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Scientific Research Project "REP-Synergy"


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Project IZ74Z0_160511 supported by FNS (grant: 1st Sept. 2015 - 31 Aug. 2018) within the Scientific Cooperation between Eastern Europe and Switzerland, Institutional Partnerships SCOPES



Towards improvement of Research capacities essential for teacher Education and Practices in Serbia and Estonia



photo Arcidiaconophoto Leijenphoto Budjevacphoto Baucal
Francesco Arcidiacono Äli Leijen Nevena Budjevac Aleksander Baucal


Co-Applicant Co-Applicant Co-Applicant

Research Department



Institute of Education

University of Tartu


Teacher Education Faculty

University of Belgrade


Institute of Psychology

at the Faculty of Philosophy

University of Belgrade



Other participants:

photo Wentzelphoto Padiglia
Bernard Wentzel Sheila Padiglia
Co-Applicant Collaborator




Research Department





- Partners' kick-off meeting, Biel/Bienne (Switzerland) - September 21-25, 2015 (check the Agenda of the meeting)

- Workshops Introduction to practice based research: its logic, types and data collection methods, Belgrade (Serbia) - November 23-25, 2015 (check the programme: Workshop A1 and Workshop B1)

Workshops Introduction to practice based research: its logic, types and data collection methods, Tartu (Estonia) - May 17-19, 2016 (check the programme: Workshop A1 and Workshop B1)

- Symposium Reflection on a research-based design for the improvement of research capacities in teacher education and practice. Conference of the European Association of Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI-SIG) "Reflective minds and communities", University of Tartu (Estonia), 29/08/2016 (check the conference website)

- Partners' backstop meeting, Biel/Bienne (Switzerland) - September 19-21, 2016 (check the Agenda of the meeting)

- Scientific training activity ATLAS.ti software and qualitative analysis, Biel/Bienne (Switzerland) - November 24-25, 2016 (check the institutional website)

- Workshops Data analyses and dissemination of findings, Belgrade (Serbia) - February 7-9, 2017 (check the programme: Workshop A3 and Workshop B3)

- Workshops Data analyses and dissemination of findings, Tartu (Estonia) - May 15-17, 2017 (check the programme: Workshop A3 and Workshop B3)

- Video presentation at Institutional Research Day, University of Teacher Education HEP-BEJUNE, Biel/Bienne - June 14, 2017 (see the presentation, by Francesco Arcidiacono & Sheila Padiglia; copyright: Research Department, HEP-BEJUNE)


About the project

Info and details on SNF website:

Keywords: Research, Collaboration, Reflexivity, Professional practice, Teachers' education


The application for the Institutional Partnerships involves four partners interested in building a scientific co-operation between Switzerland and two Eastern European countries – Estonia and Serbia. The Swiss institution, located at the University of Teacher Education (HEP-BEJUNE) in Biel/Bienne, is specialized in teacher education and related research studies, and has international collaboration experiences with different partners, including Eastern Europe. The partner institution from Estonia is the Institute of Education of the University of Tartu that mainly focuses on teacher education and related educational research. The institutional partnership from Serbia are two institutions, both from the University of Belgrade: the Teacher Education Faculty, specialized in teacher education and educational research; and the Institute of Psychology at the Faculty of Philosophy, specialized among other areas in educational research. The main objective of the Institutional Partnerships is to support partner institutions to strengthen relationships between teacher education, educational research, and teaching practice. In this project we refer to it as Research-Education-Practice synergy (REP-synergy). The need to improve the relevance and applicability of research results to teacher education and educational practices in partner institutes can be supported by collaborating with Swiss scholars and teacher educators from HEP-BEJUNE since they have a long tradition in involving practitioners in research and carrying out educational research with high practical relevance. Through the Institutional Partnerships the paradigm emphasizing that educational research should be firstly in service of practice will be strengthened. In order to realize this, we aim to enhance young researchers’ and future teachers’ research skills, mostly related to qualitative methods (but also mixed methods and novel quantitative methods). This means that our goal is not to establish a research project, but to build collaborations and promote synergies with the target countries in their endeavour to overcome the difficulties of their transition period. In order to reach these aims, we plan to organize different activities, such as workshops and training sessions in diverse methodologies (qualitative, quantitative, and mixed), for pre- and in-service teachers and young researchers. This will contribute to build capacities for practice-led research and use of research results to improve professional practices. We also intend to support the improvement of institutional capacities that enable a further increase of the research performance in the partner countries. Besides providing training related to scientific approaches and research methods, we will emphasise the role of disseminating research results and their implications for practice. Through the Institutional Partnerships, we also intend to support staff and students’ mobility (through short visits and joint teaching activities) in order to foster collaboration between the partner institutions and provide additional opportunities for professional development of the academic staff and PhD students. The expertise of the Swiss applicant and the partners will be combined and utilized to offer various methodological and epistemological topics for teachers (both future teachers and experienced teachers), and young researchers. A three-year program will be proposed and jointly implemented in the participant countries as a way to improve the understanding of the place of practice-led research in education and relationship between teachers, teacher education, and educational research in Estonia and Serbia. In this way, the partner institutions are in the position to change significantly the education sector and its capacity to support the development of key competencies of new generation of citizens who can ensure sustainability of big changes accomplished through previous processes of societal and economic transition.