Professor Dr. Mareike Kunter - Goethe University Frankfurt

Foto Mareike Kunter

Keynote 1: Monday, 20 June 2016, 13:45-14-45 h

Teachers’ Professional Competence: What Teachers Know, Think, and Feel (about Diversity in the Classroom)

Professor Mareike Kunter, Goethe University Frankfurt

Providing adequate instruction and support for students with many different prerequisites and needs is an inherent challenge in the task of teaching. As a consequence, teacher education is ubiquitously called upon to specifically prepare future teachers to be able to teach diverse student groups. However, what exactly are the “abilities” that teacher education is supposed to promote? In my presentation, I will present a theoretical model of teachers’ professional competence that distinguishes between knowledge, beliefs, motivation, and self-regulation and will report empirical evidence on (1) how these competence aspects are related to teachers’ professional outcomes, and (2) how they are affected by teacher education. Using this model as a guideline, I will then draw upon my own and others’ research to sketch the specific competence aspects that seem necessary for teachers to adequately deal with heterogeneous classrooms and will discuss to what degree these aspects can be addressed during teacher education. 

Professor Dr. Jan Vermunt - University of Cambridge

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Keynote 2: Tuesday, 21 June 2016, 11-12 h

Promoting student learning and teacher learning through diversity

Professor Jan Vermunt, University of Cambridge

Why does research on learning and instruction often have so little impact on teachers and teaching? Why does research on teaching and teacher education often have so little impact on students’ learning? In this keynote, explanations for these remarkable disconnections will be sought and directions for possible solutions will be proposed. Research on students’ learning and teachers’ teaching and learning are currently organized in separate research communities, each having their own conceptual frameworks, methodological preferences, professional organizations, and scientific journals. Cross-referencing is an exception. In my view, traditional boundaries have to be crossed to achieve knowledge advancement about how teachers’ and students’ learning may benefit each other: boundaries between research communities, between communities of practice, and between research and practice.

In this keynote, I will discuss studies on both student learning and teacher professional learning that departed from a common learning theory. I will ask how diverse classrooms can be a powerful learning environment for both students and teachers, and consider diversity both as a challenge and as an opportunity for promoting students’ and teachers’ learning. Diversity creates opportunities for students to learn from each other and for teachers to learn from students. I will share our research on the impact of Lesson Study, a model of teacher professional development with a high focus on individual case pupils’ learning, dealing with diversity and adapting to students’ needs, on processes and outcomes of teacher learning.  Implications for future learning sciences that study teachers’ and students’ learning in a more interconnected way will be derived.


Emilie Prast, PhD Candidate - Utrecht University

Emilie Prast

Winner of the EARLI SIG11 JURE Keynote Award

Keynote 3: Wednesday, 22 June 2016, 11-12 h

Differentiated instruction in primary mathematics: Effects of teacher professional development on teachers’ instructional behaviour and student achievement

Emilie Prast, PhD candidate - Utrecht University

Student diversity is indeed a challenge for teaching and teacher education. Especially in primary schools, the range of academic ability and achievement levels within the classroom may be very broad. To adapt education to students’ diverse educational needs (‘differentiation’), teachers need specific knowledge and skills (‘adaptive teaching competency’). Therefore, project GROW was launched to develop and evaluate a teacher professional development (PD) programme about achievement-based differentiation in primary school mathematics. In the programme, teachers learned how to implement differentiation using the cycle of differentiation: (1) identification of educational needs, (2) differentiated goals, (3) differentiated instruction, (4) differentiated practice, and (5) evaluation of progress and process. The effects of the programme were evaluated in a large-scale study in which thirty whole primary schools participated. In the keynote, I will introduce the PD programme and discuss its effects on teachers’ observed implementation of differentiation and students’ achievement growth in mathematics.