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

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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This collective book is the first to describe the origins, foundations, and early projects of the international exchange program entitled “Projets d’enseignants-chercheurs et d’étudiants en réseaux sociaux” (PEERS) [the Student and Teacher-Researchers Social Networks Project]. This program was created in 2011 by the University of Teacher Education, State of Vaud in Switzerland, in collaboration with its network of partner institutions in North America, South America, Europe, and Singapore.

The PEERS program was conceived with a view to meeting the needs of teacher training institutions seeking a new form of internationalization that combines research and training and develops students and professors mobility. The formula is relatively simple, consisting of bringing together small international groups of students and professors from two partner institutions to work on research projects investigating educational theory and practices over the course of an academic year. These international groups are generally composed of six students from the two institutions and the two professors training them. They work together on an R&I (Research and Innovation) focused project whose results are published in a report, and this is generally followed by one or more academic communications such as publications in academic journals or professional periodicals. As part of this project, the students and professors begin by communicating online with the help of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and social networks supported by the tools of Web 2.0. A one-week visit to the partner institution then takes place during the first term of...

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