Academic journal article International Journal of Whole Schooling

Curriculum Recommendations for Inclusive Teacher Education

Academic journal article International Journal of Whole Schooling

Curriculum Recommendations for Inclusive Teacher Education

Article excerpt

Introduction

In 1989, the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE) published "The Knowledge Base for the Beginner Teacher" (Reynolds, 1989). In that volume, Henrietta Barnes (1989) stated that although "there is no unitary, bounded knowledge base for teaching on which everyone agrees, the body of knowledge from which teacher educators can draw in formulating an effective curriculum is substantial and growing" (p. 13). More than two decades later, teachers, teacher educators and scholars from across the United States came together to form the Committee on Teacher Education, sponsored by the National Academy of Education (NAE), to further refine and articulate the knowledge base for teaching and to make recommendations for the development of curriculum in teacher education (Darling-Hammond, Bransford, with LePage, Hammerness, & Duffy, 2005).

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the evolution of a stated knowledge base and curriculum for teacher education in the United States. While many professional organizations have worked to define the knowledge base of teaching and to list research-based practices in various fields, the focus of this paper is on the recent work of the Committee on Teacher Education (CTE). CTE committee members and staff authored three publications that articulated their vision for teacher education: Preparing Teachers for a Changing World: What Teachers Should Know and Be able to Do (Darling-Hammond et al., 2005); A Good Teacher in Every Classroom: Preparing the Highly Qualified Teachers our Children Deserve (Darling-Hammond & Baratz-Snowden, 2005); and Knowledge to Support the Teaching of Reading: Preparing Teachers for a Changing World (Snow, Griffin, & Burns, 2005). In this paper, we describe the process of inquiry utilized by the committee and summarize their findings. In turn, we present recommendations from other groups who have also provided curriculum recommendations for general education. We discuss the challenges of inclusive education and we provide special education curriculum recommendations for general education teachers who are working in highly diverse inclusive classrooms.

Focusing on the Committee for Teacher Education

The specific goals of the CTE publications were (a) to demonstrate how research can provide a more systematic approach to teacher preparation, (b) to articulate and refine the knowledge base and make curriculum recommendations based on that research, (c) to explain and justify why certain types of knowledge are important for teachers to know before taking full responsibility for classrooms, (d) to provide suggestions for how this knowledge might be taught in pre-service programs (both traditional and alternative programs), and (e) to set curriculum recommendations in a context of teacher education. In their main volume, the CTE articulated the big ideas in eight domain areas including (a) learning, (b) development, (c) language, (d) educational goals and purposes: curriculum, (e) teaching subject matter, (f) teaching diverse learners, (g) assessment, and (h) classroom management.

The Committee was made up of well-known education academics in the United States. The chairs of the committee, Linda Darling-Hammond and John Bransford, also served as editors of the initial publication, as well as Pamela LePage, Karen Hammerness, and Helen Duffy, who directed and worked full time on the project. The CTE's Reading Subcommittee, whose members were also leading reading researchers, was chaired by Catherine Snow and produced a volume describing what teachers should know in reading. That volume was edited by Catherine Snow, Peg Griffen M. Susan Burns. A third publication, written by Committee Members Linda Darling-Hammond and Joan Snowden, discussed policy recommendations for attaining the goal of having a highly-qualified teacher in every classroom.

Curriculum Development in the Past

According to a survey by the American Association for Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE), most of the 370 teacher education institutions polled have used accreditation boards and national and state standards to develop their individual knowledge bases for teacher education outcome measures. …

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