Thursday, April 23, 2015

Cochran-Smith’s four dimensions of effective teacher preparation

Cochran-Smith’s four dimensions of effective teacher preparation
  1. who should teach (recruitment)
  2. what teachers learn (curricular focus)
  3. structure
  4. conceptual framework
A Theory of Teacher Preparation
The third question in a theory of teacher education for social justice is: How can we conceptualize teacher preparation intended to prepare teachers to engage in practice that enhances justice? Again, the answer to this question is central because it reflects the direct link between teacher preparation and teaching practice. My argument here is that in order to support teaching practice that fosters justice, teacher preparation must be theorized in terms of four key issues: who should teach, which is instantiated in practices and policies related to the selection and recruitment of teacher candidates; what teachers learn, which plays out in the curriculum and pedagogy to which teacher candidates are exposed; how and from/with whom teachers learn, which has to do with the intellectual, social and organizational contexts and structures designed to support candidates’ learning; and how all of this is assessed, or how the outcomes of preparation are constructed and measured and what consequences these have for whom. Figure 4 provides a graphic representation of teacher preparation for justice in terms of the interrelationships of decisions regarding selection, curriculum, structures, and outcomes; the figure emphasizes that teacher preparation for social justice is transformative and collaborative, but also involves working within and against the accountability system.

Toward a theory of teacher education for social justice by Marilyn Cochran-Smith
Paper prepared for the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Reseach Association
New York City March 2008 (to be published in The International Handbook of Educational Change (2nd edition), Michael Fullan, Andy Hargreaves , David Hopkins, & Ann Lieberman, Editors. Springer Publishing)

"Each program can be distinguished by its structure, admission requirements, curricular focus, and conceptual framework. According to Cochran-Smith and Zeichner (2005), these characteristics are pivotal to the discussion of teacher education programs because they influence the kinds of students who enroll, the experiences they have, and the kinds of continuing support available for them. Although some science teacher education programs are delivered by school districts or state departments of education, this chapter focuses on programs based in universities with substantial science and mathematics departments, because we aim to prepare secondary teachers with deep and current knowledge of their content areas." (Fraser-Abder, Abell, & Trumbull, 2009, p.24)

Pamela Fraser-Abder, Sandra K. Abell, and Deborah J. Trumbull (2009). Models of secondary science teacher preparation, chapter in A. Collins and N. Gillespie (eds.), The Continuum of Secondary Science Teacher Preparation: Knowledge, Questions, and Research Recommendations, 23–32. © 2009

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