Teacher training

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Teacher training is the professional preparation of teachers in the context of teacher training institutions and refers to the policies and procedures designed to equip prospective teachers with the knowledge, attitudes, behaviours and skills they require to perform their tasks effectively in classroom, school and wider community. In some countries the teacher training is organised in different and sequent phases like beginning with scientific studies at university (1st phase) which are followed by a more practical training at teacher academies (2nd phase). But mostly both, theoretical course work and practical teaching is already part of the academic element of the training. Both phases are, in some countries, combined into one single teacher training system. Beyond this »initial teacher training«, there is a (scientific) discussion along the third, »induction phase«, which means the process of providing training and support during the first few years of teaching as a fully responsible teacher in classroom. Furthermore, teacher development or continuing professional development for practicing teachers is part of teacher education as a whole. The idea of modern teacher training is a concept of »teaching as a profession«. This is why the term »teacher training« (which may give the impression of training relatively routine tasks) more and more looses acceptation to »teacher education« (with its connotation of preparing staff for a professional role as a reflective practitioner). We use both terms »teacher training« and »teacher education« similar.

The core of the debate about teacher education revolves around four major questions: (1) What should teacher education consist of? Teacher education has apprenticeship roots. It evolved towards a more academic approach, but nowadays there are voices to move (some parts of) the training back to the schools. (2) How should it be done? What is most effective to prepare good teachers? More knowledge or content oriented or more practice oriented? (3) Who should do it and how long should it take? Teacher educators succeeded in formalizing and lengthening the preparation to become certified teachers, but nowadays voices can be heard to shorten initial training, promote professional (in service) development and to open up new roads to certification. (4) Who should be educated to be a teacher? This is also a controversial issue in many countries. The lack of teachers and the idea to take much of the burden of classroom teachers, diverse functions and preparations of teacher are developed; all with lesser entry qualifications. In GOETE the term »teacher training an teacher education« is needed in WP 3 (»comparison of teacher training«).


References

Cochran-Smith, Marilyn (2008): Handbook of research on teacher education. Enduring questions in changing contexts. 3rd edition. New York: Routledge, 2008.

Darling-Hammond, Linda/Bransford, John (2005). Preparing teachers for a changing world. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Galton, Maurice (ed) (1994): Handbook of Teacher Training in Europe. Issues and trends. London: Fulton.

Townsend, Tony/Bates, Richard (eds) (2007): Handbook of Teacher Education. Globalization, Standards and Professionalism in Times of Change. Dordrecht: Springer.


(Thorsten Bohl, Colin Cramer & Sjoerd Carsten)