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Lifelong Learning and Teacher Development

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Edited By Jaan Mikk, Marika Veisson and Piret Luik

The papers in this collection contribute to our understanding of several aspects of lifelong learning. Two papers highlight the characteristics of reflection among teachers including self-evaluation and blogging. Two other papers study cooperation in lifelong learning – one, the impact of communities on professional learning among university lecturers, and the other, teacher-principal-parent partnerships in early childhood education. Universities offer a variety of courses and one paper analyses the impact on students of a course in educational psychology.
The experience of dilemmas in history teaching is described in the next paper, and the reading habits of Estonian adolescents according to the PISA study are analysed in the final paper.

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COOPERATION IN LIFELONG LEARNING

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The Impact of Communities of Practice on University Teacher Professional Learning and Professional Identity Anu Haamera,1, Mari Karma, James E. Grocciab aUniversity of Tartu, bAuburn University Abstract Professional learning is best actualized in a community that supports the de- velopment of professional skills and knowledge, as well as develops the pro- fessional identity of the university teacher. The University of Tartu has offered formalized university teacher development programs since 2009 to provide professional development opportunities to enhance teaching, share experiences and to reflect on and learn from those experiences with colleagues. This paper discusses how learning in those programs is experienced and described by university teachers. We analyze and discuss qualitative data gathered on four programs conducted over two years. Qualitative analysis of the data indicates that participation in university teacher development programs supports the professional development and professional identity of the university teacher when the program facilitates reflective learning and works as a community of practice. Keywords: community, reflection, professional learning, professional identity Introduction An important prerequisite for professional learning and the development of a professional identity is peer communication, interaction and support within a community of learners (Kreber, 2000; Boyd, 2010; Barret, Ballantyne, Harrison & Temmerman, 2009). Within communities, communication and collaboration between academics creates opportunities to reflect on and revise one’s teaching conceptions and practices, supporting the development of professional identity and teaching skills. Engaging in university teacher training and development programs is one way to facilitate this type of communication and interaction so that it supports...

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