Selected Research Outputs
Despite the main mission of IRSE to produce outputs for the scientific/research community, it is focused on educational politics and practice. Besides, it is interested – while maintaining the national relevance – in making its results more visible.
Outputs for Educational Politics
Curriculum Reform Research and Recommendation for Its Future Direction
Our first encounters with educational policy at national level date back to the year 2009 when the Institute for Research in School Education of the Faculty of Education at Masaryk University was assigned with the all-over research into the curricular reform implementation at grammar schools. The research findings together with the recommendations resulting therefrom were presented in the following paper:
Janík, T., Knecht, P., Najvar, P., Píšová, M., & Slavík, J. (2011). Kurikulární reforma na gymnáziích: výzkumná zjištění a doporučení. Pedagogická orientace, 21(4), 375–415.
Accreditation Committee and Framework Concept of Teacher Training
Regarding the issue of teaching profession and teacher training, the expert role of IRSE has grown hand in hand with the cooperation with the Accreditation Commission working groups. As a result, the teacher education standard was prepared in the form of the Framework concept of primary- and secondary-school teacher education accepted first by the Accreditation Commission in 2015 and subsequently by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (2016).
Cooperation on the Career System and the Teacher Standard
Related to the cooperation on the above-mentioned framework concept, IRSE involved in the preparation of the teacher standard and the career system. In doing so, it initiated the publication of the monograph issue of the scholarly journal Orbis scholae (3/2014) that mapped the standards in teacher profession abroad. Building on this initiative, IRSE organized a conference Standards and Career Systems in Teaching Profession: International Approaches and the Czech Way that was attended by both teacher trainers and different school and ministry representatives (November 2014).
Outputs for Educational Practice
Video Clubs for Teachers
As a part of its activities, IRSE organized a programme of the professional development for English language teachers at the elementary schools. The basis of the programme was meeting of small groups (of three to four teachers plus one to two experts from IRSE) followed by a discussion about the video recordings of their lessons. Video clubs provided participants with some space to reflect their own teaching and a useful discussion in the professional community for which (according to the participants) there is not usually enough time in common practice. The participants’ feedback was very positive – they appreciated the opportunity to see their lessons from the other perspective (video recording, colleagues’ feedback) as well as the opportunity to see how “it works” in their colleagues’ lessons and in other schools. Video clubs were followed by research which is described in the following works:
Case Studies for Teachers, Initiative Didactica Viva, DiViWeb
Recently, IRSE has developed a subject-oriented approach to examining and improving teaching in cooperation with subject pedagogy teachers and practitioners. Its aim is to spread pedagogical knowledge leading to the improvement based on identification, analysis and assessing situations related to productive teaching and learning culture in the fundamental fields of education (languages, mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences, aesthetic-educational subjects). In the community of practitioners (teachers, subject pedagogy teachers), so-called casuistry or case studies of teaching and learning situations are made. They provide an opportunity to generate an in-depth professional discussion about problems in practice. This discussion takes place both on the online platform DiViWeb and within the regular subject-pedagogical conferences held by IRSE. The outputs are published in the scholarly journal for teachers Komenský. Selection of case studies is available in the comprehensive publication:
Seminars for the CSI Inspectors
Since 2015 IRSE has been participating in holding seminars for CSI inspectors. The aim of the seminars is to support the professional discussion about the teaching and learning situations by means of an analysis of video recordings of lessons from different types of schools and levels of education. This should contribute to the specification and grounding of professional perception and professional language of the inspectors as a professional group. Other following cycles of these seminars as well as the inspectors’ feedback reflect the meaningfulness and necessity of these efforts.
Outputs for the scientific/research community
Study of Curriculum in Its Different Forms and a Model of Content Transformation
As the previous text has shown, one of IRSE crucial topics is curriculum and setting the objectives and creating the content of school education. It is linked to searching the answers to a question where to go from the discipline objectives and content to curriculum objectives and content, from subject matter to learners’ knowledge, skills, competences and other qualities. The most comprehensive survey of this issue was provided by IRSE in The Objectives and Content of School Education and Methodology of Their Formation. The book draws on the theory and research results published in scholarly literature and it is supplemented with research results from the authors of the book and their team.
Research in Teaching and Learning from the Transdisciplinary Viewpoint
IRSE has a long tradition in examining teaching and learning in different disciplines of school education (see the video studies above). Its long-term effort is to convey a transdisciplinary view – trans-didactic. The manifesto of this approach is Transdisciplinary Didactics: on Teachers' Knowledge Sharing and Improving Teaching in Different Subjects. The book deals with research in teaching and learning, and its quality aimed at issues related to the relationship between theory and practice in education regarding the professional teacher training. The 3A methodology – a research approach aimed at examining the quality of teaching and learning (this approach is used for example within DiViWeb – see above) is clarified in the book. The book is intended for general and subject pedagogy teachers, teachers who are interested in teaching and learning, headmasters and all workers whose task is to evaluate pedagogical quality of teaching and learning.
Research in Expertise in a Teaching Profession
The third pillar of IRSE interest is a teacher, their pedagogical thinking and conduct. An important contribution to the development of this area was a project Teacher-Expert: Characteristics and Determiners of Their Professional Development (Against the Background of Foreign Language Teaching and Learning). The project dealt with the issue of expertise in an innovative way, including identification of experts. Thus, the complex view of those who are the leaders of the profession was presented. Subject specialization in teaching foreign languages provided enough content grounding and enabled to describe the particularities and characteristics of teachers-experts in the teaching subculture.
Outputs for the international scientific/research community
Content Oriented Approach Introduced to the International Scene
A study in the leading impact journal proves the international recognition of the developed approach. In the study, the approach is included in European tradition of pedagogy based on a theory of education which is determined as a counterbalance to neoliberal tendencies in education characteristic of the so-called accountability approach. The study presents research findings related to the quality of teaching based on a multi-case study of about fifty case studies.
An Analysis of the Development of Education After 1989 in the Czech Republic for the International Auditorium
The book published by the international publishing company represents a synthesis of the author’s works in the same way as they were presented in scholarly forums in German-speaking countries. Against the background of the current development of educational policy in the Czech Republic, the book discusses the problems in the main areas: curriculum (its development, implementation, realization, evaluation and revision), teaching and learning (productive culture of teaching, vide studies of teaching and learning), teacher training (formative class visits). Based on these texts continuously published in German (and subsequently incorporated in this book), the author was invited to give lectures at different universities and other institutes in German-speaking countries. The book has been given reviews in the prominent journals in the field, such as Tertium Comparationis and Zeitschrift für Bildungsforschung.
Preparation for the International Collective Monograph Related to the Research Methodology Based on Video Recordings
Following its research interests in the area of video studies, IRSE initiated the publication of an international monograph dealing with this topic in 2008. The scholarly book deals with an innovative methodological approach (video studies) adopted not only in social sciences research. Edited by Janík and Seidel (from Technische Universität München), the acknowledged world experts in the field of educational research contributed to the book. The book analyses the state of elaborating on progressive methodology in the international context; the methodology was used within the framework of the international comparative research Teaching and Learning International Survey – TALIS(OECD). The book was reviewed in the national and international scholarly journals and it is cited in prestigious publications in the Czech Republic and abroad.