10 SES 14 A, Innovation And Reform In Teacher Education: Historical perspectives on change and transformation
Teacher education, as a key tool of educational reform internationally, is predicated on the assertion that higher education institutions, in particular, are resistant to change and slow to innovate. The last two decades have seen, on the one hand, national governments moving to de-regulate and disrupt the market for teacher education and, on the other, governments taking more control from the centre, specifying outcomes and standards and even re-organising the national higher education (HE) infrastructure. These moves respond to globally travelling ideas, recirculated by supranational agents such as OECD, EU and philanthropic foundations. One of the most pervasive of these ideas – expressed benignly by OECD as ‘teachers matter’ – is that higher quality teaching can eliminate gaps in educational attainment between children from poorer and more affluent backgrounds and therefore create seemingly universal social mobility.
In line with the 2017 conference theme, this symposium consists of four papers that take historical perspectives on questions of reform and change in the critical area of initial or pre-service teacher education. Arising out of original research in the Netherlands, Norway, the UK and the USA, the papers together problematize the assertions that university-led teacher education has always been slow to innovate but also question whether state-led interventions in the form of both market disruption and centralizing, standards-based reforms will always produce the desired results. In particular, the papers raise questions about the relationship between HE and the profession of teaching; the teaching profession and the state; the kinds of knowledge required by HE-based teacher educators; and, as so often in this field, the relationship between theory (scientific knowledge, research and evidence) and practice (the job of teaching children in publicly-funded schools). The research underpinning the papers has taken oral history and documentary analysis approaches; rhetorical and discourse analysis of policy; and original archival research – in three European countries and the United States.
Childs & Ellis trace the emergence of a new idea for teacher education at Oxford University between 1973 and 1987, an idea that became the well-known Internship Scheme. A key factor in the emergence of this ground-up change process was the stimulation of a ‘need-state’ – the feeling amongst the principal actors that their situation had to change. Their paper suggests the importance of a ‘felt need to change’ among teacher educators in order for innovation to occur.
Swennen, drawing on her analysis of policy and professional texts in the Netherlands from 1950 to 2000, traces the emergence of teacher educators as an occupational group that begins achieving a distinct academic identity towards the end of the twentieth century at the same time that it becomes subject to the reforming instincts of the state. This paper also contrasts the growing interest in a knowledge-base for teacher education distinct from the knowledge requisite for academic work.
Trippestad, against the background of a major reform of teacher education in Norway, in which a reconfigured HE sector is taking the lead, with extended Master’s level programmes, argues that the political, educational and professional complexity of change can be underestimated by the logic of New Public Management. Trippestad analyses these reform policies with the tools of new rhetorical and political theory.
Davis & Getzel, drawing on original archival research, explain how an early-twentieth century experiments in pre-service teacher education by pioneering Normal Schools in the US produced enduring dilemmas in conceptualizing the teacher that continue to figure in debates about teacher education reform. This paper is based on unique archival research in Massachusetts and New York.
Sven-Erik Hansén, our discussant, brings unrivalled experience of analyzing change and reform in teacher education across many countries over several decades.
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.