On becoming a teacher educator

Aug. 01, 2011

Source: Journal of Education for Teaching, Vol. 37, No. 3, August 2011, 279–291.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

This article explores how the changes in teacher education in Australia have influenced teacher educators' identity as a professional group.

This paper applies the methodological approach developed by Kitchen (2005) through his conceptual framing of relational teacher education.
Kitchen used a self-study methodology to examine his narrative of his developing practice as a teacher educator by looking backward in order to move forward, and in so doing learnt how to articulate his understanding of being a teacher educator.

This paper is based on the observations and experiences of the author, who has been teacher educator for the past two decades.

Becoming a teacher educator

The author argues that until recently the traditional path into academia in Australia followed the familiar route of school teacher to teacher educator.
While the major focus of the work of a school teacher is teaching, Academics are expected to do more than teach. They are also expected to research and to develop new knowledge to be disseminated, critiqued, further developed and refined.

In making the transition from school teacher to teacher educator, beginning teacher educators may find themselves accepting high teaching and inadvertently limiting their academic development and subsequent career prospects.
Therefore without appropriate induction into the academy, this may also lead to ingrained work habits based largely around high teaching loads that ultimately reinforce a view of teacher education as lower status academic work.


The author concludes that the challenge now is for teacher educators to raise their profile in the academy by positively addressing the endemic uncertainty of knowledge of practice through an explication of their pedagogy of teacher education.

Kitchen, J. 2005. Looking backward, moving forward: Understanding my narrative as a teacher educator. Studying Teacher Education 1: 17–30.

Updated: Dec. 26, 2012