Characteristics and Conditions for Innovative Teachers: International Perspectives is a must-read for all those with an interest in teacher education and in enabling teacher innovation. It provides a blend of education theory, practice and research and will appeal to a wide audience including teachers, teacher educators, student teachers, school leaders, policy makers and other stakeholders.
Drawing on a wealth of international perspectives, this key text provides a unique insight into how innovative teachers are understood and supported in their respective contexts. It provides recommendations and insights into the characteristics of innovative teachers and considers how best to support professional development to ensure innovation is both encouraged and meaningful.
Considering the impact of conditions, context and agency on innovative teachers, the book explores the concept of innovation. It provides rationales for the focus on innovative teachers, identifies characteristics of innovative teachers and offers conceptual models underpinned by research, along with an analysis of current international policy on innovation in education. It explores the rich data obtained from research undertaken in 16 different countries and concludes by focusing on how to nurture innovative teachers through professional development.
1. Introduction to the Innovative Teacher Research Study Kay Livingston 2. Policy context for the development of innovative teachers Marta Kowalczuk-Walędziak 3. Characteristics and conditions to support innovative teachers: Agency to transform learning and teaching Kay Livingston and Gaele Macfarlane 4. Being an innovative teacher: Understanding qualities and processes A. Cendel Karaman, Marta Kowalczuk-Walędziak and Sumru Akcan 5. Innovative preschool teachers as educational development leaders: A Swedish case Annika Elm and Johan Liljestrand 6. The innovative teacher within learning organisations: A leadership perspective John O’Dwyer and Hilal Handan Atlı 7. Innovative teachers: How? Under which circumstances? Aparecida de Fátima Andrade da Silva and Carol O’Sullivan 8. Innovative teachers from the perspective of teacher educators Carol O’Sullivan, Karl Attard and Kay Livingston 9. Analysing practice as a gateway towards developing various desirable characteristics of innovative teachers Karl Attard 10. Transformative professional development to develop and support innovative teachers Karl Attard, Kay Livingston and Carol O’Sullivan
Teachers make a difference every day. By providing quality and inspiring education, they contribute to the learning and development of children and thus to a sustainable future. This is critical given the challenges our world faces. In order to guarantee a high level of education, continuous improvement and innovation is necessary. This requires knowledge, skills and a reflective, research-oriented attitude from teachers that is focused on the future and therefore on innovation; there is a need for innovative teachers.
This raises questions such as: What characterizes an innovative teacher? What is the influence of the (school) environment, (school) leadership and colleagues on the innovativeness of teachers? Can innovativeness of teachers be taught or strengthened, and if so, how? The chapters in this book address these questions, among others.
This book is the result of a strong collaboration facilitated by the Association for Teacher Education in Europe (ATEE). Members of the ATEE Research and Development Community (RDC) of Professional Development of Teachers are particularly involved, as editors of this book. Kay Livingston, Carol O’Sullivan and Karl Attard have done a great job by bringing ATEE members together at ATEE conferences and beyond and by encouraging them to collaborate.
The aim of the ATEE is enhancing the quality of teacher education in Europe and supporting the professional development of teachers and teacher educators at all levels. The ATEE tries to reach its aim through active dialogue and international exchange of research and practice by increasing the cooperation between individuals and institutions. This book is a good example of how this process works successfully.
I am convinced this book, thanks to all editors, authors and others involved, will make an important contribution to the knowledge and dialogue about educational innovation and the role of innovative teachers in this, and thus to the further development of teachers and (teacher) education.
President of the Association for Teacher Education in Europe