10 SES 07 A, Teacher Education: Integrity, Rhetoric and Democracy
The nature of teachers’ work and knowledge has undergone enormous change in the last two decades in most parts of the world. These changes have occurred in response to a number of factors including unprecedented levels of global mobility caused by voluntary immigration, what Stanley calls “development-induced migration” (Stanley, 2004 in Goodwin 2010, p. 21) as well as the forced migration of those escaping war and/or political turmoil. Culturally homogenous classrooms are increasingly rare in most places in Europe (Council of Europe 2011; European Commission 2013) and elsewhere such as the USA, Canada and Australia.
Such cultural and ethnic diversity has increased the complexity of teachers’ work. All teachers, regardless of their location, need to be able to work productively with culturally and linguistically diverse children. Such a professional imperative raises questions about what characterizes effective teachers, what constitutes effective teaching and what knowledge teachers need in order to be culturally responsive practitioners.
Debates about what constitutes quality teachers in general, have dominated education discourse for decades, and increasingly the global policy discourse promotes standards as a means of enhancing teacher quality (e.g. OECD, 2005; Scheerens, 2010). It is unsurprising, then, that in many places in the world, such as in the United States, New Zealand, various provinces in Canada, England and various locations in Europe, teacher professional standards play an important role in defining 'quality'. As Sahlberg (2011, p. 177) asserts, there is "a widely accepted—and generally unquestioned—belief among policymakers and education reformers… that setting clear and sufficiently high performance standards for schools, teachers, and students will necessarily improve the quality of desired outcomes". Indeed, the development and use of professional standards for teachers has become so normalised that Bourke, Ryan and Lindstone (2013), writing from an Australian perspective, suggest that "no debate actually exists about the usefulness of standards; their implementation has become taken for granted" (p. 409).
Standards serve a number of functions, including accountability measures that contribute to the regulation of the profession. They also make explicit the knowledge and skills required by teachers, thereby providing a framework for preservice teacher education curriculum and for graduate teacher professional development. Importantly, they serve to communicate publicly the essence of what teaching is all about within a particular national context. What they don’t tell us, is how the standards are enacted in practice, revealing a common policy-tension: "Policy is both text and action, words and deeds, it is what is enacted as well as what is intended" (Ball, 1994, p. 10). This paper, therefore, presents an analysis of policy text, but does not purport to analyse the enactment of the policy documents in practice.
In this paper we are concerned with examining the ways in which cultural diversity and culturally diverse students are positioned within teacher professional standards and how standards address teacher knowledge and teacher practice for culturally diverse contexts. We also describe the framework for analysis we have developed to analyse the standards for graduate teachers from England, Scotland, the Republic of Ireland Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States. We conclude that despite the rhetoric about culturally responsive pedagogies that has entered into teacher education discourse, in general, teacher professional standards make little mention of specific knowledge and skills for teaching culturally diverse students. We raise concerns for teacher education policy and practice.
Ball, S. (1994). Education reform: A critical and post-structural approach. Buckingham: Open University Press. Bourke, T., Ryan, M.E. & Lidstone, J. (2013). Reflexive professionalism: reclaiming the voice of authority in shaping discourses of education policy. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 41(4), 398-413. Council of Europe 2011 Compendium, Cultural Policies and Trends in Europe http://www.culturalpolicies.net/web/italy.php?aid=424 Accessed 1/09/2013 European Commission (2013) Study on educational support for newly arrived migrant children. European Commission Final Report. Available from: http://ec.europa.eu/education/more-information/doc/migrants/report_en.pdf Fairclough, N. (2001). Critical discourse analysis as a method in social scientific research. In R. Wodak and M. Meyer (Eds.), Methods of critical discourse analysis (pp. 121-138). London: Sage. Goodwin, A.L. (2010). Globalization and the preparation of quality teachers: rethinking knowledge domains for teaching, Teaching Education, 21 (1), pp19-32. OECD. (2005). Teachers matter. Paris: OECD. Sahlberg, P. (2011). The fourth way of Finland. Journal of Educational Change, 12(2), 173-184. Scheerens, J. (Ed.). (2010). Teachers’ professional development: Europe in international comparison. European Union: Luxembourg. http://ec.europa.eu/education/school-education/doc/talis/report_en.pdf
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