What is IDEAL?


The IDEAL Futures Teacher Academy aims to provide a range of professional development activities and a transformative dialogue hub to enable pre-service teachers and in-service teachers in the early years, primary, and post primary sectors to engage in dialogue with policy makers, other educational leaders and the digital tech sector, with a view to leading innovative practices in digital education.
The IDEAL Futures Teacher Academy proposal is focused on developing a range of professional development activities, content, a collaborative digital hub and micro credentials to provide opportunities and space for transformative dialogue that supports educators to develop as future digital educational leaders.
The project will address the needs identified in the research by providing an integrated approach that delves into the need to view digital learning as an ecosystem. Also, will demonstrate how such elements can be considered in holistic, inclusive manner to meet the needs of the whole school community, to foster an open approach to digital pedagogical leadership.


The methodology adopted for the project will be design-based research (DBR). Design-based research is a model of educational inquiry that is situated and provides potential to identify solutions to educational problems by exploring a variety of variables, interactions and contexts, which may enable or influence the learning solution or intervention. There is no uniform methodology for conducting DBR. For the purposes of the IDEAL Futures Teacher Academy, a hybrid DBR model will be used. The project will adopt 7 steps to the development of an integrated model of professional development in the area of digital leadership. It will combine Design Thinking, the Design- Based Research Process (Ameil and Reeves, 2008) and the DBR model developed by Armstrong et al. (2022). Learners will co-design the PD with project partners and researchers. Furthermore, the DBR model will be used in the professional development aspect of the project. Through DBR, learners will collaborate in cross-sectoral dialogue to foster transformative solutions in the area of digital leadership, which will be underpinned by theory and rigorous experimental research.

1Problem Identification - The project partners will work with educators and educational leaders to identify the problems they have in leading digital learning in their individual educational contexts.

2Empathise - The project partners and educators will explore how they are impacted by the various problems and the wider impact they have on their school communities (educators, leaders, students, parents, administrative staff, etc).

3Problem Analysis - The project partners, educators and stakeholders identified in the previous stage will explore the contextual issues and elements associated with leading digital education in their contexts.

4Design solution(s) - The project partners, educators and stakeholders will identify and develop a series of professional development activities (learning materials, resources, activities, digital hub and digital learning spaces) to address such problems. 

5Iterative experiment - The solutions will be piloted and experimentally tested with all of the stakeholders to illustrate the impact these have on leading digital learning in a variety of educational contexts. Refinements will be made and a variety of adaptations may be required, based on various stakeholders’ needs and actual impact.
(Steps 6 and 7 will be undertaken in parallel)

6Reflection and Development of Theory and Design Principles - The project partners will develop a set of theoretical and design principles for sustaining the IDEAL Futures model of professional development.

7Application in practice - The practitioners/learners of the IDEAL Futures Teacher Academy will apply their work in practice and will conduct peer observations with international colleagues to see how the outputs have been adapted in practice.

Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest

Log in