EMINENT 2018 – New Models for Developing Teachers' Competences

What are the most effective forms of online professional development for teachers, and how can we successfully assess, recognise and certify them? How can we support and empower schools to introduce computational thinking and coding?– these were a few of the questions discussed among more than 300 participants at the 2018 EMINENT conference, that took place in Lisbon, at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, between 13-14 December 2018.

"School as we know it might be reaching its end. The metamorphosis of the school requires the metamorphosis of the teacher" says Pr. António Sampaio da Nóvoa, from the Institute of Education at the University of Lisbon. This increasing interest in developing teachers' skills and helping them adapt to a fast-changing world in order to impact students' achievements in a positive way set the ground for the 2018 EMINENT conference's focus: New Models for Developing Teachers' Competences.

During the opening ceremony of the conference, João Costa, Portuguese Secretary of State for Education, stressed the importance of bringing high quality education to every student and creating a sense of inclusion and belonging. Equipping teachers with the right skills and competences can, therefore, ease the way to achieving these objectives and contribute to an educational system which develops critical thinking, collaboration and problem solving skills.

Participants, including Ministries of Education representatives, policy makers, industry representatives, academics, teachers and teacher trainers participated in round table discussions on topics such as teacher education, development and assessment. Moreover, they had the chance to choose between four different workshops where they heard more about current themes such as initial teacher education or digital competences.

In the last years, European Schoolnet has been developing and promoting a variety of tools that teachers can use in their career advancement and development of competences. A few of the examples presented during EMINENT were projects such as TeachUP, ITELab or SELMA, which offer innovative approaches to improving the education system by either bringing in quality, targeted teacher training or addressing issues that can become an impediment in building a successful school environment, such as online hate speech.

Closing the conference, European Schoolnet's Vice Chair, Jan De Craemer, highlighted that "a lot of countries have already developed innovative teacher training initiatives and it's now up to us, the members of European Schoolnet to share these practices and to build further on it, in order to mainstream those innovations in higher education, in initial teacher training and in continuous professional development."

For more ideas and opinions from experts at the EMINENT conference, check out the video below:

You can also find pictures of the event here: