A practice turn for teacher education?

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Abstract

Within the Research Institute for Professional Practice, Learning and Education(RIPPLE) at Charles Sturt University, teacher education researchers have been quick torespond to the opportunities created by what is known as 'the practice turn' that characterisescontemporary theory around the globe and across disciplines. We are working,together and in parallel, to explore ways in which we can take up the affordances ofrenewed attention to theories of practice in professional (teacher) education. Our aimis to build new theories of teacher education practice that can sustain us as we interactwithin and around contemporary higher education and school education policy andregulatory frameworks. While these may work to constrain and delineate teacher educationcurriculum decisions, they also delineate the social and interpersonal parametersof the field on which we practise as teacher educators in universities today. In this paperI explore and examine the idea of practice in pre-service teacher education to ask if thereare ways to reconceptualise professional practice and professional experience outsideof the now dominant 'days in schools' model that has become the major way in whichwe provide pre-service (student) teachers with the opportunity to actually study the actof teaching and the actions that are involved in the practice of their profession. Drawingon the work of Grossman, teaching is an idea that has devolved over time. What wasonce a core teacher education practice of the 'demonstration lesson' followed by studentpractice of key skills has disappeared from initial teacher education curricula. Similarly,other forms of studying teaching such as the 'micro-teaching' approach of the 1970sand 80s have also diminished over time. With new developments in practice theory andattention to professional practice as a research area within Charles Sturt Universityandelsewhere, a focus on the study of teaching as a practice is timely.Keywords: practice; teacher education
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-310
Number of pages18
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education
Volume39
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011

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