The overarching theme of the Spring conferences in Riga remains as it has been for several years „Teacher of the 21st Century: Quality education for quality teaching”. Though each year the organizers address the participants to consider more narrow problems related to teacher education and leave space for any innovative idea and its implementation.
Over the past two decades and even longer, the countries have been trying to build standards – based accountability as a means of foundation for a higher–achieving education system. In practice, however, we have created several experiences with certain domains: a test–based accountability, internal and external evaluation of the achievements etc. There also appears a function of control instead of facilitating the students and school learner’s self–regulated learning, context knowledge and understanding, the higher–order thinking, problem solving, and creativity needed for teachers to succeed in the 21st century.
The organizing and academic committee of the Spring Conference 2013 will highly appreciate the participants’ attempts to consider the quality of tertiary teacher education and teaching–learning in schools affected by constant changes.
Pedagogy, coupled with practices of accountability and evaluation, new paradigms following changes in learning sciences, as well as in the communication technologies, digitally–based tutoring that inform teaching and learning, from time to time are still narrowing creativity and flexibility in teaching and learning, implementation of productive findings do not always lead to the students and school learners’ success. Why? How tertiary teacher education can obtain a stronger educative function, become more personalized and invite teachers to be constantly aware of the quality teaching while catching up with the on-going changes in our social life and education as well?
How educators, teachers and researchers can create a dynamic pedagogy, a multifaceted approach to teaching and learning in order to integrate teaching, learning, assessment leading to teachers’ flexibility, creativity and innovative practices that meet the high standards of the 21st century education?
What are successful practices to share and how teacher education can meet the need for change in the capacity of the tertiary educational process and teachers’ life–long professional development?