Fransson, G. & Gustafsson, C. (Eds.) (2008): Newly Qualified Teachers in Northern Europe. Comparative Perspectives on Promoting Professional Development. Teacher Education: Research Publications no 4. Gävle: Gävle University Press.
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1. Becoming a Teacher - an Introduction to the Theme and the Book Göran Fransson, Christina Gustafsson
2.International Co-operation and the Challenge of Sensemaking Göran Fransson
ABSTRACT This article highlights and problemize some challenges and dilemmas in international cooperation and in making this book. The focus is on individual and collative processes of communication, interpreting, understanding and sense making — processes emerging as challenging when participants have different kind of frames and contexts of knowledge. These kinds of challenges are ever present, but become however more apparent when people from quite different cultural, social, economical and political conditions meet in international cooperation. In this chapter, experiences and challenges made within NQTNE are analysed and discussed in this perspective. The chapter orientates the reader to the methodological and linguistic problems when trying to understand e.g. concepts connected to systems promoting new teachers professional development and the process of producing the articles in this book. Thus, this chapter brings valuable knowledge about the challenge to communicate, conceptualise and make sense of concepts, phenomena and information given. One conclusion is that even if there are communicative and conceptual obstacles that have to be overcome when cooperate internationally, cooperation and comparative perspectives is a powerful tool to become aware of assumptions that are taken for granted; to challenge one´s own perspectives; raise new kind of questions and construct new perspectives and new ways to conceptualise, think, and act.
3. Systems Promoting New Teachers Professional Development Eva Bjerkholt & Egon Hedegaard
ABSTRACT This article describes a comparative analysis of the systems of support for new teachers in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway and Sweden. The findings reported here are the result of co-operation over a period of three years with teacher educators and researchers in this field in these five countries. In northern European countries, students receiving the teacher diploma are fully certified as teachers. They are employed with the same responsibilities as experienced teachers. Teaching is considered worldwide to be an occupation that “cannibalises its young" (Ingersoll & Smith, 2004, p. 28); these five countries differ in whether they provide special induction programmes, how these induction systems are constructed, and whether they incorporate one or many systems. Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden until now have used a decentralisation strategy for developing induction programmes, while Estonia uses a more centralised strategy. The strategies are complex and sophisticated, because specific partnerships and characteristics are influenced by national conditions, and the quantity and quality of the programmes vary. There are similarities and differences in their approaches, and this article presents analyses regarding the different strategies, their strengths and weaknesses — and recent changes.
4. Mentoring Newly Qualified Teachers in Estonia, Finland, and Sweden Hannu Jokinen, Åsa Morberg, Katrin Poom-Valickis & Valdek Rohtma
ABSTRACT This article article deals with mentoring in Estonia, Finland, and Sweden in a comparative perspective. It analyses similarities and differences between mentoring in the three countries and describes various approaches to mentoring. Mentoring is the main strategy in the three countries´ support programs, varying, however, in terms of application, length, nature, organisation, and purpose, as well as ideology and strategy. The Estonian induction system differs from that of Finland and Sweden mainly because it is a national and centralized system. In Finland and Sweden local municipalities are responsible for induction and mentoring arrangements, differing from each other on the local level. Newly qualified teachers´ professionalism today involves more collegial collaboration, more sharing of different practices, and more mutual support than before. As mentoring can be conceptualised as a dialogue between colleagues, it is essential for the newly qualified teachers to be ready to acknowledge their needs for development and receive feedback. Mentoring can be used as a tool to address innovatively the issues and problems that challenge new teachers. Mentoring programs can also be seen as tools for reforming schools´ action culture.
5. Reconceptualising Mentoring as a Dialogue Hannu Heikkinen, Hannu Jokinen & Päivi Tynjälä
ABSTRACT This article illustrates an idea of mentoring as a dialogue, and it reflects some of the changes in the latest theoretical conceptualisations of mentoring. The study is based on empirical and theoretical research work on mentoring at the Institute for Educational Research, University of Jyväskylä, Finland, in 2001—2008. The traditional understanding of the concept ‘mentoring´ refers to an experienced authority, in terms of knowledge, who guides a novice. Today, the concept is increasingly used to refer to conversation and collaboration between equals, which reflects a transition towards constructivism and dialogue. Mentoring is increasingly being carried out in groups with both experienced and new employees. The empirical part of this article compares experiences gained from paired mentoring, group mentoring and peer group mentoring. Organising mentoring in a group was found to be the most vital alternative.
6. Strong, Competent and, Vulnerable — Experiences of the First Year as a Teacher Eve Eisenschmidt, Hannu Heikkinen, Wiebke Klages,
ABSTRACT — and reading instructions for this chapter This article is based on the narratives of three beginning teachers from Estonia, Finland and Norway. Methodologically, the study has been a mixture of a traditional strategy applied to qualitative research and a more interactive approach. We have developed the interpretation with the participant-storytellers and let them detect interesting points in each others´ stories. The stories and the reflections on these stories make visible the aspect of newly qualified teachers´ competence and the aspect of their being in need of support. A teacher´s professional growth is an integral component of school culture and related to school development. School culture, social, economical and political contexts influence a teacher´s effectiveness and motivation to work and learn. The stories highlight different ways of mentoring and add the importance of the school community and support of colleagues.
7. Development of Networking and Networks Egon Hedegaard
ABSTRACT The intent of this chapter is to share with readers our knowledge of how the national and international networks on new teacher induction have developed in some countries in Northern Europe, from the perspective of active network members. Furthermore, the intent is to analyse the similarities and differences of networking and networks, to characterise the knowledge being developed and to describe future perspectives. If you are especially interested in how networking on induction has developed in Denmark, Estonia, Norway or Sweden, from the perspective of network participants, you should read the specific narratives written by participants from those countries. If you are especially interested in gaining a comparative perspective on the development of national and international networking in some countries in Northern Europe, you should read all the narratives and the analyses of the similarities and differences of the networking. If you are only interested in a discussion on the change of characteristics of knowledge as a result of the growing focus on networking and networks, you should go directly to section Networks and networking as a change of mode of knowledge production at page 163.
8. Summary, Future Perspectives, and Conclusions Göran Fransson, Christina Gustafsson