Handbook of NAOS Study Visits: A Synthesis of Good Practices in Teachers’ Professional Development in Primary and Secondary Schools

The primary activity of NAOS, and the one that is of relevance in this handbook, was “study visits” organized by the participating NAOS partners. Each partner hosted a study visit in their home country, choosing one primary school and one secondary school exemplifying good practice in teacher professionalization (two visiting partners joined in each visit). The principal of each school had the opportunity to present their school along with their vision, after which the partners were given the chance to interview teachers, principals, students, and in a few occasions, students’ parents. The host cities of the visits were Antwerp, Patras, Zagreb, Nicosia, Fredrikstad, Tartu, Vilnius, Porto, Amsterdam and Rotterdam. The next section will describe how focus was placed on particular forms of teacher professionalization, which meant points of emphasis varied across schools and countries visited.

Not all teachers face the same challenges in reaching ethnically diverse students. Depending on one’s own experience or skills, the context and geopolitical trends of the country where they reside and teach, as well as the diverging necessities among neighborhoods within the same city, teachers and future teachers express different needs. This is certainly reflected in the framework which we have elected to use throughout the NAOS activities; Severiens, van Herpen, and Wolff (2014) advocate that to be an effective teacher in diverse classrooms, one needs expertise in five areas: a) language development, b) pedagogy/didactics, c) social interaction and identity, d) parental involvement and e) school community relationships. Prior to the scheduling of each study visit, one, two and in a few cases three of these areas were chosen as the overarching themes of emphasis throughout. This implied that the interviews of each visit, although similar in structure, diverged in scope (in the attachment we have included the general instrument  that was used). As the culmination of each visit, one of the visiting partners was asked to write a study visit report, in which the educational system and the main issues surrounding diversity and migration are described, the findings are summarised regarding how the schools exemplified commendable practice in enhancing teachers’ capacity to teach in diverse settings.

This handbook is essentially a synthesis of all study-visit reports, where remarkable practices that seek to improve teachers’ professional capacity across each area of expertise will be sequentially described briefly. Community relationships and parental involvement will be merged as one area due to their high overlap and similarity in efforts and outcomes. It is our hope that this handbook will prove to be interesting and of course beneficial to education stakeholders.

The Handbook of NAOS Study Visits can be obtained here: Handbook study visits


Handbook Preparing student teachers for diversity: Analysis of teacher training curricula

In the course of past three years (2014-2017), NAOS has conducted several activities and produced several outputs. Within these activities, a distinction was made between initial teacher training and professional development. In two separate scoping exercises, the partners collected good practices in initial teacher training for primary education and secondary education. As regards professional development, ten study visits in the nine partner countries were conducted. In the study visits, good practice schools were visited using methodology specifically developed for these visits (using a theoretical framework, a setup and an interview instrument). Furthermore, all partners produced a video clip on an innovative project in the area of professional capacity building and, finally our three so-called collaborative partners from the UK, Latvia and Germany conducted case studies. In the figure below, the activities are summarized. More information on each of the activities can be found on this website on page Teacher Training in Education.

The current NAOS Handbook on preparing student teachers for diversity includes the results of the two scoping exercises in two separate reports. The first report, written by Michoudi and Severiens (2016), focuses on teacher training programmes for primary education and the second report, written by Flaris and Severiens (2017), focuses on teacher training for secondary education. Even though the reports were written by researchers from Risbo, it has to be stated that the reports lean heavily on the information collected by the NAOS partners. The partners have gone through great lengths to find interesting projects, interview project coordinators and analyse project documents to provide NAOS with the relevant input for this handbook. We are much indebted to them for this input.

The Handbook of Preparing student teachers for diversity can be obtained here: Handbook teacher training