10 SES 14 A, Building A Research Agenda For Teacher Education Futures
The symposium considers the ‘Big Questions’ that are likely to impact on teacher education in the future and suggests directions for research in this area. It investigates competing tensions in teacher education futures presented through papers from three continents. Currently there are significant influences and forces which are propelling teacher education at a global level. These include:
- government control and policy
- 21st century learning
- views of what is worth learning
- developments in technology.
These do not drive teacher education in a single linear direction but compete, opening up education to a variety of imaginable futures.
Over the last decade there has been considerable interest in the future of school education, which has been informed by the development and analysis of future schooling scenarios (Snoek, 2011). School education is likely to be highly impacted by developments in Teacher Education. These developments are the focus of this symposium. The symposium brings together perspectives from a number of teacher educators who are members of a recently formed international group, the Teacher Education Futures Forum (TEFF). The group considers current trends in Teacher Education and their implications for the future. A number of tensions have been identified by the group regarding the future directions of Teacher Education. The tensions include:
- the role of universities in preparing student teachers
- preparation of student teachers through an emphasis on developing subject knowledge or through developing 21st century dispositions (‘Bildung’ )
- teacher knowledge: legitimised or professional?
- evidence informed practice vs centralised imposition of standards
- techno-determinism .vs accessibility/democratic use
These tensions or dichotomies needed to be considered against the contextual backdrop of different countries. Contexts might differ in some or all of the following:
- the balance of teacher education and practice
- economic issues and competitiveness
- emphasis on lifelong learning
- teacher supply
- mobility of students
- technology availability and skills
The papers in this symposium consider different aspects of Teacher Education in the future in terms of the competing tensions described above. These include an investigation of teacher education preparation through research with new teachers; a proposal for Teacher Education to nurture and develop four central teacher characteristics or dispositions in student teachers; a discussion of what constitutes legitimate teacher knowledge; an exploration of the value of evidence informed practice in countering centralising tendencies of government; and an invitation for teacher educators to reclaim the debate around the role and effectiveness of technology.
Snoek, M (2011). Teacher education in the Netherlands: Balancing between autonomous institutions and a steering government. In European dimensions of teacher Education–Similarities and differences., eds. M. V. Zuljan, J. Vogrinc, 53-53-84. Ljubljana: University of Ljubljana.
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