TEAN (The Teacher Education Advancement Network) offers a Professional Community for Teacher Educators to share scholarly practice, discuss innovation and development, and build research capacity. It is an independent organisation, supported by the Learning, Education and Development Research Centre and the Institute of Education at the University of Cumbria.

TEAN is founded on an enduring respect for teacher educators and a recognition of the high significance of teacher education worldwide. Teacher educators add a new dimension to their teaching skills as they engage with the complex and challenging realm of ‘second-order teaching’ - teaching others to teach. TEAN insists on the need to celebrate the profession of ‘being a teacher educator’. TEAN matters because teaching matters and teacher education matters. It is dedicated to the notion that we can learn much from each other’s practice and welcomes colleagues from across the UK and international contexts. It is interested in teacher education in Schools, Early Years settings, Higher Education Institutions, Post Compulsory Education and all organisations involved in teacher education.

The items below were collected from teacher educators who generously gave of their time to explain what TEAN has offered them and how it might benefit others.  TEAN is very grateful for their contributions and hopes they will be useful starting places for you. Open up any of the sections below to access ideas. 

 

Is TEAN for you?

 If you are a teacher educator, then TEAN is probably for you.

  • What is different … special about TEAN?

TEAN seeks to support the vast community of colleagues delivering teacher education on a day to day basis. Those who engage with TEAN consider it to be a niche that you cannot get anywhere else.

  • So how does it do this?

In a nurturing and formative way – TEAN cares about you – it’s very approachable - you feel supported by TEAN - it gives you a means of rich dialogue between professionals, often including experts in various aspects of teacher education. The crux of TEAN is knowledge generation – you learn by sharing and engaging with others and you can pass this on to your students. Its support is presently given through such things as the TEAN journal, the Student STeP journal, the TEAN conference.

  • Is TEAN not for me because I’ve been a teacher educator a long time.

Yes it is for you, it’s all embracing. TEAN is all about teacher educators in whatever context. It is a good starting place, but it’s not just for starters, it offers ongoing professional development opportunities and opens doors for anyone who engages with it. It seeks to promote a culture of regeneration – if you take the opportunity to believe in regeneration, then TEAN is invigorating. There’s no ‘hierarchy’ in TEAN, we all learn from one another. That forms, in part, its uniqueness and distinctiveness. Let’s start the journey through what TEAN offers.

Becoming a Teacher Educator

 

  • What about the transition to becoming a teacher educator?

Becoming a teacher educator is not an easy transition. The second order teaching skills of teaching others how to teach are not necessarily automatic, and suddenly attempting to find a new identity is not easy. Pete Boyd from the University of Cumbria with Jean Murray from the University of East London, Kim Harris from the University of Worcester and Liz White from the University of Hertfordshire run very successful Becoming a Teacher Educator workshops at the TEAN conference. In fact the workshops began in 2007 and there are going on for 500 colleagues from colleges, schools and Higher Education institutions who have benefitted from them. The workshops focus on such things as: the pedagogy of initial teacher education; the characteristics of effective professional learning for teachers and the contribution of teacher educators to consultancy and continuing professional development; the development of advanced scholarship and research activity with all of its satisfactions and challenges.

One of the delegates who has engaged with the Becoming a Teacher Educator workshops sums up the benefits thus: ‘As a new teacher educator all sessions are of interest to gain a clearer perspective and reflection on the role ahead.’

Visit the TEAN website Diary of Events to find out more about Becoming and Being a Teacher Educator:

 

Using the TEAN journal

  • What exactly is the TEAN journal?

 The TEAN journal is an online, academic, fully peer-reviewed journal which aims to advance research and scholarly activity across the sector. Reviewers for the journal come from across the UK and sometimes from international colleagues as well. It is not that easy to get published in the TEAN journal as it sets a high standard, but what the reviewers and editor do is to support and guide authors to publication if they are on the way towards a useful paper for the sector… but more of that in a minute…

  • How do people use the journal – is it well used?

Google analytics of ‘hits’ on the journal show that it is very well used and, interestingly, the number of hits on a particular issue or paper (often in the thousands) grows year by year, suggesting that once published, the papers continue to be accessed year on year. Here are some ways in which colleagues have reported using the TEAN journal:

  • ‘The TEAN journal gives insight into how teaching is evolving – evolution is difficult and the journal can be instantly helpful’
  • ‘I have benefitted from my engagement with the articles. For example my interest in SEN was helped by reading colleagues’ articles and when I was working in the context of Maths, again I found very helpful things in the TEAN journal. It is something I return to many times.’
  • ‘I can look at “live” research through TEAN – TEAN does this very well.’
  • ‘The TEAN journal contains very valid contributions from a wide range of colleagues. The nature of the articles is varied and here is a wealth of educational research represented.’
  • ‘As a new researcher it helps you start to get started.’
  • ‘I used the TEAN journal to help with my PhD.’

The TEAN journal home page

 

Reviewing academic papers

  • This is something that is not for me …

Actually it is. TEAN has an excellent bank of reviewers who give tremendous support to help colleagues get published, but it also wants to offer everyone the experience of learning to review.

  • How do you learn to review with TEAN?

If you are interested in reviewing, get in touch. If you are an experienced reviewer, TEAN will be delighted to welcome you to the bank of reviewers. Here is a comment from an author who sums up what submitters feel and the gratitude they have towards the reviewers for the thorough and helpful advice: 'The peer-reviewed TEAN journal is very helpful, the reviewers very fair'. If you are inexperienced, get in touch. There is a system in place which guides you through the early stages to becoming an experienced reviewer. What happens is: you are sent a paper and the guidelines for reviewing like everyone else and you have a go at writing your review. At any stage in the process you can contact the editor for advice. Once all the reviews have come in, you will be sent the reviews from the experienced reviewers. Everything is totally confidential in the reviewing process, but the editor has checked with all the experienced reviewers that they are happy that their anonymous review be shared with people learning to review. You can then compare and contrast your review with the experienced reviewers’ reviews and ask for any advice from the editor who monitors your progress. Hopefully it will not be long until you are upgraded to the status of experienced reviewer yourself.

This is what some reviewers have said about the benefits of reviewing:

  • I’ve learned such a lot!
  • I really enjoyed the reviewing process and hope that I have done it justice.
  • Thank you for the positive feedback, I will look at the other reviews and come back to you with questions. I look forward to another paper in the near future. 
  • I have been asked by my University to consider becoming a reviewer for the TEAN
  • It was suggested that this would be a great experience for me and an opportunity to develop my professional development.
  • I really enjoyed completing the review and found it valuable in many ways.
  • Looking forward to reviewing another paper for you.
  • I do enjoy the process and it is supporting my development and confidence to write, also giving me ideas.

 

Writing an academic paper

 

  • I aim to publish myself some day and would turn to TEAN as it is an effective platform for individuals hoping to reach a wide audience. 

Yes, there are plenty of papers waiting to be written – you could use your Masters work or a research project that you have undertaken alone or with colleagues, have a look at the back numbers of the journal to see if there is anything which is similar to your idea for a paper.

  •  But I wouldn’t know where to start.

Start with the guidelines. These have been developed over the years to help new authors know where to start … and of course you can always ask. TEAN journal guidelines

  •  Is it easy to get your paper accepted?

That depends on how good your paper is! The TEAN journal is not an easy option, but the reviewers are excellent and give thorough and constructive advice. If your paper’s ‘not there yet’ but has potential you will be guided through the revisions until you achieve success.

  •  I don’t think I’ve got anything for peer review at the moment but I suppose that’s all there is.

Not at all, there is a repository for Scholarly Papers in the Teacher Educators’ Storehouse on the website. This is for all those brilliant ideas you have and that you would like to share with the TEAN community – and remember that is potentially the worldwide web. 

The instructions for Scholarly papers are in the journal guidelines  and click here to reach the Scholarly Papers themselves. 

Engaging your students (and colleagues)

  • Is there anything for our students in TEAN?

Yes, specifically for students is the Student Teacher Perspectives section of the TEAN website – known as STeP. Students can ask for their dissertations to be published on the page or, and this probably gives wider reach for their work, they can submit a paper for the STeP journal. It is the student’s task to liaise with the editor, but the tutor needs to recommend them to get in touch and select the very best papers of the year group to be taken forward into the STeP journal. The quality of papers is very high. The number of ‘hits’ for the STeP journal with one issue receiving upwards of 7000 views after publication. Like the TEAN journal, the number of views rises over time.

Here are some ways in which students and colleagues across universities are encouraged by tutors to engage with the journals:

  • The STeP journal is part of the strategic part of our programmes.
  • The 2nd module assignment item is intended to write for STeP.
  • I direct my students to look at TEAN and give them 20 minutes to look through the TEAN journal and also the STeP journal to find useful articles
  • I encourage my students to publish in the STeP journal
  • STeP is a useful resource for students.

The exciting thing about STeP is that it shows clearly how student teachers are engaging with research to aid their practice and learning from the experience. Here are examples from papers which show the benefit a couple of students felt they had gained from doing research on their practice:

- This study has furthered my professional development as a reflective practitioner as it allowed me to question what motivates students.

- The research project has also improved my awareness and appreciation of issues surrounding STEM and the importance of the STEM disciplines for the local and global economy. This will be of particular use to me in the future as I embark on my post-primary teaching career in math and science.

 

The STeP journal home page which also contains the dissertation repository

Presenting your paper at the TEAN conference

  •  What can the TEAN conference offer me – is it the same as other conferences?

Of course there are similarities to other academic conferences but again TEAN has a uniqueness which comes from its fundamental philosophy of caring and nurturing. The TEAN conference attracts established figures from the world of teacher education, both in its choice of keynote and in those who apply to present papers, but it also gives a place for those unused to presenting to be able to do so in an encouraging and supportive atmosphere. There are different types of submission you can send in – a short presentation, a workshop, a Round Table or, if you are very new to presenting at a conference, then there is possibility called the Poster/Ideas forum. The poster/ideas form is intended to be quick fire and challenging; a blast of ideas and inspiration. Each participant has 5 minutes to deliver their presentation, but don’t worry as there are a few of you and the resulting discussion has proved inspirational to all so far. Whatever or however you present you will get excellent feedback on any ongoing research or ideas, you will share different perspectives and ideas and come away with new innovations to enhance your work.

  • Is it easy to get accepted for the TEAN conference?

Well, TEAN is a serious proposition, it’s not an easy option, but what you can be sure of is that you will be taken seriously and every submission is considered with great care, not only to help the individual making the submission, but also to benefit all who attend the conference.

Let’s see what people have said about the TEAN conference to explain what it offers;

  • I wanted to submit my paper for an academic conference and so I chose TEAN as a national network which places importance on small-scale research. It’s very powerful for me as a new researcher.
  • The whole process you go through is very rewarding, supportive and encouraging.
  • The proposal form is very easy – you can go back and look at what others have done – old abstract books give examples of the structure of proposals
  • It’s research-based but TEAN has more practical teacher education research examples – it links the research to the practice. TEAN’s focus is very relevant. I actually struggle to find sessions I don’t want to go to, it’s such a broad sweep of work and lots of different things to engage with. The broadest sense of teacher education. It is so inclusive.
  • I particularly wanted to network with teacher educators – I wanted to feel part of a community. It’s about connecting together – this continues outside the conference and grows – it helps you find contacts, people doing similar things
  • The TEAN conference is more personal, less like a cattle market,
  • TEAN is very friendly and warm but that doesn’t mean it’s not ‘critical’ in all senses of the word – that is another of its strengths.
  • You can be confident at the TEAN conference and that’s important – and you can ask.
  • Very different is its power – it takes away status – it’s a level playing field.
  • The TEAN conference is a place to find ways to regenerate – a way to move out of my course and my institution. People who go to the conference are keen – there’s a real buzz – no awkwardness. It is definitely to be recommended.

What about just attending the conference? Do I have to present?

No, you can just attend - it is vital for the conference that we have a full and engaged audience to make the most of what’s on offer. Let’s ask someone who has been to the TEAN conference what they think of it:

  • This is a truly excellent conference - it is a supportive network in which emerging and experienced academic can get together in a safe environment to share their experiences. I started attending as new teacher educator and have returned each year. TEAN has contributed significantly to my professional and academic development.

Access reports from all the conferences

Access a copy of the Abstract Book 2018 to see what was on offer

 

 

Celebrating teacher education

  •  I’ve heard of something called the TEAN commendation – what is that?

It is a commendation awarded for an example of effective practice in teacher education to share with the TEAN community. The winning entry of the commendation is chosen by a group of judges and the commendation is awarded at the TEAN conference. But it is really more than just simply a commendation. Teacher educators do a fantastic job, day in and day out and to quote a recent winner of the award, ‘None of us says well done often enough.’ The TEAN commendation goes some way to remedying this. Each year the winner represents everyone’s hard work and achievement in teacher education.

Access the winners of the 2018 Commendation through the Conference Report

The future of TEAN

You are the future of TEAN because the TEAN Community is TEAN.

 

TEAN Constitution

The TEAN Constitution 2018 can be accessed here

TEAN Constitution 2018