Teacher Professional Development and Sustainability

A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102). This special issue belongs to the section "Teacher Education".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 March 2024) | Viewed by 14928

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Pedagogy, University of Jaén, 23071 Jaén, Spain
Interests: inclusion; higher education; teacher training; professional development; active methodologies

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Pedagogy, University of Jaén, 23071 Jaén, Spain
Interests: higher education; educational innovation; active methodologies; leadership; school improvement

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Today, university education must meet the objectives set by the UN in the 2030 Agenda. Specifically, Goal 4, dedicated to education, expresses the need to ensure that students acquire the necessary skills to promote sustainable development in society. Thus, universities must assume the responsibility of educating citizens by providing them with knowledge and skills that will enable them to build a future based on sustainability in a context of continuous change.

In this sense, therefore, curricular sustainability refers to the response of higher education to introduce principles and values of sustainability into curricular design and university degrees, ensuring that graduates contribute to the achievement of societies based on these values.

This training is essential in education degrees; it must be learnt by future teachers since they will be the ones who, in different areas of professional activity, will contribute to the formation of responsible citizens committed to the environment in which they develop.

As established by Albareda-Tiana, García-González, Jiménez-Fontana and Solís-Espallargas (2019), Danaher, Wu and Hewson (2021), and Yllana, Su and González (2021), socially active methodological and curricular sustainability should be implemented in the teacher training process, with content and methodologies that facilitate the establishment of relationships between environmental, social and economic aspects, and repercussions for the practical reality of schools (Tejedor et al., 2019; Triviño, Chaves and Alejo, 2021). In turn, this implies rethinking education in line with the economic and social changes demanded by the sustainable development of the world in which we live (Bugallo and Vega, 2020). As Bautista-Cerro and Díaz (2017), as well as Tomas, Evans, Doye and Skamp (2019) establish, this is not only a matter of adapting the curriculum, but of promoting global change in the conception of the teaching–learning process.

Therefore, we invite you to submit qualitative and/or quantitative research papers focused on the analysis of sustainability in the teacher education process (initial and continuing). To this end, we welcome manuscripts that address topics that include, among others:

  • Good teaching practices for curricular sustainability in the teacher education process;
  • Innovative didactic experiences for sustainable development in the teacher training process;
  • Implications of curricular sustainability in the teacher training process;
  • Reconfiguration of the teacher training process based on the 2030 Agenda.

I/We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Prof. Dr. Mª Del Carmen Pegalajar Palomino
Prof. Dr. Estefanía Martínez-Valdivia
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Education Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • sustainability
  • teacher training
  • Agenda 2030
  • sustainable development
  • higher education
  • educational innovation

Published Papers (10 papers)

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17 pages, 1233 KiB  
Article
Is Consuming Avocados Equally Sustainable Worldwide? An Activity to Promote Eco-Social Education from Science Education
by Irene Guevara-Herrero
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(6), 560; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14060560 - 23 May 2024
Viewed by 46
Abstract
The socio-environmental crisis in which we find ourselves makes it necessary to promote a citizenship capable of facing global challenges in an informed, critical, and participatory manner. Given the shortcomings of environmental education practices and the limitations of teachers to develop effective activities [...] Read more.
The socio-environmental crisis in which we find ourselves makes it necessary to promote a citizenship capable of facing global challenges in an informed, critical, and participatory manner. Given the shortcomings of environmental education practices and the limitations of teachers to develop effective activities in their classrooms, it is necessary to review and redefine teacher training. In accordance with the case study research method, we present the results of the implementation of an activity for teacher training on environmental socio-scientific issues: the production and consumption of avocados in Spain. The aim is to find out how students use the evidence and what perspectives they integrate when making argued decisions, which will allow us to assess the didactic potential of the designed activity and contribute to the consolidation of the didactic dimension of eco-social education. The results show the students’ ability to use the evidence in a critical and reflective way, sometimes oriented toward the search for and proposal of solutions, and also their ability to address the problem using a systemic approach, integrating different perspectives, including political, economic, social, ecological, ethical, health, local, and global considerations. For this reason, the activity presented is considered suitable for promoting the didactics of eco-social education in teacher training. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teacher Professional Development and Sustainability)
18 pages, 2314 KiB  
Article
Lesson Study as a Professional Development Model for Teaching Spatial Ability in Primary STEM
by Ergi Bufasi, Ildze Čakāne, Karlis Greitans, Inese Dudareva and Dace Namsone
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(5), 512; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14050512 - 10 May 2024
Viewed by 587
Abstract
This study explores the efficacy of a professional development (PD) model that employs lesson study to teach spatial ability skills in primary STEM education. The structure of the PD supported the ‘Insights’ mechanism by focusing on visualisation, mental rotation, construction and deconstruction, and [...] Read more.
This study explores the efficacy of a professional development (PD) model that employs lesson study to teach spatial ability skills in primary STEM education. The structure of the PD supported the ‘Insights’ mechanism by focusing on visualisation, mental rotation, construction and deconstruction, and spatial orientation, which are vital for nurturing students’ spatial abilities. The ‘Motivation’ mechanism was addressed through goal setting in lesson planning, motivating teachers to integrate spatial tasks into their curricula. Continuous feedback and practical support facilitated the ‘Technique’ mechanism, embedding learned skills into everyday teaching practices. Last, the ‘Embed in Practice’ mechanisms, including action planning and prompts, were effectively translated into classroom practices, evidencing the model’s operational efficacy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teacher Professional Development and Sustainability)
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17 pages, 681 KiB  
Article
Enhancing Teachers’ Interdisciplinary Professional Development through Teacher Design Teams: Exploring Facilitating Conditions and Sustainability
by Tina Gryson, Katrien Strubbe, Tony Valcke and Ruben Vanderlinde
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 425; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14040425 - 18 Apr 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 718
Abstract
Teachers in secondary vocational education face challenges in interdisciplinary teaching due to their traditional teacher education within specific subject domains. Collaborative efforts—like those implemented in Teacher Design Teams (TDTs)—can prepare and support teachers for interdisciplinary teaching. Research has demonstrated the factors determining the [...] Read more.
Teachers in secondary vocational education face challenges in interdisciplinary teaching due to their traditional teacher education within specific subject domains. Collaborative efforts—like those implemented in Teacher Design Teams (TDTs)—can prepare and support teachers for interdisciplinary teaching. Research has demonstrated the factors determining the effectiveness of TDTs. However, it is noted that the sustainable continuation of TDTs remains uncertain over the years. This research investigates the conditions that facilitate the sustainability of TDTs within the context of interdisciplinary teaching. Over the course of three school years, this qualitative study monitored 14 teachers participating in four TDTs within the context of an interdisciplinary vocational education course. During the initial two school years, the TDTs received external support from the main researcher, transitioning to an autonomous operation in the third school year. A yearly interview with each participating teacher and meeting reports were collected and analysed with thematic analysis. One of the main findings reveals that while the internal coach contributes to supporting TDTs’ progress, the support of the school leader is particularly crucial for sustainability. Although this study focused on school-based TDTs, it underscores the importance of support from outside the school for TDTs’ sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teacher Professional Development and Sustainability)
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18 pages, 655 KiB  
Article
Framing School Governance and Teacher Professional Development Using Global Standardized School Assessments
by Estela Costa and Luís Miguel Carvalho
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(9), 873; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13090873 - 27 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1160
Abstract
The OECD’s education agenda has been marked since the 1990s by monitoring quality and manufacturing problems and solutions for the so-called knowledge economy. Among the instruments used by the OECD is “PISA for Schools” (Pisa-S), an assessment applied directly to schools worldwide since [...] Read more.
The OECD’s education agenda has been marked since the 1990s by monitoring quality and manufacturing problems and solutions for the so-called knowledge economy. Among the instruments used by the OECD is “PISA for Schools” (Pisa-S), an assessment applied directly to schools worldwide since 2011. In Portugal, it was implemented in 2019 under the designation of “PISA for schools in the municipalities” (PISA-M), claiming to create opportunities for collaborative work between schools to promote the success of local educational policies and the quality of student learning. Taking PISA-M as a policy instrument and building on Coburn problem-framing typology, in this article, the revision of PISA-S to PISA-M is reread to analyze the regulatory rationale for the educational system that PISA-M encodes. This research draws on data from OECD PISA/PISA-S/PISA-M websites and two public hearings with the Portuguese PISA-M coordination in the Portuguese parliament and with education unionists, and in existing research relating to PISA-S. Overall, PISA-M appears to be an instrument to reframe local school governance and teacher professional development practices by capturing problematizations and solutions raised on education, teachers’ development, and how school education should be ordered and coordinated at a municipal scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teacher Professional Development and Sustainability)
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13 pages, 265 KiB  
Article
The Understanding of Effective Professional Development of Mathematics Teachers According to South Sudan School Context
by Oduho George Ben Soforon, Svein Arne Sikko and Solomon Abedom Tesfamicael
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(5), 501; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13050501 - 16 May 2023
Viewed by 1167
Abstract
This paper aims to provide an understanding of effective professional development (PD) for mathematics teachers according to the context of South Sudan schools. Hunsicker’s (2011) checklist of effective PD was taken as a framework. The framework has five characteristics—supportive, job-embedded, instructional focused, collaborative, [...] Read more.
This paper aims to provide an understanding of effective professional development (PD) for mathematics teachers according to the context of South Sudan schools. Hunsicker’s (2011) checklist of effective PD was taken as a framework. The framework has five characteristics—supportive, job-embedded, instructional focused, collaborative, and ongoing—and these five characteristics have been used for shaping the study. Interviews were designed and administered to educational officials, principals of two schools, and six sampled mathematics teachers, patterning their understanding about effective PD of mathematics teachers in the South Sudan school context. The analysis showed that the types of PD that exist in the South Sudan school context include the preparation of a lesson plan and the scheme of work for novice teachers, a weekly professional participation of teachers within their working hours, and informal dialog and guidance among peers. In addition, some unqualified teachers are sent to teacher training institutions during holiday times, which can be regarded as a kind of in-service and continuous PD. Our findings are that most of the participants do not have a clear view of what effective PD means. The participants mentioned aspects that can be seen as parts of effective PD according to the literature, but none of them had a holistic or explicit understanding. There is a need to engage those stakeholders to work deeply on aspects of effective PD if a meaningful improvement in student learning is to happen in classrooms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teacher Professional Development and Sustainability)
20 pages, 586 KiB  
Article
Institutional Setting and Its Influence on the Teaching of Mathematics: Implications to Implementing Reform Vision in Mathematics Education in Ethiopian Schools
by Dereje Taye Wondem, Solomon Abedom Tesfamicael and Dawit Asrat Getahun
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(2), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13020114 - 20 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1706
Abstract
Existing initiatives in mathematics education demand establishing a continuous professional development program for teachers in Ethiopian schools. However, implementing such programs first requires an understanding of the school and district environment in which the participating teachers work, as mathematics instruction is in part [...] Read more.
Existing initiatives in mathematics education demand establishing a continuous professional development program for teachers in Ethiopian schools. However, implementing such programs first requires an understanding of the school and district environment in which the participating teachers work, as mathematics instruction is in part a function of the environment. In many cases, school and district settings are dynamic, and it is difficult to incorporate unplanned and intervening factors into the change process. This case study attempts to investigate the influences of the school and district settings in promoting reform visions in mathematics education. This study applies the theory of communities of practice as a framework and qualitative coding of data to understand the dynamic school setting and its implications for the teaching practices of mathematics teachers. The findings reveal that the school setting does not adequately promote reform visions, but rather it maintains the practice that is supposed to be changed. The current situation includes an accountability system loosely connected to reform visions, the absence of reform-oriented school leaders and expertise to guide the teachers, and a lack of instructional materials that the teachers can refer to regarding the new reforms. This paper suggests a possible configuration of the school situation to promote an environment that fosters the teaching of mathematics toward reform objectives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teacher Professional Development and Sustainability)
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18 pages, 3459 KiB  
Article
Aligning HE Pedagogical Innovation with VET, Industry, and Research Partnerships: Insights on the Demola Portugal Initiative
by Susana Amante and Rosina Fernandes
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(1), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13010093 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2011
Abstract
Academia–industry collaboration has been around for some time, but there has been a shift in both the education and workforce settings to work closely together, coordinating initiatives across all sectors, namely higher education (HE), vocational education and training (VET), and industry, in an [...] Read more.
Academia–industry collaboration has been around for some time, but there has been a shift in both the education and workforce settings to work closely together, coordinating initiatives across all sectors, namely higher education (HE), vocational education and training (VET), and industry, in an attempt to mutually drive innovation, provide opportunities to go from concept to action, encourage entrepreneurship, improve ICT use, and other equally important hard and soft skills, aiming to bridge the existing gap between the teaching–learning arena and the business world. Aware that the VET sector, HE, the government, and industry should be devoted to forging partnerships considered key to the development of research, leading to quality, more business, and ultimately, the economic and social well-being of society, a Consortium of 14 Portuguese Polytechnic Institutions engaged in an innovative pedagogical training program, “Learning based on co-creation processes,” a project within the Demola Portugal Initiative (2021–2023), and at the Polytechnic Institute of Viseu (IPV) with reference No. POCH-04-5267-FSE-000818. This training program, with its active methodologies, is then put into practice through the “Link Me Up—1000 Ideias” project. In our study, we will focus on the needs, expectations, and experiences of the IPV teaching staff and the vocational schoolteachers that participated in the training course. Through the analysis of questionnaires and e-portfolios of the participants in the first two editions (January–June 2021 and September 2021–February 2022), we intend to answer the following questions: (i) Which facilitation skills can be meaningfully used by the teachers participating in the (Demola) Pedagogical Innovation Training course at IPV? (ii) Which tools/platforms can enhance the students’ learning and collaboration among different team members, company representatives, and trainees/facilitators? The data collected confirm that the Demola Portugal Initiative provides an effective approach to bring HE closer to the labor market and keep pace with progress and innovation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teacher Professional Development and Sustainability)
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13 pages, 254 KiB  
Article
Factors Contributing to Teachers’ Self-Efficacy: A Case of Nepal
by Dhurba Bahadur Shah and Prakash C. Bhattarai
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(1), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13010091 - 15 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3580
Abstract
A key issue for teachers working in public secondary schools in Nepal is their confidence in their capability to complete the tasks associated with their professional activities. With this consideration, a study was carried out to explore the factors contributing to Nepali teachers’ [...] Read more.
A key issue for teachers working in public secondary schools in Nepal is their confidence in their capability to complete the tasks associated with their professional activities. With this consideration, a study was carried out to explore the factors contributing to Nepali teachers’ self-efficacy. To find out the factors, the study administered the NTSE tool, developed through the e-Delphi technique. A sample of 390 public school teachers was drawn from a population of 3427 teachers in the Kathmandu, Lalitpur, and Bhaktapur districts of Nepal. A cluster sampling technique was used to draw a local government body in each district. The exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was applied using a principal component matrix with varimax rotation. The EFA extraction was further validated by confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). The study found four factors, viz., efficacy in student engagement and efficacy in instructional preparation, which contribute to teachers’ self-efficacy in Nepali public schools. The study helps streamline teachers’ self-efficacy as a key psychological construct in their professional development opportunities, directly impacting students’ academic learning and achievement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teacher Professional Development and Sustainability)
14 pages, 2019 KiB  
Article
The Effect of a Short Course on a Group of Italian Primary School Teachers’ Rates of Praise and Their Pupils’ On-Task Behaviour
by Francesco Sulla and Dolores Rollo
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(1), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13010078 - 11 Jan 2023
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1772
Abstract
Teachers who continually experience behaviour problems in their classrooms may believe they are ineffective at working with children. Indeed, student misbehaviour is often identified as the main cause of teacher stress. Strategies designed to increase teacher rates of approval in their class have [...] Read more.
Teachers who continually experience behaviour problems in their classrooms may believe they are ineffective at working with children. Indeed, student misbehaviour is often identified as the main cause of teacher stress. Strategies designed to increase teacher rates of approval in their class have been shown to be effective in decreasing students’ inappropriate behaviours. In this investigation, a group of Italian primary school teachers took part in a brief 2-h training programme aimed at increasing praise for appropriate behaviour. The programme included a feedback session about the pre-test data and a PowerPoint presentation. Data on pupils’ time on-task were collected. Furthermore, teachers’ job-satisfaction, self-efficacy, and their perceived use of a series of classroom management praxis were investigated through a questionnaire. Social validity data show the teachers within the experimental group to have been highly satisfied with the programme. From observations carried out before and after training, it was seen that changes in teachers’ use of feedback were accompanied by increased pupil on-task behaviour. The training did not produce any change in teachers’ job-satisfaction scores. Teachers’ self-efficacy scores and the frequency of praxis were significantly increased following the training. Implications for practice, limitations, and recommendations for future research are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teacher Professional Development and Sustainability)
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16 pages, 304 KiB  
Systematic Review
Structure of Science Teacher Education in PISA Leading Countries: A Systematic Review
by Melina Doil and Verena Pietzner
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(8), 826; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13080826 - 12 Aug 2023
Viewed by 989
Abstract
Within the surveys of the PISA study since 2001, large differences between the performance of the 15-year-old students in the scientific domain have become apparent. German students were able to improve their performance to a limited extent in the past surveys, despite extensive [...] Read more.
Within the surveys of the PISA study since 2001, large differences between the performance of the 15-year-old students in the scientific domain have become apparent. German students were able to improve their performance to a limited extent in the past surveys, despite extensive educational reforms. Despite the improvement in performance, Germany has not been able to catch up with the PISA-leading countries. Therefore, the question arises in regard to how teacher education in PISA leading countries (Canada, Finland, Japan, Singapore) is structured. The selection of the countries is based on best possible achieved results in the scientific competence area as well as in another competence area by the selected countries. A systematic review was conducted to clarify the structure as well as relevant content issues. The results indicate various possibilities for adaptation for German teacher education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teacher Professional Development and Sustainability)
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