Tomorrow's Teachers: International and Critical Perspectives on Teacher Education

By Alan G. Scott; John G. Freeman-Moir | Go to book overview

Teacher Education--Preparation
for a Learned Profession?

Ivan Snook


Historical Background

In New Zealand, as in most countries, the training of primary teachers and the training of secondary teachers have followed different paths. Originally, primary teachers came through the 'pupil teacher' system in which school leavers became 'teachers' after the summer vacation. This scheme persisted into the 1930s despite the fact that, towards the end of the 19th century, training colleges with attached normal schools had been set up in the four main centres ( Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin). Although there was also a university in each of these towns, the colleges were quite separate and under the control of the state Department of Education. These colleges (later renamed teachers' colleges and later still colleges of education) provided initially a two-year course for primary teachers. After the Second World War, colleges were set up in Hamilton and Palmerston North, and, for a short time, there were two 'satellite' colleges in Auckland, one on the North Shore and one to the south at Ardmore. In the 1960s the course was lengthened nationally to three years, but the tradition of colleges separate from the universities continued until the 1990s and, even today, remains the dominant model.

Secondary teachers completed a degree in a university and began teaching without any special preparation. A one-year training course was set up in 1911, but 'the meagre rates of student allowances meant most intending secondary teachers had to seek school posts immediately after graduation' ( Shuker, 1987, p156). This remained the situation until well into the 1930s. Increasingly, however, a one-year course for a teaching diploma, at a teachers' college, following graduation from a university, became the norm and was, in due course, made compulsory.

A student who completed a primary course of training received a teaching certificate, later called a teaching diploma. At times, depending on the prevailing ethos, students with University Entrance were permitted or even encouraged to enrol part-time at the local university, and by this means some ultimately gained their degree (usually a BA).

Although the colleges remained separate from the universities and there was no degree expressly for teaching, developments did occur within the universities. In the early years of the 20th century, the highly influential Director of Education, George Hogben, tried to bring the two institutions closer together. His proposal required that each university recognise the principal of the college as an honorary

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