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Regular version of the site

The Changing Landscape of Education

On Thursday, October 24, 2013, the seminar ‘Master’s Degrees: Relevance, Rigor, Return on Investment', organized by the HSE Department of Educational Programmes, will take place at the HSE. The seminar will interest specialists working in the system of higher education and/or engaged in the development of master’s programmes.

Dr. Rebecca Fox, PhD, Associate Professor of Education, Academic Program Coordinator, Advanced Studies in Teaching and Learning Program College of Education and Human Development George Mason University, Coauthor of the book ‘The Master's Degree in Education as Teacher Professional Development: Re-envisioning the Role of the Academy in the Development of Practicing Teachers’, Rowman & Littlefield, 2012, gave a special interview to the HSE news service.

— Why are you interested in cooperation with foreign universities and the HSE in particularly?

— As the second decade of the 21st century moves forward, there remains an increasingly urgent call for educators to prepare students to be world citizens and global learners, individuals who are not only capable of working and living in a rapidly changing and globalized world, but who also possess intercultural competence and international mindedness. The relevance and significance of preparing a citizenry able to meet rapid global changes calls for opportunities in teacher professional learning that should include building cross cultural capacity so that new global skills and concepts might be actively incorporated in K-12 schools and classrooms around the world.   We also need teachers to experience opportunities to develop their critical ability to communicate effectively across cultures, verbally and non-verbally.  To this end, there is a strong need for a deeper understanding of the work we do individually and collectively. Developing world perspectives in education is important aspect of developing capacity in education and sharing research across the world.  George Mason University has a long-standing relationship with our HSE colleagues in Russia through joint programmes in history and economics; faculty in the College of Education and Human Development are now looking forward to engaging in dialogue about ways to collaborate with fellow faculty in the Graduate School of Education at HSE .

— What is common and what is different for teachers in the USA and Russia?

— When I work with international teachers and faculties, I have always found that both similarities and differences exist in any two systems. Aside from surface differences in implementation or classroom dynamics, or some school contexts, however, I have always found the common bonds of commitment to learners and to the profession to cross-nationally. The strong commonalities among educators are what bring us together, particularly when we can share research and educational practices across borders.  When my colleague, Wendy Frazier, and I held a two year grant that we implemented in Far East Russia, we had the opportunity to listen to both the U.S. and the Russian teachers as they discussed “inquiries” they had about classroom practice.  Many of these inquiries revolved around how students learn or delve into challenges about why some students are not succeeding as well as they would like. As the Russian teachers spent time in the classrooms of their U.S. partner teachers, they were keenly interested in the ready student dialogue and debate that occurred in class. The dynamic of collaborative student working groups were a source of their reflection and discussion.  On the other hand, when the U.S. teachers visited the Russian schools, they remarked on the depth of content knowledge displayed by the Russian students. As teacher educators who promote the development of increasing international mindedness and intercultural competence, we wanted the teachers to come to understand and respect one another as they worked together on developing joint lesson plans for their students to engage in.  By working together the differences that were recognized at the outset turned out to be very small while the common goals of promoting deep learning for the students through engagement in problem-based learning revealed the similarities both groups held.      

— What does bother you mainly when talking about the professionalism of teachers?

— For me, supporting the continuing development of teacher knowledge is essential.  It should certainly begin with a robust, school-connected licensure programme that aligns with professional standards, but it should not end there.  Once in the classroom, advanced work should then build upon important knowledge learned through classroom practice. Teachers’ perspectives and experiences are paramount, and helping them build on those through advanced work that includes advanced content expertise and the development of deepening reflective capacity that supports growing leadership and a voice in the schools, researcher skills and expanding lenses that provide a voice from the classroom have the potential to contribute to teacher educators’ deeper understanding about both teacher and student learning. Developing teachers’ knowledge to its highest potential has the potential to also build capacity in schools and provide increased understanding about how to support learners to achieve academic excellence and prepare them for a changing world. I think the continuing education of teachers should be scholarly in its orientation and that teacher should be students of themselves toward their own more robust practice.  Too often, coursework or professional development might be merely “designed and delivered.”  In this case, the actual engagement of teachers is not as robust as it should be.  Professional development should include the skills of inquiry that promote a deeper professional knowledge about practice and contribute to our collective understanding about what teachers and schools need.      

— Could you please share with your main message for the participants of the seminar in Moscow?

— As a profession, we know that the changing landscape of education and the call for teachers who can prepare students for success in the world of tomorrow, now calls us to work together as faculty, with teachers and their schools to find the answers. An important message that our longitudinal research has shown us is that seeking to understand the  effectiveness of our work through programmatic, course-based, and teacher-generated research has enabled us to aggregate our data within and across cohorts of students (the teachers in our programme).  By maintaining a centrality of evidence, we have been able to develop a continuous loop of development, refinement, improvement, and change.  Through performance-based assessment we have seen the ways that our work, and the research conducted by teachers, has supported our programme’s conceptual framework of inquiry and reflection on practice.  It is my hope that our work will stimulate more discussion among teacher educators at HSE about what education schools can do to improve the quality of teaching.      

— Are there any further plans on development of cooperation with the HSE?

— We sincerely hope that the dialogue that is established will be sustained and carry forward in innovative ways by faculty from Mason and HSE.  This might involve collaboration on syllabus and programme development, joint and/or parallel research endeavors which would hopefully not only advance our collective learning, but result in joint scholarly presentations and publications.  We also hope that we might consider some exchanges of faculty, and look at other innovative ways to collaborate.

Anna Chernyakhovskaya, specially for the HSE news service

See also:

HSE University Brings Major Conference in Philosophical Logic to Russia for the First Time

On October 2-4, HSE University hosted the international conference Trends in Logic 19. Current Issues in Philosophical Logic for the first time in Russia. The conference, which attracted a number of prominent Russian and international scholars, was organized jointly by the journal Studia Logica and the HSE International Laboratory for Logic, Linguistics and Formal Philosophy.

HSE Celebrates 25 Years of Educational Partnerships with the Netherlands

On October 2 and 3, HSE University simultaneously celebrated two anniversaries of Russian-Dutch academic cooperation: the 25th anniversary of joint educational programmes between HSE University and Erasmus University Rotterdam, and the 10th anniversary of the Dutch educational center, Nuffic Neso Russia, with which HSE has a long-standing partnership.

Russian and Chinese Education Systems Changing through the Influence of Digital Technology

The Second Russia-China Education Research Conference – Digital Transformation of Education and Artificial Intelligence – was held last week at HSE University. Researchers from the two countries discussed changes taking place in the national education systems thanks to the digital revolution, as well as what can be borrowed from mutual experiences.

HSE University and University of Bergen Sign Cooperation Agreement

The agreement provides for academic and cultural cooperation between the universities, student exchange, and joint research. HSE University and the University of Bergen have been partners in educational initiatives for eight years. The partnership began when the HSE Faculty of Law signed an agreement with the Norwegian university.

Economists and Researchers Gather at International Conference on Wealth and Income in Eastern Europe and CIS Countries

On September 17-18, HSE University hosted a special conference with the International Association for Research in Income and Wealth (IARIW) on the topic of Experiences and Challenges in Measuring Income and Wealth in Eastern Europe and CIS Countries. This was the first IARIW conference to be held in a CIS country. HSE News Service spoke with American economist Barbara Fraumeni about her work with economic accounting and human capital and her experience attending the conference in Moscow.

HSE University and Italian Embassy Sign Agreement on Internships for Italian Students

On September 20, HSE University Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Italian Republic Pasquale Terracciano signed a cooperation agreement between the Embassy of Italy and HSE University.

Upcoming Neuroeconomics Symposium Aims to Share New Research and Build International Collaboration

On September 23-24, the CCCP19 Symposium ‘Cognition, Computation, Neuroeconomics and Performance’ will be held at HSE University. The goal of the symposium is to exhibit cutting edge research at the CCDM, a leading cognitive neuroscience research centre in Russia, and LNC2, a leading European research centre in neuroeconomics, cognitive neuroscience and neural theory. Ahead of CCCP19, the HSE News Service spoke with the conference organizer and several invited speakers about the plan for this symposium and the importance of their research in the field.

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proposals for new international laboratories at HSE University have been received from researchers from Belgium, the UK, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Italy, Canada, Norway, the USA, Estonia, and Japan.

Continuing Last Year’s Success at the Upcoming Conference in Applied Economics

The Second ICEF Conference in Applied Economics will be held at HSE University on September 14. The HSE News service spoke with organizers and participants about the upcoming full-day event, which features eight papers presented by renowned specialists from Russia and across Europe and concludes with an evening dinner.

Winners of the II International Economics Olympiad Announced in St. Petersburg

On July 31, the II International Economics Olympiad (IEO) for high school students came to a close in Saint Petersburg. In the team competition, the Brazilian team won the gold medal, while teams from China won silver and bronze. One of Russian teams placed fifth.