Many researchers lament the lack of academic settings which objective is to advance the professional development of teacher educators. For instance, Korthagen writes: "Being a teacher educator is often difficult…in most places, there is no culture in which it is common for teacher education staff to collaboratively work on the question of how to improve the pedagogy of teacher education." (Korthagen, 2001). These words express the dissatisfaction with regards to the fact that there are no settings that systematically advance the preparation and professional development of teacher educators. This dissatisfaction is intensified in relation to the present conceptions within teacher education, among them:
- Teacher education is a discipline (Loughran, 2006) with a growing knowledge base.
- The pedagogy of teacher education is anchored in a culture of inquiry and lifelong learning (Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 1999).
- The professional development of teacher educators flourishes in collaborative settings.
Up until now...
The MOFET Institute, which has existed for almost a quarter of a century, operates according to the aforementioned conceptions. Knowledge pertaining to the teacher education profession is consolidated at MOFET, and tools that advance teacher educators' professional development are evolved there. In addition to serving as a venue for face-to-face meetings with colleagues, the Institute enables teacher educators from a range of colleges and from every field of endeavor to communicate via virtual encounters. It permits the accumulated knowledge of the teacher educators to be conceptualized, thereby fostering their professional advancement.
Among the professional development channels at MOFET are the following: (1) encouraging research; (2) writing books dealing with theory and practice in teacher education, academic/professional articles, materials and programs; (3) establishing collaborative communities that clarify common issues and create new, shared knowledge about teacher education; (4) holding national study days and in-service courses; (5) establishing global contacts and cooperation via international conferences, online conferences, Scholars-in-Residence, and so on. The MOFET Institute has succeeded in developing extensive knowledge pertaining the creation of these frameworks of activities for advancing teacher educators' professional development.
In the past, the focus of The MOFET Institute's operation has mainly been directed to the national level. Nevertheless, we now believe that it is appropriate to consider expanding the joint teacher education circle to the international level and help disseminate the knowledge of the profession that has accumulated here in other places as well.
- To create a variety of international frameworks for knowledge exchange.
- To assist in establishing professional development settings in different regions of the world, based upon The MOFET Institute's model.
Operational Modes of Action:
- To create an up-to-date and accessible online environment for teacher educators worldwide. This environment will include (a) a content portal containing collections of papers (abstracts / full texts / synopses) classified according to fields of research in teacher education; (b) information regarding events and developments in teacher education; (c) accessibility to international advisers; (d) links among researchers throughout the world and more.
- To share the professional knowledge that has been developed at MOFET with various frameworks around the world by building a culture of teacher educators' professional development and, accordingly, developing frameworks similar to that of MOFET or to components of its work in various places in the world.
- To assist in the development of education and teacher education settings in various countries, including assistance with the development of educational technological and research infrastructures, curricula, centers for children with special needs, training and in-service courses for staff, multicultural projects and more.
If you are interested in cooperating and taking an active part in this innovative, "border-crossing" activity, please contact MOFET ITEC: firstname.lastname@example.org.