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New roles and competences of teachers and school leaders in the digital age

The European Education Policy Network on Teachers and School Leaders is in its second working year, aiming to promote co-operation, policy development and implementation at different governance levels, and to support the European Commission’s policy work on teachers and school leaders. The network of representatives of various education stakeholders currently includes 30 partners from 19 countries. This year we are looking into a number of topics related to new roles and competences of teachers and school leaders in the digital age for inclusive quality education in all European Union Member States bringing together recent education research with inspiring practice policy, bringing in the views of various education stakeholders, a theme that has been made more relevant than ever by the school closures all over Europe and beyond. Using the same working cycle as last year, the network is currently working on desk research based on input by its members in five thematic areas shared in this newsletter.
 

# Digital technical tools, skills and competences supporting teaching and learning
Providing comprehensive coverage of a rapidly changing field is an impossible task, thus there was a need to adjust the focus to the overall goals of the network. Thus the research is covering the current use of digital technologies to support teaching and learning, particularly in language and mathematics, in primary and secondary schools in Europe. This will be explored in response to the following five areas of questions:

 

 

 

  • What is the extent of digital technology use in primary and secondary schools in Europe?
  • What, in general, are the benefits of digital technology use for supporting teaching and learning in schools and what are the drawbacks?
  • What examples are there of where digital technologies are used well to enhance student learning in schools? How do these examples link to what we know about effective use of digital technologies to support teaching and learning?
  • What are the main barriers to supporting teaching and learning using digital technologies in schools?
  • What examples are there of schools developing their use of digital technologies to enhance student learning? How do these examples link to what we know about the features of schools that are most effective in using of digital technologies to support teaching and learning?
# Collaborative learning and collaborative school leadership in the digital age
The core concept of this research is collaboration and focuses on collaboration within two activities: learning and school leadership. As collaboration has in recent decades increased and as it can be assumed that the digital technology has brought with itself more ways to practice collaboration in education, this report concentrates on collaborative learning and school leadership in the digital age.
 
 
 
The main research questions are:
  • What is collaborative learning (CL)?
  • What are the benefits of CL?
  • What is collaborative school leadership (CSLS)?
  • What are the benefits of SCLS?
  • What examples of policies and practices are there about CL and CSLS?
 
# Entrepreneurial skills and competences in learning, teaching and school leadership in the digital age
When bringing together research, policy and practice, we are aiming at offering an analysis of various approaches and frameworks in order to identify new roles and necessary competences in the field of entrepreneurship as a combination of behavioural elements for teachers and school leaders in the context of the digital age. In this regard, we are looking into both the entrepreneurial competences of teachers and school leaders as a professional trait of these professionals and the roles in and competences for entrepreneurial learning of their students, framing it in the context of the digital age in order to go beyond already existing frameworks and research. Entrepreneurship education related teaching competences in school is a relatively well-researched area, thus the focus of this paper is on the entrepreneurial teachers and school leaders.
We are focusing on the following areas within this broad concept:
 # Communication, literacies, multilingual and critical thinking skills and competences for teaching and learning in the digital age
This research is dealing with the wide and intertwined fields of communication, literacies, multilingualism and critical thinking for teachers and school leaders in the context of the digital age. In this regard, we are looking into both the relevant competences of teachers and school leaders as a professional trait of these professionals and the roles in and competences for supporting the skills and competences development of their students related to communication, literacies and critical thinking, using multilingualism as a vehicle to scaffold them, framing it in the context of the digital age in order to go beyond already existing frameworks and research.
 
We are focusing on the following areas within this broad concept:
  • School leaders’ and teachers’ competences, with the Key Competences for Lifelong Learning Framework and LifeComp at its core and specified for school leaders and teacher roles.
  • Teaching and learning for developing communication and critical thinking skills and competences, multiple literacies and utilising multilingualism in the context of the digital age.
 
# Active citizenship skills and active digital citizenship skills in teaching and learning in the digital age
The focus of this desk research is active digital citizenship education and the role of teachers and school leaders in the development of a democratic culture in school in a digital age.
Having a clear framework, institutional support and appropriate pedagogy is essential for the development of citizenship education initiatives. In this report we will start by drawing a conceptual map for active digital citizenship in order to have a comprehensive view of the range of practices and challenges active digital citizenship education brings. Secondly, based on the database collected different practices were analysed according to the Council of Europe Model for Digital Competence Development (Council of Europe, 2019). Thirdly, challenges and recommendations for teachers and school leaders, in the implementation of active digital citizenship initiatives, were explored.

 
In the coming months, we will share the final research papers and co-create related policy recommendations for European, national, regional and local education decision makers.
Visit the 
EEPN website to find out more