From preparation to practice: Tensions and connections

Mary Simpson, Lexie Grudnoff


The links between initial teacher education, teacher registration and early career learning are problematic. The curriculum and control of initial teacher education is contested and the nature of relationships between the key parties (teachers, providers, and regulatory institutions) is under pressure.

At present, providers of initial teacher education (ITE) in New Zealand prepare beginning teachers and at point of graduation, formal links with the student are severed. This feels unsatisfactory as it creates a division in the teacher professional learning process that, ideally, should be more seamless. Becoming and being a teacher is an ongoing, challenging process that requires continuing professional development. Therefore transition points in the process of becoming and being a teacher need to be as seamless as possible. To ensure greater connectivity in ongoing teacher professional development and learning for beginning teachers, all parties (from ITE onwards) need to take responsibility for developing understanding and respect for the different components of beginning teacher development. That simple statement hides issues of power and control that create tensions that threaten connections and professional respect.

This paper explores the present context and identifies points of tension and connection between the key stakeholders. We argue that these tensions can, without understanding, goodwill and a commitment to the profession as a whole, undermine the development and maintenance of links between ITE, registration and early career learning. The challenge, for all parties involved, is how to mitigate the tensions and enhance respect for all stakeholders committed to the endeavour of teacher learning and development. The authors suggest that new working relationships are needed and identify ways in which the key parties might establish better links. 

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DOI: 10.15663/wje.v18i1.140


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© Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research, Te Kura Toi Tangata Faculty of Education, 2015