Guide for CTL (e-book) »  Introduction

1.  Introduction

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The e-book you are reading is one of the main outputs of a project titled European Methodological Framework for Facilitating Teachers' Collaborative Learning (the EFFeCT project),launched in 2015, finalised in 2018, supported by the European Commission.

The EFFeCT project partners were involved in a two and a half year long collaborative research process based in six European countries (the Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, and the United Kingdom),and they have sound experience in the field of education. The composition of the partnership in the project reflects the importance we felt in having as wide a mix of not only nationalities and cultures as possible - each with their own unique education systems –, but also the sectors of education they represent.

At the beginning of the project, after sharing and accepting our different beliefs and knowledge about collaborative teacher learning (CTL),we had to find common ground. Then, we laid down the principles of CTL through experimental practice, and finally, based on our experience,  did immense amount of work on interpreting and summarising the results both in the scientific and the practical field.

Our motivation came from a firm belief in and commitment to improving the quality of teaching and learning, increasing the equity of opportunity and achievement for all in a future of growing uncertainty and challenge. Providing Continuous Professional Development for teachers has been, in our joint experience, proved effective. It is warmly welcomed by teachers themselves, providing support for innovation in thinking and practice. The challenge to shake up entrenched beliefs, attitudes and practices produces less anxiety when met within a supportive group of colleagues. Co-operation, collaborative learning and research and lead to more productive and absorbed learning than working alone. Indeed, Collaborative Learning is an effective combination of both.

This e-book is the accomplishment of an international team that took part in the process of ‘co-operation’ in their own context. Our learning experiment was comprehensive but nuanced by catering for individual differences, provided users with opportunities to raise questions, debate and provide their own contribution to the process. Such an undertaking will always remain a work in progress – no definite results are ever carved in stone.

Dear Reader! Discover the variety of knowledge on the colourful EFFeCT portal, where you will find scientific articles, case studies, practical tools as well as reports and guidelines for facilitators of CTL. We wish you an exciting journey!

Eszter Szegedi & Joan Stephenson

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