Walking the walk and talking the talk: Adequate teacher preparation in these uncertain times?

Year: 2002

Author: Sorin, Reesa, Klein, Mary

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Changing educational agendas in the twenty-first century make new and urgent demands on teacher education programs. The emphasis on the construction of robust intellectual knowledges and inquiring habits of mind in schools necessitates the implementation of innovative, inquiry-based teaching/learning relationships that have not been experienced by many preservice teachers nor teacher educators. The question arises as to the role that teacher education might play in preparing teachers for these new-ways-of-being an educator, of working with students in collaborative engagements where learners are authorised and encouraged to construct their own understandings in personally relevant and powerful ways.

This paper examines our attempts at promoting and sustaining an inquiry based culture in a teacher education program at a regional university. We believe that the ability and inclination to inquire is not only cognitive but constituted or produced in teaching/learning activities that actively foster participation and thinking "outside the square". To this end, we attempt to position ourselves and the students as co-learners; we reflect on and analyse case studies of instructional practice, engage in role plays and participate in student-initiated support networks. This paper reflects on the possibilities and limitations of our practices in an era of uncertainty.