E-journal of All India Association for Educational Research (EJAIAER)

 

    VOL.20                            Nos:  3 & 4                 September & December, 2008

 

STUDYING TEACHER EDUCATION

(The Report of the AERA Panel on Research and Teacher Education)

Edited by Marilyn Cochran-Smith & Kenneth M. Zeichner

Published by

Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc, Manhwah, New Jersey, USA 2005

(On behalf of American Educational Research Association)

ISBN 0-8058-5593-9   Pages  804.

                                                Sunil Behari Mohanty

Realising the necessity of thoughtful analysis of the relevant research in teacher education, in late 1990s, the American Educational Research Association (AERA) established a study panel.  In a foreword to this publication, Dr. Felice J. Levine, Executive Director of AERA asserts that it offers “a foundation of knowledge about teacher education for policy makers and practitioners, for scholars, and for those involved in education and supporting the next generation of teacher education researchers”(P.viii). The editors of this publication, who are also the co-chairs of the panel  state that they selected a  relatively small number of key questions that  policy makers, the public, and  the educational community seemed particularly interested in and developed  research syntheses that focused in(p.x).The panel restricted itself to scenario prevailing in USA. Extensive peer reviewing helped in improving the quality of the work. The publication has 12 chapters. The first chapter deals with the context and goals of the AERA panel on Research and Teacher Education. The second chapter deals with “Researching Teacher education in Changing Times: Politics and Paradigms. Chapters 3 to 11 have a common format: Background; Guiding Questions; What We have Learned about the Topic; What We have Learned about the Research; and The Research We Need. Titles of these chapters and the Guiding Questions are:

 

3. Teachers’ Characteristics: Research on the Demographic Profile:

Who is going into teaching, how are teachers being prepared, what entry routes did they take, and what career paths do they follow?

 

4. Teachers’ Characteristics: Research on the Indicators of Quality:

What are the relationships between teacher quality and the demographic profile, including teacher preparation, entry routes, and career path?

 

5. Research on the Effects of Coursework in the Arts and Sciences and in the Foundations of Education:

What are the outcomes of teachers’ subject matter preparation; general arts and sciences preparation; and preparation in the foundations of education for teachers’ learning, knowledge, and professional practice; and for pupils’ learning?

 

6. Research on the Methods Courses and Field Experiences:

What are the outcomes of preparation in teaching methods and in student teaching and other field work and classroom experiences for teachers’ learning and knowledge, teachers’ professional practice, and pupils’ learning? This set focuses on the evidence regarding the outcomes of preparation in teaching methods and supervised classroom teaching.

 

7. Research on Pedagogical approaches in Teacher Education;

What are the outcomes of the pedagogies used in teacher preparation (specifically the various institutional strategies and experiences commonly used in teacher education courses, projects, and programs) for teachers’ learning and knowledge and professional practice and for pupils’ learning? Under what conditions and in what contexts do these outcomes occur?

 

8. Research on Preparing Teachers for Diverse Populations; 

What is the research base for preparing teachers to be effective in teaching traditionally underserved student populations and students in traditionally underserved areas? What is known about the conditions and contexts under which specific efforts to prepare teachers for work with these populations contribute to teacher education outcomes?

 

9. Research on Preparing General Education teachers to Work with Students with Disabilities;

What is the research base for preparing teachers to be effective in teaching students with disabilities? What is known about the conditions and contexts under which specific efforts to prepare teachers to work with pupils with disabilities contribute to teacher education outcomes?

10. Research on Accountability Processes in Teacher Education:

What is the research base for the range of accountability processes currently used in teacher preparation, specifically certification, teacher testing and accreditation? What is known about the outcomes of these processes for teachers’ learning and knowledge and teachers’ professional practice and for pupils’ learning?

 

11. Research on Teacher Education Programs:

What is the research base for recruiting and preparing teachers within particular programmatic or structural arrangements and through alternative certification or recruitment routes?  What is known about the conditions, contexts, and outcomes of particular programmatic structures and entry routes for teachers’ learning and knowledge, teachers’ professional practices and pupils’ learning?

 

Chapter 12 is “A Research Agenda for Teacher Education”

 

In Chapter I, editors have discussed about the procedures in carrying out the study. They have mentioned the guiding questions for each of the chapters. It has taken four years for the panel to complete this study. Although this publication is focussed on the situation in USA, it needs to be read by all policy makers and implementers of teacher education programmes. References and Other Sources Cited are at the end of each chapter. At the end of the publication there are author index and subject index. This publication is a must for researchers in teacher education and organisations and institutions involved in improving quality of teacher education.