Academic journal article Journal of Teacher Education

Preparing Teachers for Educational Renewal within Current Contexts of Accountability: Reflecting upon John Goodlad's Twenty Postulates

Academic journal article Journal of Teacher Education

Preparing Teachers for Educational Renewal within Current Contexts of Accountability: Reflecting upon John Goodlad's Twenty Postulates

Article excerpt

In recent decades, widespread changes in federal and state educational policies, specifically related to school, teacher, and teacher education accountability, have worked to reframe the conversation about how to best prepare teachers to meet the needs of diverse students in America's public schools. Although recent reforms have been implemented to hold teachers and, by extension, the teacher education and school district partnership programs that prepare them, accountable for their students' learning and achievement, often in high-stakes ways, many of these reforms are arguably working against the late John Goodlad's (1987, 1988, 1990b, 1994) notion of educational renewal. Goodlad passed at the age of 94 in late 2014 (Lewin, 2015).

Goodlad (1994) defined his notion of educational renewal via a set of Twenty Postulates (see the Twenty Postulates listed in Twenty Postulates, n.d.; see also Goodlad, 1994), clustered sequentially based on five conditions necessary for teacher education: (a) structural (e.g., emphasizing the need for institutional leadership, commitment, and support; a conducive reward system for faculty; and program autonomy and fiscal security), (b) faculty responsibilities (e.g., accountability for program delivery, teaching qualifications, and student selection), (c) programmatic responsibilities (e.g., selecting and preparing "well educated, self-actualized, caring, critically inquiring, and civic-minded future educators"), (d) curricular (e.g., designed to prepare students for the realities of schooling while also helping them challenge the status quo), and (e) regulatory and policy (e.g., licensing, certification, and accreditation requirements; Sirotnik, 2001, p. 16).

As per these Twenty Postulates, Goodlad (1994) defined educational renewal as a collaborative process in which "colleges and universities, the traditional producers of teachers, join schools, the recipients of the products, as equal partners in the simultaneous renewal of schooling and the education of educators" (p. 2); educational renewal, as also defined around centers of pedagogy, is intended to embody the mission of teacher education in a democracy. As "both a concept and a setting," Goodlad (1994) described the conceptual nature of a center of pedagogy as "bringing together simultaneously and integratively the commonly scattered pieces of the teacher education enterprise and embed[ding] them in reflective attention to the art and science of teaching," and its setting as "an inquiring setting for the education or educators that embraces schools and universities" (p. 10). Essentially, then, a center of pedagogy is a prototype that may have a variety of forms but must display all of the essential conditions for educating teachers.

Comprised of three collaborators (university schools or departments of education and the arts and sciences as well as school districts), centers of pedagogy have three primary functions: (a) to prepare educators to teach in schools of various types, (b) to engage in at least three kinds of inquiry (i.e., related to the needs and characteristics of the settings in which teachers will teach, the knowledge and skills teachers need to learn in their teacher education programs to be effective, and the effectiveness of the settings' specific programs), and (c) to conduct research and scholarship related to the art and science of teaching (Goodlad, 1994). Goodlad (1994) explained the importance of the abovementioned three collaborators working under the right conditions, via centers of pedagogy, to provide preservice teachers with the essential ingredients for a teacher's education:

   How humans learn and how they can best be taught are subjects
   of great importance and profound complexity. For teacher
   education programs not to be connected with ongoing inquiry
   into these domains is to guarantee their mediocrity and
   inadequacy. The best assurance of this connection is for teacher
   education to be conducted in centers of inquiry focused on this
   learning and teaching--that is, in centers of pedagogy where the
   art and science of teaching are brought to bear on the education
   of educators and where the whole is the subject of continuous
   inquiry. … 
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