Mascil Final Conference: ‘Educating the Educators – international approaches to scaling-up professional development in maths and science education II’

The mascil final conference ‘Educating the Educators II’ held in November 2016 was a crucial project milestone – and a resounding success. Almost 200 participants (researchers, practitioners, policy makers) from 30 countries attended the mascil final conference from 7th – 9th November 2016 at the University of Education Freiburg, Germany.

Educating the Educators II followed on the great success of the first conference (mascil’s mid-term conference) on this topic held in Essen 2014. The same as the first conference, it was organized in cooperation with the DZLM, the German Centre for Mathematics Education. The second conference served as a researcher-practitioner platform for exchange focusing on research, policy and practice relevance and implications.

The conference offered innovative and interactive formats and ensured vivid exchange by:

  • discussion groups and innovative research – practice interactive sessions with different stakeholder groups
  • a materials market allowing participants to exhibit interesting professional development materials (including classroom materials) and learn about other materials.
  • keynote lectures held by Alan Schoenfeld (Berkeley, US), Michiel Doorman (Utrecht, NL), and Olaf Köller (Kiel, Germany)
  • academic presentations by researchers and practitioners
  • Early Career Researcher's Day
  • a company visit to reflect innovation in STEM education in the industrial context
  • a Policy Seminar
  • meeting of the Network of European STEM Professional Development Centres

The large turnout and participants’ enthusiasm and engagement showed clearly that the conference topic is indeed of high interest and relevance in Europe. Perhaps the most important conference achievement is that it created a drive that will be taken forward after the projects end in 2016, such as in the newly established International Centre for STEM Education (ICSE) at the University of Education and its current projects and initiatives.

The large turnout and participants’ enthusiasm and engagement showed clearly that the conference topic is indeed of high interest and relevance in Europe. An evaluation among conference participants confirmed this interpretation. It further provided high praise and acceptance of the truly innovative conference concept which featured a broad variety of formats and side events such as a company visit and which clearly extended the apgear wheels 3 color namedproach taken in “classical” research conferences. A specific merit of the conference is therefore that it has extended the benefits that participants usually take home from visiting a conference. Namely that it has ensured the building of bridges and networks in the research-policy-practice triangle of STEM education and, along with the world-of-work focus of mascil, to the field of industry. Therefore, perhaps the most important achievement is that the conference series has established itself as an appreciated European and international platform for a diversity of stakeholders in STEM education to meet, exchange and find opportunities for collaboration. This role of the conference has created the necessary drive that will be taken forward after the mascil project’s end in 2016 within the activities and current projects of the ICSE.

Therefore, and in order to facilitate further research and exchange on scaling-up teacher professional development in STEM education (which the conference has shown as also still needed despite increasing treatment of the subject in research), Educating the Educators III is already planned for 2019. A lasting impact of mascil’s activities as regards its mid-term and final conferences to broadly disseminate project results and link relevant stakeholders for such dissemination is therefore ensured beyond the project’s duration. This is an achievement that the mascil Consortium is truly proud of.

The conference’s lasting impact will further be enhanced by an edited book that is planned in order to publish some of the best contributions to mascil’s final conference.

Read the whole report on the conference: pdfReport on the mascil Fina Conference ´Educators the Educators II`

All information will continue to be available at this website and can be visited at: http://educating-the-educators.ph-freiburg.de.