Looking at beginning teacher educators' ambitions for teacher education through a cross cultural lens

Maude, Kulwinder, Roofe, Carmel, Sunder, Sudha Govindswamy, Allen, Mick and Briten, Elizabeth (2018) Looking at beginning teacher educators' ambitions for teacher education through a cross cultural lens. In: 9th TEAN Conference : The Ambition of Teacher Education; 10-11 May 2018, Birmingham, U.K.. (Unpublished)


Goodwin and Kosnik (2013) argue that “quality teacher education depends on quality teacher educators” (p. 334). Through multiple case studies conducted in Jamaica, England and the United Arab Emirates, this study sought to illuminate the experiences of beginning teacher educators as they set out to realise their ambition for teacher education. The focus is on answering three main research questions: (1) What are beginning teacher educators’ ambitions for teacher education as they transition to second order teaching? 2) How are these ambitions reflected in their practice? 3) How do beginning teacher educators address the challenges to achieving their ambitions for teacher education? Data was collected through interviews of nine beginning teacher educators across the three countries. Preliminary findings indicate that though the sociocultural contexts of the three countries differed, there were similarities in the intentions and experiences of the beginning teacher educators. Across the three countries beginning teacher educators entered teacher education wanting to make a meaningful contribution to creating a generation of teachers who would prepare primary age children for the world of tomorrow. Most teacher educators from early on in their university careers largely depended on learning in ways which were often unstructured, solitary and dependent on individual endeavour. Feelings of professional unease and discomfort were perceived to be more visible during the first year of HE work when the substantial and situational selves of the teacher educators were seen as distinctly out of alignment (Murray and Male, 2005). The study also found an absence of awareness of public policies dedicated to support teacher educators who have recently transitioned to second-order teaching in their career, and an absence of professional development initiatives for teacher educators tailored to their needs. Based on the findings the authors argue in this paper for a formalized and systematic approach to how teacher educators transition from being first order teachers and make their contributions to teacher education in terms of policy and practice. Therefore, this research seeks to contribute to a broader national and international policy environment and make a modest contribution to the literature.

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