3 layers of teacher education

Half of all teachers quit the profession before their fifth year, and of those who remain, many reject the innovative, constructivist strategies they were exposed to during teacher training. We know that teacher education, once they are in practice – presents a challenge.

These problems are not new, simply because some blogger said so. Posner, Strike, Hewson, and Gertzog (1982) suggested teacher education needs to be mindful of;

  • Dissatisfaction: Learners must have accumulated questions unsolved by their existing concepts.
  • Intelligibility: Learners must be able to make sense of a new concept before they can explore its possibilities.
  • Plausibility: A new concept must be able to solve the problems or questions that existing concepts could not.
  • Fruitfulness: A new concept must have the potential to lead to new questions, products or areas of inquiry.

Fowler and Mayes (1999), discuss three stages of development for technology as learning objects and/or resources that is useful in viewing teacher adaptation of software so that it can be used for teaching and learning.

  • Conceptualisation – practitioner sources new information or resources.
  • Construction – practitioner manipulates and works out how to use the resources.
  • Integration – practitioner develops resources and communicates them to the community.

This seems a very useful way to approach teacher education, given that technology has no stopping point. If we imagine what we asked teacher’s to conceptualise in the last decade – it has been the move to the read/write participation technologies – reflected in attempts to talk about Personal Learning Networks or signing them into Twitter in the hope that they will move to the latter two stages.

Sadly, much of the last decade on the ‘internets’ has seen a rise only in the number of new people asking old questions.

The important question to ask is what can teacher educators do to ensure that a greater percentage of teachers make the changes we desire?

Refs:

Fowler, C.J.H., & Mayes, J.T. (1999) “Learning relationships: from theory to design” Association for Learning Technology Journal 7, 3: 6-16

Posner, G. J., Strike, K. A.. Hewson. P. W., & Gertzog, W. A. (1982). Accommodation of a scientific conception: Towards a theory of conceptual change. Science Education, 66(2), 211-227.