Learning To Teach By being Learner’s First
Nationally, there appears to be a growing recognition that teacher education programs do not fully prepare beginning teachers for the rigors of school teaching. However, rather than attempt to defend the need for universities to be able to meet this demand, I believe that it is more important to realistically appraise what is possible in teacher preparation - and what is not. Hence, it is more than reasonable to assert that teacher preparation programs are, by nature, inadequate and incomplete.
Dissatisfaction with …show more content…
The kind of support that he or she should offer (including theory!) has to be very much adjusted to the specific problems the student teachers are having. (Korthagen and Kessels, 1999, p.7)
Therefore, an important issue raised through this view is the positioning of the student teacher as a learner in a curriculum that is constructed as a result of real experiences and reconstructed through interaction amongst learners. This is not, however, a reinventing of the wheel, but making the learning more meaningful and fruitful for student teachers. This paper is one attempt at responding to this type of challenge in teacher preparation.
Program structure vs. principles of practice
Teacher education programs have long been criticized for their failure to establish meaningful links between theory and practice. A difficulty that reinforces this theory-practice gap is associated with the disparity between the world of university teaching (often transmissive by nature) and the world of school experience (often a process of socialization). Therefore, in both settings, the gap is accentuated. For those involved in teacher preparation programs, the two worlds often collide yet the stark differences in practice in both worlds often mask the underlying influences that direct such practices.
Unfortunately, in both worlds, the programs (the nature of teacher preparation; the nature of school teaching) themselves tend to direct what principles will