Teacher Education in Light of a Few Principles, Theories, and Studies on Vocational Training and Adult Education/la Formation Des Enseignants À la Lumière De Quelques Principes, Theories et Travaux De la Formation Professionnelle et De la Formation Des Adultes

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT. The objective of this article is to critically examine teacher education based on the concepts, principles, and practices of adult education, vocational training, and continuing vocational training. We will discuss a few aspects of teacher education from the perspective of our research and our theoretical frames of reference, touching on the fields of initial and continuing vocational training, as well as adult education, work psychology, and developmental psychology (Pastré, Mayen, & Vergnaud, 2006, Mayen, 2007). We will also draw from a research study on professional work and training in very different sectors: railroad transportation, public works, agriculture, human services, technical-commercial services, guidance, and orientation. This allows us to examine teaching in the light of what we know of other forms of work, and teacher education in the light of what we know of vocational training and adult education.


RÉSUMÉ. Cet article a pour objectif d'interroger la formation des enseignants à partir des concepts, des principes et des pratiques de la formation des adultes, de la formation professionnelle et de la formation professionnelle continue. Ces trois catégories de formation dessinent des champs de pratiques - et pour partie - des champs de recherche et des champs théoriques qui ont un grand nombre de points communs, bien qu'ils ne se recoupent pas entièrement. Nous allons donc discuter quelques aspects de la formation des enseignants à partir de notre propre perspective de recherche et de nos cadres de référence théoriques, inscrits dans le champ de la formation professionnelle, initiale et continue et de la formation des adultes ainsi que dans celui de la psychologie du travail et du développement (Pastré, Mayen & Vergnaud, 2006, Mayen, 2007). Nous allons le faire aussi à partir d'une expérience de recherche consacrée au travail et à la formation de professionnels de domaines très différents : transports ferroviaires, travaux publics, agriculture, service aux personnes, services technico-commerciaux, conseil et orientation. C'est ce qui nous autorise à examiner le travail d'enseignement, à la lumière de ce que nous savons des autres formes de travail et la formation des enseignants à la lumière de ce que nous savons de la formation professionnelle et de la formation des adultes.

The approach adopted in this article stems from an initial observation, namely that teacher education seems often to be considered a separate form of training altogether; the same can be said of the work involved in teaching (Mayen, 2011, forthcoming). Yet, it appears to us that one of the means to renew ways of thinking about teaching and teacher education is to avoid conceiving of them as exceptions. Each form of work has its own specificities, but nevertheless falls under the scope of a larger category, that is, work itself, which is the subject of work psychology and ergonomics.

Our experience in work analysis also indicates that professionals always think and say that their work is unlike any other. Teaching shares many properties with other types of professional activity, and, like all types of work, it also has its specificities. Consequently, it should be possible to consider teacher education as another form of vocational training, another form of adult education, and another form of continuing education. After all, there is no credible premise for us to assume that teachers and future teachers are any different from other people: they learn, reason, and act according to the same laws.


Adults are no longer children. How often have we heard the reminder made to trainers that they must take into account the life experiences of their adult students? Adult education has increased the number of novel forms of education and training in order to make a distinction between the adult learner and the school student. …