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Home arrow Perspectives arrow Anna Richert and Julie Nicholson: Teacher Education

Teaching the foundational ideas in teacher education

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The Quest K-12 Teaching and Learning Gallery provides a rich resource of representations of teaching practice that demonstrate the kinds of foundational ideas and dispositions we’re positing here. As teacher education "texts" they can be investigated in numerous ways by novice teachers and their faculty in teacher learning settings. In addition to being able to watch teachers teach and listen to them talk about what they do and why, the sites also includes videos of students engaged in the work of school, examples of student work that comes from that engagement, and the teaching that produces those important outcomes. Teacher credential candidates (and others) can look at the sites and hear students as well as teachers talk about the work.

The websites offer multiple images of teaching that are guided by a set of core ideas we believe are foundational to principled practice that is oriented towards equitable and excellent outcomes for all children. As such, they provide a rich resource for teacher educators. Listen, for example to what Bev says about the Quest materials and how they functioned to help her teach her MA class on Teacher Research.

interview with Bev Falk
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interview with Bev Falk

Whereas the Quest sites provide a rich resource for teacher education, they need to be incorporated carefully into the teacher educator’s curriculum. Anna talks about the first step in the process which is studying the Quest materials to determine how they might augment the teacher learning agenda. She calls this “curricularizing” the text.

play video 

Focusing on inquiry

To demonstrate the teaching of foundational ideas we have selected one - teaching teachers to assume an inquiry stance---which was taught using the Quest web-based records of practice by all three teacher educators whose work is highlighted in this exhibition. Whereas these teacher educators were teaching different content classes (Exploring teaching in Elementary Schools, Adolescent Development, and Teacher Research for MA students,) and at different levels of the teacher preparation continuum (undergraduate students, first year graduate students, and MA students completing their degrees) all three taught teacher inquiry, and all three used the Quest websites to do so. This diversity of contexts represented across the three teacher educators’ courses provides an example of how foundational ideas—such as “teaching as inquiry”—can be adapted for the wide range of teacher education programs that exist. What is essential is that foundational ideas are taught and revisited in different courses throughout the professional education sequence as we see them as core to the profession of teaching.