

On Thursday, the first workshop will focus on Developing quality mentoring through university and local authority partnerships; followed by the second workshop on The mentor’s role in supporting the continuum from pre-service to induction and beyond. The third workshop will focus on local authority and university partnership working, while the twilight session will focus on a Journey to Excellence: induction, mentoring and CPD.

The US visitors will also take a trip to Elgin on Monday, May 15, where they will lead a workshop on Coaching and its benefits for learning and teaching with delegates from two of STNE’s partners - Moray Council and Highland Council.

Professor Livingston added that STNE has a new vision of a teacher in the 21st century – one who will enable all young people to become successful learners; confident individuals; responsible citizens and effective contributors.

“In order to achieve this, teacher educators, students, teachers, pupils, parents, other professionals from local authorities and national agencies are working together to share ideas and experiences, engage in research activities and explore new approaches to learning and teaching” she said.

“The events this week are designed to provide opportunities for a wide range of educational professionals to work in a collaborative way.”

Further information on this week’s series of workshops at the University of Aberdeen is available by contacting the Scottish Teachers for a New Era team on (01224) 274637 or email: stne@abdn.ac.uk. Further information on the STNE project is available by logging on to: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/stne/

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