A Sound Research Base for Beginning Teacher Education: Robust hope, action policy analysis and Top of the Class

November 2007

Source: Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, Volume 35, Issue 4 November 2007, pages 333 - 349

This paper focuses on the recommendations of Top of the class, the February 2007 report of an inquiry into teacher education conducted by the Australian House of Representatives Standing Committee on Education and Vocational Training.

To do this action policy analysis, it presents Raymond Williams' dictum of "making hope practical" through five interdependent strategies. Then it scrutinises and uses them by exploring the relationship between this report's recommendations and, the deepening and extension of the basis for sound educational research. Critical self-reflection focuses on rigorously re-examining what is taken as good educational research. Framing entails identifying the good sense in policies, challenging teacher education stakeholders to collectively advance life-enhancing agendas. Engaging in research with the real world of winners and losers in education is a third strategy. Assessing the desirability and dangers in current teacher education policies and programs is integral to making decisions about the field's future. Communicating the spirit of teacher education publicly is necessary for constructing the grounds for forward movements.

It is argued that these strategies may provide support for new directions in researching productive innovations and policy actions in beginning teacher education.

Updated: Jan. 07, 2008