Exploring teacher education pedagogy: Student responses

Year: 2012

Author: Tuinamuana, Katarina, Cameron, Leanne

Type of paper: Abstract refereed


Chair: Dr Simon Leonard

The question of how teachers 'learn to teach' and how they take their learning out into the school system is a complex one.  However, this complexity is not always recognised in attempts at reform of teacher education,  with current policy contexts now driving change from a largely neo-liberal platform of accountability and measurement focusing on measurable outcomes and standardised performance criteria. In acknowledging the complexities embedded in the 'learning to teach' process, we report on our attempts to more closely integrate theory, practice and ICT within one unit in the Graduate Diploma of Education programme, and students' responses to these changes. The impetus for the changes comes from our interest in current debates about teacher education pedagogy, and the commonly expressed charge of 'too much theory and not enough practice'. Our paper will present some preliminary findings of an analysis of  student responses firstly, as presented in assessment content  and secondly, in an exploration of the meanings that they attach to the 'learning to teach' process. Of particular interest are student responses to the use of a set of 'provocations', case studies, online reflective blogs, and Twitter both as teaching and as specified assessment tools. In this way, we are able to document attempts to meaningfully link content to assessment in teacher education pedagogy.  The research design uses a critical realist form of grounded theory that analyses both the events arising from our teacher education pedagogy as well as the broader meanings attached to these events, and also encourages a theorising of our own practice as teacher educators.