The central thesis of this book is a deceptively simple one. Generally, and perhaps somewhat charitably, it is that the contents and procedures of teacher education frequently have no demonstrable relevance to the actual teaching task. The charge and the more specific diagnoses and hypotheses about improvement are likely to have a considerable and heuristic impact on programs for the preparation of teachers, if examined honestly and seriously. However, it is highly probable that this provocative little book will be ignored by those of us who need the provocation most. These preliminary remarks are written with this probability in mind.
One group of colleagues, fortunately small in number, must be dismissed from immediate consideration -- those professional educators who, for reasons more personal than pedagogical, seek their secular salvation in the cult of certainty. It is another group, more heavily populated, whose attention is petitioned for in this foreword. The reader will note that the title of this volume implies criticism, and that two-thirds of the authorship resides outside the temple walls. Many of us, weary of the recent spate of "attacks," which are frequently more jaundiced than informed, have defended ourselves with a cordon sanitaire that is penetrated by external criticism only with great difficulty. This stance, albeit understandable, is an unfortunate one. Viewed in the cold light of objectivity, it constitutes a self-imposed restriction of the possible sources of professional information and insight.