A Pluralistic Approach to the Revitalization of Teacher Education

Dec. 24, 2009

Source: Journal of Teacher Education, Vol. 60, No. 5. p. 469-477. (November/December 2009). (Reviewed by the Portal Team)

This article argues that the stifling of innovation in teacher education has threatened the vitality of the field.
It asks: Can teacher education, in its current incarnation, adapt to a dynamic world where the priorities and demands of schools and the teaching workforce are changing?

Departing from the typical debate over the merits of the traditional versus the alternative route, this article encourages a pluralistic approach to teacher preparation that the author believes holds promise for revitalizing the field of teacher education.
The author argues that a pluralistic approach to the revitalization of teacher education must be based on the understanding that there is no one best way to prepare teachers.
The author also claims that teacher educators must also be willing to recognize that the diverse needs of prospective teachers and the schools that will employ them may require a greater diversity of teacher preparation approaches than is possible under the tightly regulated system espoused by the professionalization agenda.

The author highlights an innovative approach to teacher education taken by nonuniversity providers that may serve as models for future teacher education reform efforts. In a multiple provider system, providers could tailor their programs to address the needs of particular schools, districts, or regions or by framing teacher preparation in a particular cultural context or educational philosophy.

The article concludes with a challenging agenda for policy makers to create an environment in which multiple providers of teacher education are given the opportunity to innovate with new models for improving teacher education.

Updated: Mar. 14, 2010