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Linking Research and Training in Internationalization of Teacher Education with the PEERS Program: Issues, Case Studies and Perspectives

Edited By Jean-Luc Gilles

The PEERS program proposes international exchanges adapted to the context of teacher training institutions wishing to take advantage of internationalization in order to link training, research, and practice. PEERS is based on the completion of Research and Innovation (R&I) projects during the academic year, during which international groups of professors and students from teacher training partner institutions collaborate remotely as well as during two placements of one week. For the students, the PEERS program aims to develop competencies in distance collaboration with the help of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), the management of intercultural groups, and the continuous improvement of their activities through reflective thinking and the spirit of research. For the professors the PEERS program aims to better link research and training, to reinforce their skills in the management of international research projects and to foster opportunities for international publications.

The aim of this collective book is to give an overview of the Issues, case studies and perspectives of the PEERS program. The first section entitled "Issues, Opportunities, and Challenges for the Internationalization of Teacher Training in a Globalized, Multicultural, and Connected World", focuses on the foundations and general features of PEERS projects, as well as the context of globalization in the intercultural and connected world in which it is situated.

The second section, "Case Studies and Lessons Learned from the PEERS Project in Southern Countries" constitutes a series of chapters presenting case studies on PEERS projects focused on innovation and cooperation in the developing world. The third section, "Results of Research-Oriented PEERS Projects," considers the results from PEERS projects that have enabled the implementation of theoretical and practical educational research, generally taking the form of small-case research studies or innovations in the design of teaching units. Finally, in the conclusion we propose to present the key points of the three sections that make up this book "Linking Research and Training in Internationalization of Teacher Education with the PEERS Program: Issues, Case Studies and Perspectives".

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At the time of writing these acknowledgments, our first thoughts go to Mrs Carla Gutmann1 and Mr Biagio Tedesco2 our very first travel companions on this adventure that began in 2010 at the University of Teacher Education of State of Vaud (HEP Vaud) in Lausanne, Switzerland. With these two colleagues, we traveled the world in search of institutional partnerships as part of the setting up of the PEERS program. A special mention must also go to Mr Emilio Aliss3, on whom we could always count in the editorial process, even acting as editorial secretary for several months and who worked so hard to establish PEERS in the countries of the South. He was one of the first to become involved in this innovative international exchange program. The expertise and energy of these remarkable individuals were extremely valuable when the first PEERS projects were being implemented during the 2011–2012 academic year.

I would also like to thank the members of the Scientific Committee and of the Extended Expert Committee – their names are mentioned on two special pages of this book – their support throughout the editorial process was extremely valuable and the chapters gained in quality thanks to their suggestions.

We are also grateful to the Executive Committee of HEP Vaud, composed of Dr Guillaume Vanhulst, rector; Mr Cyril Petitpierre,←9 | 10→ director of training; and Mr Luc Macherel, director of administration. Their support and trust were essential for the successful development of this innovative program combining research, innovation, and training in the field of the professions of teaching and life-long training.

We direct our most heartfelt thanks to the General Director, Mrs Chantal Ostorero, of the Board of Higher Education of the State of Vaud which assisted in the financing of the PEERS projects and provided its expertise, allowing us to develop an international network of reliable institutional partners.

But above all, it is worth pointing out that this PEERS program could not have been brought to fruition without the commitment of the professors and the students who have been its actors. Between 2011 and 2017, almost 500 students and more than one hundred professors and training professionals have been involved in the projects of the PEERS program! Upon reading the following chapters, the reader will easily understand that the implementing of this program dedicated to future teachers at the start of the twenty-first century was a wonderful human adventure, and that the first individuals to strike out on their own were true pioneers who paved the way for those who followed. The projects they carried out, their personal testimonies, and the results they achieved were, for us, the first lessons from which we went on to draw the invaluable knowledge that allowed us to improve the program.

To all PEERS projects professors and students in the four corners of the world, it is to you that this international program belongs. It is, henceforth, up to you to pass on the torch of the spirit of research and humanism with which your PEERS projects are imbued and upon which our globalized, intercultural and connected world depends so much. Thank you!

Prof. Dr Jean-Luc GILLES

University of Teacher Education of State of Vaud

Lausanne, Switzerland

June 2017←10 | 11→

1 Mrs Carla Gutmann, now retired, was the Mobility Program Coordinator of the University of Teacher Education of State of Vaud at the time of the official establishment of the program in 2011–2012. Her energy and kindness are still present in the memories of all those who participated in the PEERS program.

2 Mr Biagio Tedesco was Director International Department at the DGES (Board of Higher Education) of the State of Vaud and has supported the PEERS program from 2010 to 2015.

3 Mr Emilio Aliss was the first PEERS partner professor of an institution of the South, the Simón I. Patiño University, Cochabamba in Bolivia, and subsequently also Developing Countries Fundraiser Officer at HEP Vaud until 2016.