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Challenges in Teacher Development: Learner Autonomy and Intercultural Competence

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Edited By Manuel Jiménez Raya and Lies Sercu

No one graduating from school can any longer have the illusion to have completed her or his learning career, nor to live in a monocultural society. Quite on the contrary, learning will be the major business of the professional future of anyone who now leaves school. Moreover, the multicultural nature of current societies constitutes an additional major dimension of any person’s life and requires growth in intercultural competence along the lifespan. This is a book, in which various pathways toward the development of teacher competencies in promoting learner autonomy and intercultural competence are discussed. It focuses on the potential of action research, self-reflection, constructive learning and self-report activities for teacher development, offering a number of more theoretically oriented chapters on teacher beliefs, intercultural competence, learner autonomy, action research and eLearning. It also documents a number of case studies in which teacher educators have tried to support teachers in exploring and, possibly, developing their own attitudes and beliefs regarding learner autonomy and intercultural competence, and regarding ways to promote learner autonomy and foster intercultural competence amongst their students and in themselves as professionals in teaching.

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Manuel Jimenez Raya and Lies Sercu: Concluding remarks

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Concluding remarks Manuel J imenez Raya, University of Granada Lies Sercu, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven It is teachers, who, in the end, will change the world of the classroom by understanding it ( Stenhouse, 1 975) This book has presented various theoretical reflections, case studies and reports on a number of teacher educationldevelopment projects directed at teacher de­ velopment in the areas of learner autonomy, intercultural competence and com­ puter-assisted learning. These three aspects currently occupy centre stage in lan­ guage teaching methodological discussions and language teacher education. So­ ciety demands that young people be educated for I ife-Iong learning in a multi­ cultural, international and digital world . From our perspective, the interest in these fields can serve as a thriving force and a renewed interest in teacher profes­ sional development. Teacher education is already trying to find new approaches to help teachers become familiar with these issues from a methodological per­ spective . One of the reasons for this interest being the fact that the way students are taught does make a difference. The changes expected of the educational sector, of schools and teachers are substantial . They do not merely concern the adding on of one or two new teach­ ing techniques, but require a fundamental rethinking of the roles of teachers and learners, of curricular contents and of the organisation of teaching, for example with respect to the time and place of learning, the nature of the learning tasks, or the size of learning groups . The success of the innovation of...

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