Diversity or Uniformity: Dilemmas and Challenges for Teacher Education

Goos, Merrilyn and Callingham, Rosemary (2011). Diversity or Uniformity: Dilemmas and Challenges for Teacher Education. In: AARE Conference, Hobart, TAS, Australia, (). 27 November - 1 December 2011.

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Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Author Goos, Merrilyn
Callingham, Rosemary
Title of paper Diversity or Uniformity: Dilemmas and Challenges for Teacher Education
Conference name AARE Conference
Conference location Hobart, TAS, Australia
Conference dates 27 November - 1 December 2011
Publication Year 2011
Sub-type Other
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
Internationally, little is known about differences in the organisation of teacher preparation programs and of the influence of program structure on teacher learning. It is particularly timely to consider this issue, because of the recent release of national standards for accreditation of initial teacher education programs in Australia. One of the principles informing the accreditation standards refers to the need for flexibility, diversity and innovation, thus allowing teacher education providers to demonstrate how programs meet the intent of the standards without demanding uniformity of approach across Australia. The great diversity of existing program approaches became apparent during an Australian Learning and Teaching Council funded project, Building the Culture of Evidence-Based Practice in Teacher Preparation/or Mathematics Teaching (CEMENT). The project involves seven universities that offer teacher education programs for prospective early childhood, primary, middle years, and secondary school teachers. This paper reports on findings of a survey of program structures and approaches to preparing for mathematics teaching in the participating universities. The design of the survey is based on the analysis of mathematics teacher preparation programs in 21 countries undertaken for 15th conference of the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI-15) in 2005. The survey focuses on two broad questions from that international comparative study: (1) What are the teacher education programs' structures and approaches? The ICMI study  found great variation in program duration and modality (e.g., concurrent vs consecutive
provision of discipline studies and professional education), as well as the duration of teaching practice. Our survey extends this investigation to examine entry requirements and measures for ensuring entrants achieve these requirements before graduation. (2) What is the approach to content in the teacher education curriculum? The ICMI study found substantial differences in emphasis on mathematics content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge, and general pedagogy in primary and secondary programs. Our survey additionally asks who designs and teaches the courses in these areas, in what years of the program they are taught, and whether there are courses offered for students expecting to teach secondary mathematics "out of field". Our survey findings illustrate substantial differences in the organisation of Australian teacher education programs, comparable with the international diversity revealed by the ICMI-15 study. The question to be considered is whether standards development will improve the quality and consistency of teacher education programs, or stifle  diversity in meeting students' needs.
Keyword Teacher education
Mathematics education
Q-Index Code EX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Tue, 19 Jun 2012, 08:28:52 EST by Christopher O'Keefe on behalf of Teaching & Educational Development Institute