In the middle of what? Preparing preservice teachers to teach in the middle years.

Year: 2018

Author: Renwick, Kerry, Edwards, Tony

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Focused on the development of pre-service teachers The Professional Preparation of Middle Level Teachers provides an overview of fourteen programs in the USA. In the forward the editors speculate that if the middle school movement is to be more than an educational ideal are there enough teachers who can be successful with young adolescents. Written in 1995 the editors observed that there were only a small number of middle years teacher preparation programs. Moving forward twenty-three years the same question remains.Teacher education should be a driving force of pedagogy and curriculum. For the middle years this expectation remains especially true as teachers and school students call for a distinct approach to teaching and learning of 10 to 14 year olds. This paper examines the means by which teacher education can and does address these expectations in context of one Canadian province. In our review of three Schools of Education we examine the intent for middle years teacher education.Focusing on the course offerings and structure we analyse the content of the courses to identify the intent to equip preservice teachers with the specific knowledge and experience of teaching and learning in the middle years. In analysing middle years courses we utilise a matrix informed by existing middle years theoretical and philosophical constructs.Our research questions the nature of middle years curriculum as enacted in teacher education. This includes the interplay between the imperatives of school education and the research informed reflexivities of teacher education. Consideration is also given to how schools of education can influence the enactment of middle years curriculum in schools.This review of teacher education curriculum is useful as a responsive tool for middle years education and the preparation of preservice teachers to position themselves as effective middle years teachers. This study offers insights into the possibilities and opportunities for closer collaboration between schools and teacher education faculty.