A Guide to Teaching Practice

A Guide to Teaching Practice

A Guide to Teaching Practice

A Guide to Teaching Practice

Synopsis

A Guide to Teaching Practice has long been a major standard for all students on initial teacher training courses. This new editon has been extensively revised and updated to take account of the many changes in education and training courses.

Excerpt

Lest this analysis of current pressures on education should appear merely negative, one can point to many innovations and developments in education over the last decade that were not directly the result of external political pressure. Indeed, in the case of the introduction of information technology and records of achievement in schools the government did provide funding from the Department of Employment and the Department for Education respectively. One can identify two major sets of initiatives in education that impact very directly on schools: the first of these is the rise in information technology and the second is the changes being wrought in pedagogy - the organisation, structure and styles of teaching and learning. Indeed, the two inform each other.

The rise of information technology introduces the possibility of new, individualised, co-operative, problem-solving, student-centred learning and flexible learning approaches that were not practically possible before. This has implications for the teacher’s role and ‘authority’, particularly when many students are currently more computer-literate than their teachers and where internet, e-mail, public-access databases, networking, interactive programs, virtual reality and powerful pc programs combine with the rapid obsolescence of knowledge to render problematic the notion of what is important, fixed and enduring knowledge. Further, it is not difficult to envisage the role of the teacher changing from a deliverer of fixed knowledge to a facilitator and supporter of student-centred learning. Learning becomes negotiated.

Being able to access and to interact with information and information systems across the globe at the touch of a button suggests firstly that the certainty of which knowledge (or medium) is important is exploded and secondly that a premium is placed on skills teaching. At their lowest level these are practical skills so that students can access and manipulate data; at their highest level these are skills of evaluation, critical thinking and the exercise of judgement in deciding what is relevant knowledge in a postmodernist, relativist world! the ability to be autonomous and to stand upright when all around is changing has much to recommend it.

The opening up of technology and knowledge gateways has major

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