Cooper, B., & Cowie, B. (2019). The challenges of teacher education-exploiting synergies to meet multiple demands. Presented at the 2019 ATEA Conference Professionalism & Teacher Education: Voices from policy & practice, Conference held Queensland, Australia.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/13052
Internationally questions about the nature of effective teacher education have come to the fore as a consequence of the demands to produce equitable outcomes from a more diverse range of learners working with ever more challenging curriculum. This expansion has arisen in part from a realisation that mastery of formal conceptual or propositional knowledge alone is no longer a sufficient basis for active participation in today’s knowledge society. In conjunction with these expectations and understandings, policy makers have introduced a range of mechanisms to hold teachers, schools, and teacher educators to account for student learning and achievement. These mechanisms include the specification of standards for either or both of student learning and teacher performance, along with a requirement to provide evidence of impact. University-based teacher educators are in unique positions of being accountable to students, teachers and teacher accreditation agencies or teacher learning and development that impacts positively for students in the classroom, and being accountable to their university in terms of research productivity. They also need to ensure student teacher graduates develop the attributes specified in their university graduate profile. In this paper, we use New Zealand as a case study to explore some of the convergences that teacher educators might usefully consider across school curriculum goals, university graduate attributes, and teacher performance standards for preservice and practicing teachers, where these have the potential to shape and inform their practice and learning. We begin by elaborating on the landscape of change and then provide two examples of convergence from our own work and that of our colleagues. We describe how projects we have conducted assist in meeting multiple goals. Firstly we illustrate how the need to develop numerate citizens can be imbedded in a teacher education program and secondly illustrate how the need to develop the capacity for learning lifelong can be developed through researched program innovations based on a combination of a design research approach and a design-based intervention research approach. Drawing on our analysis, we scope some of the possibilities for exploiting synergies these shifts can have for initial teacher education and teacher educators.
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