Learning Teaching from Teachers: Realising the Potential of School-Based Teacher Education

Learning Teaching from Teachers: Realising the Potential of School-Based Teacher Education

Learning Teaching from Teachers: Realising the Potential of School-Based Teacher Education

Learning Teaching from Teachers: Realising the Potential of School-Based Teacher Education


"The impressive strengths of this book are its breadth of scope, the depth of its grounding in the real life of schools, its clarity of structure and argument, and its far-reaching suggestions for reforming school-based teacher education. The book also demonstrates, in every chapter, the authors' unwavering, though not uncritical, regard for the profession of teaching." Lesley Saunders, Professional Development TodayThe move to school-based initial teacher education has opened up exciting opportunities for student teachers to learn from practising teachers' expertise. However, making the most of these opportunities is not straightforward, since much of that expertise is embedded in practice and rarely articulated. The book: Brings together a wide range of research on teachers' expertise and beginning teachers' learning Reports a research project on helping student teachers to gain access to experienced teachers' expertise Considers the wider implications of that research for the development of school-based initial teacher education Explores how school-based initial teacher education can be improved if it is professionally planned in an informed and well thought-out way Shows how curricula can be developed to help student teachers learn from experienced teachers and from everyday life in schools Makes suggestions for initiatives to improve school-based initial teacher education Examines the conditions that are necessary for school-based initial teacher education to realize its full potential Learning Teaching from Teachers is a key text for all teacher educators, including school-based mentors. It is also important reading for teachers involved in Masters courses in mentoring and teacher education.


The task of writing this series editors' preface is a rather strange one, since it is for our own book that we are writing the preface. It is, however, good for us to have to step back after writing this book to consider again how it fits in to the series' broader task of exploring ways in which teacher education can fruitfully and effectively be developed.

We can usefully start by quoting the opening paragraph of our preface to an earlier book in the series, Teacher Education in Transition, by John Furlong and his collaborators, published in 2000:

During the last decade, initial teacher education in England has been
the subject of massive change. At one level, this change can be seen
as a long overdue recognition of the capacity of schools, and espe-
cially of the teachers who work in them, to make a major contribu-
tion to the professional education of those entering the profession.
How this can best be done, against a background of almost a century
in which teachers have had very little such involvement, but in
which both what is sought from schooling and our understanding of
schooling have expanded greatly, is a highly exciting question. What
problems, and especially what opportunities, it will involve we are
only beginning to discover. One of the aims of this series is to con-
tribute to the exploration of the opportunities and to the solution of
the problems.

Teacher Education in Transition has, as we predicted, come to be regarded 'as the authoritative text on what happened in English teacher education in the 1990s'. Among other things, it told us, as we said in our preface, that the Nineties had 'seen some significant achievements in initial teacher education, which we would be very foolish to ignore, and also that the immense potential of real partnership between schools and higher education (was) generally very far from being realised.' Six years . . .

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