Transforming Teacher Education: Lessons in Professional Development

Transforming Teacher Education: Lessons in Professional Development

Transforming Teacher Education: Lessons in Professional Development

Transforming Teacher Education: Lessons in Professional Development

Synopsis

Teaching and teacher education are moral rather than technical or instrumental endeavors. Providing a detailed description of a highly innovative master's program for practicing teachers, the authors demonstrate that a moral vision can be enacted in practice, despite constraints and challenges. Any serious attempt to change practice will of course be unwieldly, contentious, and subject to sudden shocks and reversals, but it will also yield successes.

Excerpt

Putnam (2000) described the ways in which Americans are withdrawing from community, becoming less participatory in public and private organizations and thereby degrading what he called “social capital.” Workplaces are, however, taking on new forms, where community becomes more important than function. The dot.com corporation, for example, looks strongly to the character of its community, rather than simply to paper qualifications of individuals. Individuals in their turn are choosing much more selectively the character of the workplace, rather than merely going for the stock options, the perks, or the salaries.

Universities and schools are deeply conservative institutions, mostly resistant to organizational change or innovation, and sometimes with only a rhetorical sense of community. This book describes an attempt at program innovation, rooted in a conception of moral professionalism (Sockett, 1993), which challenged most of the conventional parameters defining professional education in teaching. It took place at George Mason University (hereafter GMU) in Fairfax, Virginia, under a president, George W. Johnson, who believed that traditional practices had to be transformed in his aspirations for GMU as “the new American university.” He offered constant support and encouragement for which we are profoundly grateful.

The authors are existing and former members of the faculty at what was the GMU Institute for Educational Transformation (IET), together with teachers who studied with them in the school-based master’s program that IET invented. To all the school teachers, to their students, and to other faculty not contributing to this book, the authors are also truly grateful: They gave IET both ideas and inspiration. The authors also wish to acknowledge the support of many former

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.