New Zealand teacher educators are faced with the challenge of how to prepare their student teachers to become beginning teachers who are able to base their teaching upon the national curriculum. To meet this challenge, designers of initial teacher education (ITE) programmes need to consider the interface between ITE curriculum and the legislated curriculum for schools. This paper looks at some of the historical influences upon the curriculum in both initial teacher education and schools by examining wider contextual influences. We point out that in ITE there has been an ongoing search for the most appropriate knowledge base for teaching, a search that is made problematic due to differing views of knowledge, teaching and learning We argue that in spite of these differences, there is benefit in an ITE curriculum that has a close relationship with the school curriculum in terms of what is learned and the teaching and learning approaches. New Zealand has a revised national curriculum for schools (Ministry of Education, 2007) that schools are expected to implement from 2010. In preparing student teachers to become beginning teachers, ITE providers are in a phase of designing learning experiences that link ITE curriculum and school curriculum. This process is problematic, for there are various internal and external pressures that lead to a crowded ITE curriculum and challenge ITE autonomy and innovation in curriculum decision- making.Â
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