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April 13, 2019

Using Research to Problematise ‘The Good Practicum’

Most student teachers have positive experiences of working in a school when on placement. A minority, however, return to university from their placement feeling stressed and anxious. In Scotland, The Donaldson Review (2011) claims that 23% of their respondents admitted to having ‘variable or very poor’ placement experiences. Problematic experiences have been reported in a range of empirical studies throughout the wider world (see for example Boz and Boz, 2006)...
April 7, 2019

“Traditional” Teachers: Current Teaching Methods and Nurturing Independent Learners

As a teacher educator, I felt frustrated for a long time by the gap between teachers' desire to help their pupils become independent learners and their own unwillingness to be independent learners themselves. In the following, I wish to share with you a course that attempted to help "traditional" teachers adopt current teaching methods and use them themselves and with their pupils.
March 31, 2019

New ways of governance: can teacher educators take responsibility?

One aspect of social change is how conceptions about good government and governance change. It is reported that teacher educators and teacher education in general experience that government policy is constraining their pedagogical space for professional discourse , diversity and curriculum development by rolling national agendas of standardisation and centralisation and by their focus on standardized test scores (Swennen & Volman, 2016; Zeichner, 2016).
March 23, 2019

How research on reflection has changed my view on reflective practice

Reflective practice is a common dimension of initial teacher education programmes throughout the world and the benefits of developing reflective teachers have been well documented (please see McGarr & McCormack, 2014 for more detail). While differing approaches to reflection exist, Brookfield (1995) argues that unless reflective practice is critical in nature, challenges hegemonic assumptions and power relations, it is largely ineffective.
March 18, 2019

Student teachers learning in the practice field

Teacher education takes place in two learning arenas, the university and the practice field. It is however the practicum that is most valued among student teachers (Korthagen 2010, Kvernbekk 2012). We, the three authors of this text, wanted through a study to learn more about what and how students learn during field practice and to understand how practice can interact with the university coursework to enhance professional competencies.
March 10, 2019

Collaborative Learning and the TEC (Tecnology, Education and Cultural Diversity) Projects

Collaborative teaching and learning approaches are gaining in popularity, and an "Online Collaborative Learning" (OCL) theory has been developed to better reflect the skills required in the information age (Harasim, 2012). Collaborative learning had been implemented in schools since the 80's. However, today collaborative learning involves interaction between learners through both social and professional...
March 5, 2019

The professional development of higher education-based teacher educators

Current literature suggests that while teacher educators perform a multitude of complex roles, they receive minimal preparation or possibilities for professional development to fulfil these roles. As a result, they need to acquire relevant knowledge and skills after taking on the position of teacher educators. Therefore, it is important to learn what skills and knowledge teacher educators need and...
February 24, 2019

Nurturing teacher educators’ communities of enquiry

Unless research is valued for its capacity as a tool of professional learning by all stakeholders in teacher education, we risk the marginalisation and eventual disappearance of a theory-informed future teaching profession. Peiser (2015) reminds us that education policy can, in some cases, prioritise instrumental knowledge over a wider professional understanding of teacher education and...
February 9, 2019

‘New kids on the block’ Falling through the Cracks of a Curriculum Reform

In September 2010, a major reform of the Irish post-primary mathematics curriculum was introduced nationally on a phased basis. The reform, known locally as ‘Project Maths’, involved changes to the syllabus, the way in which the content was taught, and also how it was assessed (Prendergast & O’Donoghue, 2014).


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