Policy driven reforms and the role of teacher educators in reframing teacher education in the 21st century
The current policy moment for teacher education in Australia is calling into question the value of teacher education as it is currently practised, proposing alternative pathways into teaching and at the same time tightening outcomes with statements of professional standards for teachers and input measures as part of teacher education regulation. Many features of this current policy moment have the potential to deprofessionalise teacher education and the profession. I argue that teacher educators must work towards shaping the current and future agendas in order to professionalise teacher education and frame the teacher education system in the 21st century. To do that we need to address some of the key questions being asked of us, such as: What is the value of teacher education? What should beginning teachers know and be able to do? How can judgements be made about what beginning teachers know and are able to do? I think we must ensure research- informed and practice-validated professional standards for teaching at various junctures in the teaching career, but specifically for beginning teaching, that capture the complexity and context specific nature of quality teaching and professional judgement. In addition, authentic assessment of beginning teaching that involves consideration of teacher professional judgment and student learning in a range of diverse contexts is an important consideration in re/framing the teacher education system of the 21st century. In conclusion, I argue teacher education research must respond to and inform the questions being asked of us in this policy moment about the value of teacher education.
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© Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research, Te Kura Toi Tangata Faculty of Education, 2015