Influential and intentional teacher education: Embodying a Conceptual Framework

Cathryn Bell, Karyn Robertson, Bev Norsworthy

Abstract


This paper emerges from the critical thinking, research, and evaluation which informed our most recent programme review during which we debated the question, “How do we educate people for quality teaching in the future?” Drawing on research, stakeholder feedback, and graduate voice, four key influential characteristics are identified. The paper explores some of the implications for the development of teachers who can be effective now and also into the future.

Firstly, it is important that the ITE programme is shaped by a research informed Conceptual Framework which is owned and ‘lived’ by teacher educators and student teachers. Secondly, a holistic developmental approach to teacher development will focus on how student teachers learn to be and become quality teachers. Critical to this reflexive and developmental approach is the disruption of a technicist view of learning and teaching and the development of an alternative image of teaching (Chang-Kredl & Kingsley, 2014; Norsworthy, 2008). Teaching is a most complex endeavour for which student teachers need to develop specific dispositions such as being gracious, being teachable, and being secure. Thirdly, it makes a difference to student teachers’ thinking when their developmental journey is contextualised within hopes and realities that are ‘bigger than me’ and beyond the immediate. In New Zealand, this includes contributing to the aspirations and hopes captured within NZ Curriculum and Te Whāriki. A very influential component of ITE to increase the likelihood of this occurring is student teachers’ development of a Passionate Creed (LaBoskey, 1994). When they clearly articulate the passion which inspires and motivates them then, through reflective practice, they will know how to nurture and sustain a sense of call, responsibility and commitment to the vocation of teaching through and beyond the specific challenges faced by beginning teachers (Agbenyega, 2012). Fourthly, teacher educators who contribute to development of quality teachers now and into the future do not just talk about the alternative image of teaching (Bell, 2010; Loughran, 2016). They nurture the student teachers’ development through a progression where effective pedagogy and reflective practice are modelled and then required. Theory, practice, inquiry and reflection work together in an ever developing ‘spiral of learning’. This approach helps student teachers know what they should know and how they should integrate skill and knowledge into practice, but also why each component is included (Biesta, 2009). 


Keywords


Initial teacher education; reflective practice; lived practice; dispositions; Conceptual Framework

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DOI: 10.15663/wje.v22i3.572

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