Source: Journal of Education for Teaching, Volume 33, Issue 3 August 2007, pages 271 - 291
This article compares the practices of teacher educators with those of academics working as educators on pre-service courses for nurses and social workers. It includes a framework for analysing professional education work, which conceptualises the educators as second order practitioners.
The findings of the study show that similar missions, composed of four elements - teaching in higher education, research or scholarship, contribution to the original professional field, and service to the university - underpin professional practices.
Other similarities across the three groups included: engagement in complex pedagogies; struggling to engage in 'valid' research; and perceptions that their departments had low status in higher education. The study shows the tensions created for professional educators when they attempt to meet the imperatives of both higher education and their original professional fields. The findings illuminate generic issues about what is termed second order practice, and indicate directions for countering insularity in teacher education.