CIDREE Expert Meeting, Aarau, June 8 - 9, 2016
A comparative view on national education reports in European Countries
The Swiss Coordination Centre for Research in Education (SCCRE) hosted a CIDREE Expert Meeting on national education reports in June 2016. Experts from Austria, Norway, Luxembourg, Scotland and Switzerland met in Aarau for an exchange of procedures and strategies regarding national education reports - both to critically review other concepts and to learn from the other participants.
The main focus and the aim of the meeting were to draw up a template for country-specific descriptions that will be written individually by every participating country in the course of 2016. The purpose is to publish an academic article with the comparative overview on national education reports in European countries later in 2017. The article will give information on the following aspects of the participating countries’ national education report:
- Institutional details concerning the report
- Goals and function of the report
- Production and process
- Future developments
The article will offer the chance to share the knowledge of the participating experts with other CIDREE countries and to promote CIDREE activities beyond the member institutions. Therefore a small conference may be realised in 2017 where the national education reports and the concepts with the key rationale could be presented to all those interested.
CIDREE Expert Meeting, Lyon, June 6 - 7, 2016
The key success factors for the delivery of economically-relevant Vocational Education and Training (VET) in schools and colleges
From June 6 to 7, the 2nd VET CIDREE expert meeting took place in Lyon, France. It was hosted by the French Institute of Education of the Ecole normale supérieure de Lyon. Key figures: 4 CIDREE members (FR, NL, SE, UK)
This expert meeting on VET took place only 8 months after the kick-off of the first meeting hosted by Scotland in September 2015. The CIDREE project aims at identifying the challenges and successes in improving vocational education and training in European countries and producing an overview of good practices that could be disseminated widely as a tool of improvement in VET systems.
During the first Meeting in Scotland, experts exchanged on their different national VET systems and identified several common issues regarding vocational pathways (relevant-vocationally skills, motivation of students, role of teacher, social backgrounds, lack of resources and financing…)
The second Expert Meeting was organized around workshops, round tables and presentations of national frameworks, experimentations, initiative of excellence and policy measures implemented. Through these rich exchanges, the meeting enabled to:
- Build upon the outcomes of the first meeting in September 2015 by producing a template of VET systems in secondary school and college in Scotland, France, Sweden, the Netherlands and Switzerland; and identifying common issues to tackle
- Set up two matrices comparing VET systems and Key Success Factors to identify differences and similarities at the national level
- Focus on vocational models and their connections with the labour market
- Exchange on good practices in each country in order to face the issues encountered and re-think those practices outside the national context- identify European areas of convergence where foreign problem-solving methods can be implemented.
In order to produce a relevant-vocationally guide book of good practices in vocational education, the project’s rationale consists, at first in a better understanding of the different VET national frameworks, and then in identifying key success factors for improving it at the European level.
Next step: a forthcoming Expert Meeting enabling to highlight specific national policies and to visit vocational education sites.
CIDREE Expert Meeting, Utrecht, October 8 - 9, 2015
What’s most worth learning?
During two days in early October, 16 representatives of 10 European countries came together to discuss what’s most worth learning in basic education, and explore new developments to improve learning for the future.
What’s most worth learning is one of the most relevant curricular questions at this very moment. In many countries discussions are taking place on what and which 21st century skills are of importance, how to incorporate them and how to assess them, if possible. Beyond the 21st century skills debate, is how we understand learning and how knowledge is linked to all this: whether at the center of the skills, or as content around the skills, or as part of general objectives through which competence is built.
Traditionally the dimensions (or elements) of transversal competences are described as knowledge, skills, attitudes and values. An important dimension added during the expert meeting is the dimension called ‘volition’, or ‘the faculty or power of using one's will’. Many of us found it an important contribution to the set of competences already incorporated in the 21st century skills. As the future is unknown and the need for our young people to steer themselves and take informed action will only grow, volition is a dimension of any given competence our young should possess. Wicked, or complex multidisciplinary problems need to be solved through collaboration between maybe unforeseen fields connecting together. Open mindedness to build such connections is important.
CIDREE Expert Meeting, Edinburgh, September 3 - 4, 2015
Learning and teaching for vocational education and training in secondary schools and colleges: successes and challenges
In early September 2015, 8 experts from 5 countries came to Edinburgh to give a presentation about the situation in their country. Participating countries were France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the host Scotland.
The group considered that vocational education and training in secondary schools and colleges across Europe is delivered in different ways. Many vocational education systems have their own particular successes. Much of that success depends on the quality of learning and teaching, links with employers, and pathways in vocational education. Scotland is placing a priority on improving the range and quality of vocational education.
The group shared information from their country on:
- a brief summary of the political and social context of their vocational education and training system
- the key features of good learning and teaching in enabling students to develop and acquire vocational skills
- the challenges involved in this
- the role of vocational pathways and involvement of employers in successful outcomes for students.
CIDREE colleagues compared their own countries’ situation with good practice in other countries. The Expert Meeting also explored the feasibility of a longer-term project which would assist CIDREE institutions to:
- identify effective approaches to improving vocational education in their education systems (including through learning and teaching, vocational pathways, employers and training)
- support members to implement changes that contribute to successful vocational education and training
CIDREE Expert Meeting, Stockholm, September 2 – 3, 2015
Pupil participation and the impact of learning
The meeting was held at the Swedish National Agency for Education (NAE) and started with a short welcome-speech by General Director/Incoming President Anna Ekström followed by an introduction by Eva Minten.
The aim of the meeting was to raise the quality of education and promote innovative teaching and learning. Some of the questions to be discussed were the following: How do the CIDREE countries face pupil participation? To which extent do the pupils take responsibility for their own outcome? What is it that teachers do to make the pupils feel engaged and motivated? Which are the tools they use? How do the schools evaluate these soft skills? How does pupil participation correspond with other CIDREE-projects, for example Assessment for learning?
We discussed and analyzed pupil participation as a fundamental component for individual learning and how this participation is articulated in the everyday life in schools within the participating countries.
Expert Meeting Stockholm 2015 (PDF)
CIDREE Expert Meeting, Trondheim, Norway, June 16 - 17, 2015
How to teach mathematics in primary and lower secondary school
The meeting was at The Norwegian Centre for Mathematics Education in Trondheim. The Centre is a part of our national education system. The Centre's primary target groups are teachers teaching mathematics in schools and teacher education, teacher students at Colleges and Universities and teaching aids developers.
Mona Nosrati and Kjersti Wæge from the Centre presented “Good learning and teaching in mathematics". Sophie Soury-Lavergne, France presented: “How to motivate students and help foster positive attitudes towards mathematics and by the way we involve teachers in our research and consequences on their professional development”.
The other countries presented «Mathematics curriculum content in primary schools and lower secondary schools. How curricula in mathematics are structured, in terms of the breadth and depth of subjects covered».
The presentations were followed up by discussions. There were participants from Finland, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Scotland, Slovenia and Sweden.
CIDREE Expert Meeting, Graz, May 21 - 22, 2015
Inclusive Education in European Countries
“All children and young people of the world, with their individual strengths and weaknesses, with their hopes and expectations, have the right to education. It is not our education systems that have a right to a certain type of child. Therefore, it is the school system of a country that must be adjusted to meet the needs of all its children” (Bengt Lindqvist, UN Special Rapporteur).
Inclusive Education is an issue for most countries and many of them have already developed strategies for the implementation of inclusion in their school system. Inclusion has many facets and focuses on equal access to education as well as equal opportunities to succeed and flourish for all. Many of the CIDREE member institutions are among others dealing with the question “How do countries meet individual, social and learning needs to enable learners to reach their potential?”. Special focus was put on the implementation strategies on policy level for e.g. inclusive regions. Therefore an expert meeting on this topic was held in Graz/Austria on 21st/22nd May 2015 as a first step of co-operation, which might result in a collaborative project later on.
The meeting aimed at exchanging experience in the field of inclusion, of course connected to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as far as the school system is concerned. Our primary interests focused on
- the formal status of SEN in an inclusive system,
- the allocation of extra resources for children with SEN,
- the (change of) roles of special schools,
- quality aspects of inclusive education in a regular school system,
- dealing with different types of disabilities (sensory, social-emotional, physical, severe and multiple disabilities),
- the role of advisory centers or similar institutions
13 experts from 9 countries came to Graz to give a presentation about the situation in their respective system touching those aspects. Participating countries were Albania, Hungary, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Scotland, Slovenia, Sweden, and the host Austria. After the presentations of strategies and experiences in different countries plenary discussions about the different and many times also similar approaches to implementing an inclusive system were held. As a final activity during the expert meeting small teams of two countries drew conclusions and outlined the lessons learned. A compilation of presentations and additional material will be provided for all participants and interested member institutions.
CIDREE Expert Meeting, Tartu, August 28 – 29, 2014
Digital learning materials in science and mathematics for basic education
Participants: experts in science education, learning materials and ICT from OPH (Finland), ENS de Lyon (France), OFI (Hungary), The Norwegian Centre for ICT Education, Education Scotland (UK), UT (Estonia), Estonian Ministry of Education and Research, Information Technology Foundation for Estonia, Estonian Physical Society.
The main topics presented and discussed during the expert meeting were:
- The policies of each country represented, concerning designing and use of digital learning materials.
- Actual conditions in schools, teachers’ and students’ attitudes on using digital learning – overviews of results from recent investigations.
- Pedagogical, technical and organizational aspects of creating and using digital textbooks and other learning materials.
On the first day the topics were presented by each participating country and discussed further.
In Norway and France development of digital learning materials has been a longer process. Scotland had developed a variety of materials in connection with the Curriculum for Excellence. For every country there is a problem how to find better balance in using traditional and digital materials. Estonia has legal obligations to prepare digital learning materials but several authors (incl. teachers) have already done it before on commercial basis. Now the cooperation with Finland is in progress. Hungary is relying also on the international cooperation and use of international materials.
The second round was dedicated to demonstrations of examples of digital materials in use and ideas about new digital textbooks. Each showed and commented some examples used in his/her country. Kaido Reivelt, senior researcher on didactics of physics at UT discussed the issues on the example of his current work on digital material of school physics – problems to solve, how to organize texts, video-clips, hyperlinks for the best usage of students and teachers; how users could organize their own study material on the proposed digital textbooks.
Entire report: Expert Meeting Tartu (PDF)
The presentations are found: www.curriculum.ut.ee
CIDREE Expert Meeting, Brussels, March 13 – 14, 2014
Assessment of competence-based learning
Participants: experts in curriculum and assessment from IZHA (Albania), UT (Estonia), OPH (Finland), IFE (France), UDIR (Norway), ES (Scotland), Skolverket (Sweden), IRDP (Switzerland), KeyCoNet and Flemish experts from the Department of Education and Training, the Policy Research Centre for Test Development and Assessments, the Catholic schools network and AKOV (Agency for Quality Assurance in Education and Training).
The meeting started with presentations of the Flemish quality assurance system and the system-based surveys that are used in Flemish education to monitor what percentage of students in Flemish education reach the attainment targets. These surveys are subsequently used for curriculum improvement.
The key topics of the meeting were:
1. Definition of competence in the different education systems
2. Assessibility of competences
3. Assessment of progression in competences
4. Which competences to assess?
Each topic was introduced by one or two keynote speakers. Scotland, Norway and France explained how their educational system made the shift to a competence-based curriculum and highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of the choices that were made. Scotland especially dealt with the assessing competences; Norway highlighted teachers’ initial reaction to the transition towards a competence-based curriculum, and France discussed how such a transition should be thoroughly considered before it can be implemented with contents and competences consistently integrated. KeyCoNet’s Draft Recommendations to move towards the implementation of a (key)competence-based approach offered some general guidelines. Furthermore professor Rianne Janssen from the Policy Research Centre for Test Development and Assessments explained the methodology used to assess competences on system level in Flanders. She identified some issues that should be addressed in bridging the gap between competence-based education and a methodology actually based on content-based assessment.
Each topic was followed by an in-depth discussion. The first issue was the diversity of definitions used throughout the different countries. Most countries seem to struggle with the transition from a content-based curriculum towards a competence-based one, and with implementing the latter. How to assess competences, and the validity of that, and how to assess on a system level also remains a challenge.
The expert meeting on system-based assessment showed that the transfer to a competence-based curriculum, which is currently being undertaken in quite a lot of countries, remains a challenge. While some countries (Scotland) have already implemented a new curriculum, most countries find themselves halfway, or still have to make the transition. Assessment of a competence-based curriculum poses another challenge, although both are intrinsically linked.
This lunch-to-lunch expert meeting was hosted by AKOV and made possible by the ‘CIDREE grants’ with co-funding by KeyCoNet.
The presentations of the guestspeakers can be found: www.ond.vlaanderen.be
CIDREE Expert Meeting, Utrecht, September 17 - 18, 2013
Arts and Culture Education - Content and Outcome
This international 2-day CIDREE meeting in the Netherlands was scheduled for the 17th and 18th September 2013.
The key questions of the meeting were:
- How do secondary schools in European countries choose their content for arts and culture education?
- On what basis (theory, skills, competences like creativity, development of knowledge and understanding) do teachers, school leaders or education developers make their choices for content and quality in their curriculum?
- Do they focus on certain disciplines, on the crafts within the disciplines, on multidisciplinary activities or coherence with other subjects?
On the first day we had interesting presentations and discussions with the five participating countries: Estonia, Scotland, Finland, Belgium (Flanders) and the Netherlands. We closed the day with a lovely round tour at the Dom of Utrecht. Day 2 consisted of visiting two Cultural Focus Schools (VCPS) with presentations and discussion. Within this 2-day expert meeting we gained knowledge and insight from each country focused on the choices they have made to deliver arts education.
The two days were inspiring, diverse and successful. On the basis of the topics and outcomes of the conference we will explore the possibilities for a follow-up in the future so we can have a deeper and closer look at topics like the framework for arts and culture curricula, teacher training programmes and the inspectorate in arts education.
This conference was made possible by the 'CIDREE grants 2013' and by financial support from the VCPS, Cultural Focus Schools of the Netherlands. It was developed by the CIDREE members SLO - Netherlands Institute for Curriculum Development, Education Scotland, the University of Tartu, the Finnish National Board of Education, in close cooperation with the VCPS.
CIDREE Expert Meeting, Utrecht, June 20 - 21, 2013
Curriculum Development in Physical Education and Health across Europe
On the 20th and 21st of June the first CIDREE expert meeting on curriculum development in physical education and health across Europe was held in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Delegates from eleven countries all across Europe gathered to exchange information, experience and expertise. The meeting was an initiative of SLO in the Netherlands together with Education Scotland and was made possible by a CIDREE grant for collaborative work.
Before the meeting started all countries had already presented a selection of relevant information on PE, sport and health and on the educational system and curricula in their countries in general in a Dropbox. During the expert meeting each delegate gave a presentation with a focus on one of five themes:
- What does the PE curriculum ‘look like’ in your country?
- Who is involved in developing the curriculum/who are the stakeholders?
- What is working well? Exchange of good examples.
- What have been/are the challenges in developing and rolling out a national programme/framework?
- What mechanisms have you used /do you use to engage teachers in change?
After the last session on Friday we looked back on a very inspiring and fruitful meeting. Despite our cultural, historical and regional differences there was a distinct feeling that we all share the same challenges. Everyone agreed that a sequel to this meeting would be most welcome. There are plenty of themes to be explored into more depth than this first meeting allowed us to. Two examples were 'assessment for PE' and 'how curricula are formulated'.
More information on this expert meeting on physical education and health across Europe can be obtained with Suzanne Hargreaves or Berend Brouwer.
CIDREE Expert Meeting, Stockholm, May 27 - 28, 2013
How can we improve quality in the field of career education and guidance?
The topics that the experts of the three participating countries (the Netherlands, Scotland and Sweden) discussed were:
- Models and steering documents for career education and guidance in schools. A presentation from each country to get an overview and a starting point.
- Ongoing development in the countries.
- Best practice in the field – key factors for success. Good examples and evaluations made?
- Quality indicators – how can we develop indicators to measure development and secure national equivalence? Connection to the steering documents and the ELFPN quality framework?
Each topic began with a 20-minute presentation from each country about organization of the work, what has been done and what future plans there were outlined. This was followed by a general discussion. The guidance work is organized in different ways in the three countries, but the main questions are common. How can we strengthen the work of guidance through our steering documents? Can we enhance the interest for vocational education in some way? How can we prevent dropouts and how can we work with young people that have already dropped out? What kind of support do the professionals need?
All the participants found the meeting very fruitful and decided it would be of interest to meet again, possibly in Scotland in autumn 2014, to follow up on the actions taken by the different countries.
CIDREE Expert Meeting, Tallinn, September 9, 2011
Educational Centres at the Service of Teacher Education and School Improvement
The Centre for Educational Research and Curriculum Development of Tartu University hosted an expert meeting on educational centres in Tallinn which was attended by 11 experts from 5 different countries: They included experts from IFE-ENSL (France), ES (Scotland), Skolverket (Sweden), SLO (the Netherlands) and UT (Estonia). The group also included experts from Tallinn University (Estonia) and from the Archimedes Foundation (Estonia).
To start with all represented member institutions gave a short overview of recent developments and changes in teacher education within school reforms, PISA results etc. in their countries.
From the presentations the conclusion can be drawn that although problems in teacher education differ between countries, the participants share common interests and concerns. For instance, in some countries there is a shortage of candidates for teacher training and the focus is mainly on the continuing education of teachers. At the same time, other countries have enough candidates but a limited number of places for graduates. Changes in teacher education can also be caused by PISA results. In some countries more attention is paid to subject teaching, whereas in other countries pedagogical aspects are borne in mind.
Expert Meeting on Mathematics Education, Dublin, June 10 - 11, 2010
Expert Meeting on Mathematics Education
Expert Meeting 2010 Mathematics (PDF)
Expert Meeting on Heterogeneous Grouping, Brussels, February 12, 2010
CIDREE Expert meeting on heterogeneous grouping in lower secondary education
Expert Meeting 2010 Heterogeneous (PDF)