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Initiatives mark education faculty’s 40th anniversary

Participants in the Faculty of Education strategy meeting.

Participants in the Faculty of Education strategy meeting.

The University of Malta’s Faculty of Education recently held various events on teacher education and educational research on the occasion of its 40th anniversary.

One of these initiatives regarded the strategy of the faculty itself, geared to address the needs of a rapidly-changing educational scenario. This was carried out with the support of the University rectorate, in particular through the direct intervention of Tanya Sammut Bonnici, Pro-Rector Strategic Planning and Enterprise.

A second initiative was coordinated by the Malta Review for Educational Research, through the work of Prof. Carmel Borg, and provided a forum for reflection on the college system which was introduced in Malta some years ago. During this event, three re­searchers, Dr Mario Cu­tajar, Dr Sandro Spiteri and Dr Denise Mifsud presented their doctoral research to college principals and to the educational au­thorities, in the presence of Education Minister Evarist Bartolo.

A publication entitled Reaching for the Stars with a Passion for Science and Education was launched in honour of faculty member and Mat­sec chairperson Prof. Frank Ventura. The book, edited by Prof. Deborah Chetcuti, Dr Michael Bu­hagiar and Dr Martin Musu­meci, includes works by Prof. Ventura himself as well as other papers dealing with science education, astronomy and assessment.

The initiatives were rounded off with an international conference entitled ‘Teacher Education and Educational Research in the Mediterranean’ (TEERM), which was attended by over 200 scholars. The conference brought together educational researchers, policy-makers, educators and practitioners from Europe and beyond. The speakers included Prof. Carmel Borg, Prof. Andrè Mazawi from the University of British Columbia, Canada, and Prof. Marilyn Cochran-Smith from Lynch School of Education, Boston College, US.

The TEERM conference represented an opportunity to strengthen the international dimension of the faculty and to enhance its involvement in Maltese society to the benefit of all educators and learners. Organised by the faculty together with the Euro-Mediterranean Centre for Educational Research and the Malta Educational Research Association Conference, the conference addressed the increasing demand for a highly qualified workforce that is able to actively engage in innovative social and work-related activities and that can respond to the challenges of modern society.

In his opening address, faculty dean Prof. Sandro Caruana said the Faculty of Education’s mission and vision are clearly centred on the fact that one cannot compromise where education is concerned. He underlined the importance of long-term planning and of relying on evidence-based support when taking decisions related to education policy and planning. These, together with giving due respect to all educators and recognising the fundamental role they have in today’s society, are the hallmark of a successful educational system.

At the book launch (from left): Dr Michael Buhagiar, Prof. Frank Venura, Prof. Deborah Chetcuti and Dr Martin Musumeci.At the book launch (from left): Dr Michael Buhagiar, Prof. Frank Venura, Prof. Deborah Chetcuti and Dr Martin Musumeci.

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