Sunday, August 20, 2006

Basic Questions in Teacher Education

I am just getting back into the swing of things again at work after returning from Winnipeg.

A colleague and I were talking about the Faculty Fall Retreat where we are to bring 5 crucial elements of a teacher education program. I have discussed a few of my thoughts in previous blogs.

During this discussion I talked about a series of questions that we, as teacher educators, should answer. All of the questions are based on the fundamental question of: How do we help new teachers create circumstances in their classrooms that allow their pupils to acquire important, appropriate skills and knowledge? How do we help new teachers create safe, nurturing, challenging environments that support pupils in their growth and development as individuals, members of a community and of society? How do we help new teachers develop ongoing, effective, and understandable processes that allow pupils and their parents to know where the pupil is headed in their studies, how well they are doing in their studies and how to develop and improve the skills and knowledge they need to lead productive and satisfying lives?

Any faculty or college of education has many roles to play - but, in my opinion, the sole purpose of the "teacher education" portion of a faculty of education is to answer the questions above in such a way that prospective teachers are able to think about and perform the functions necessary to make the classroom a safe and productive place for their pupils.