The Professional Teacher: The Preparation and Nurturance of the Reflective Practitioner

The Professional Teacher: The Preparation and Nurturance of the Reflective Practitioner

The Professional Teacher: The Preparation and Nurturance of the Reflective Practitioner

The Professional Teacher: The Preparation and Nurturance of the Reflective Practitioner


From the AgAnda for Education in a Democracy Series

Sponsored by the National Network for Educational Renewal

"This book is comprehensive in its account of what goes into the substance and process of preparing the professional educator, from selection to induction into teaching. The story that unfolds in the collaboration of the University of Connecticut and several schools is one of redesigning virtually every component into something quite different from what existed before without stopping the traffic of future teachers from crossing the bridge to practice."

--from the Foreword by John I. Goodlad, codirector, Center for Educational Renewal, University of Washington, and president, Institute for Educational Inquiry

This practical volume redefines teaching as a profession with pronounced service and moral dimensions. The Professional Teacher shows how this new paradigm can be instilled in teacher education programs and in teaching practice. The authors argue that the practice of teaching requires much more than knowledge and technical competence. It calls for reflection and inquiry, a dedication to democratic principles, and a strong commitment to educational renewal and change. The authors reveal how teacher education can be structured to emphasize the moral and service responsibilities of the profession--especially by forging close ties with local schools and communities--to produce caring and effective teachers. Richly illustrated with research and real-life examples of good practice, The Professional Teacher proposes a new standard that focuses on preparing teachers for a climate of school renewal and change.


One can make a strong case for the proposition that the struggle of schools, colleges, and departments of education (SCDEs) for scholarly recognition and accompanying status in higher education has deflected them from their traditional role in teacher education and has slowed the emergence of teaching as a profession. in the sample of teacher-preparing settings that my colleagues and I studied in the late 1980s, we found professors of education in most colleges and universities pulling back from the role in teacher education for which they had originally been employed in order to meet the growing pressure for research and publication. We found that middlerange universities preparing large numbers of teachers increasingly were following the pattern already established in heavily researchoriented institutions in assigning parts of their teacher education programs to adjunct, temporary faculty members. the name of the game for tenure-track faculty was publish, publish, publish—and then advance to teaching graduate courses more easily connected with their research.

One could argue that by heeding the drumbeat increasingly driving their colleagues in the arts and sciences, professors of education were producing the body of specialized knowledge that teaching must have if it is to warrant recognition as a profession. the problem, however, is that the connections between this knowledge and both the practice and the policy arenas of schooling and the education . . .

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