A growing number of voices now call for reform of K-12 schools,
and the call is becoming louder each day, month, and year that we ponder
the question "how do we proceed?" Not surprisingly, a majority of the voices
making the call and offering direction are outside of education. Perhaps
that is to be expected because, as Joel Barker notes, new paradigms do
not typically come from within but rather from areas external to the field
being changed. Or maybe those voices from afar are a result of "prestige
deprivation" that has clung to educators for years. While considerable
uncertainty prevails, one certainty remains the call for school renewal
will continue and intensify.
Although the greatest call for school reform is external to schools,
it is the administrators and teachers who will ultimately be charged with
implementing and institutionalizing the change. However, as Goodlad states:
"Teachers are not being educated to renew the schools. . . and get little
or no experience in what it means to be a member of a faculty renewing
that school" (Callan, 1990, p. 2).
Peter Senge, Director of the Systems Thinking and Organizational
Learning Center at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), stresses
the importance of total systemic reform rather than focusing on repair
of isolated pieces. He says for reform in a society to be significant,
it must be embodied in the public schools. Goodlad contends, somewhat similarly,
that schools are being placed at the "heart of our economy and the heart
of our future" (Callan, 1990, p. 3). Ironically, the reform of schools
and the reform of teacher education, until recently, have never been connected.
The invitational working conference "A Dialogue on Teacher Education Reform"
held on the University of Northern Iowa campus September 23-24, 1991, was
one of 25 state conferences throughout the country addressing issues on
restructuring teacher education. The conference was funded by the Education
Commission of the States and the Danforth Foundation. It was conducted
by the Iowa Department of Education (DE) and the Institute for Educational
Leadership (IEL), a Division of the College of Education, at the University
of Northern Iowa. The dialogue focused on the issues and recommendations
in John Goodlad's Teacher's for Our Nation's Schools (1990) which
addresses the quality of teacher education and its ability to educate teachers
who can restructure education.
The interactive environment characteristic of the working conference
brought K-12 practitioners, administrators, and professors in higher education,
and state leaders together to create the reform link Goodlad (1990) identifies
as critical. In this collaborative climate, Senge's (1992) cornerstones
of a learning organization were put into practice. Participants addressed
shared vision describing the future to be created. Personal visions were
freely articulated. "Mental models" were exposed to cause reflection, openness,
and to challenge basic assumptions. Conference participants practiced team
learning through dialogue and systems thinking to understand the larger
wholes rather than individual parts.
In this learning environment, participants discussed the "conditions
necessary to teacher education programs driven by reasonable expectations"
(p. 53) that Goodlad (1990) posits in Teachers for Our Nation's Schools.
The dialogue was focused on the 19 Presuppositions or Postulates Goodlad
developed to fulfill reasonable expectations and to address the four dimensions
of teaching: facilitating critical enculturation, providing access to knowledge,
building an effective teacher student connection, and practicing good stewardship.
Goodlad's 19 conditions are:
Postulate One. Programs for the education of the nation's
educators must be viewed by institutions offering them as a major responsibility
to society and be adequately supported and promoted and vigorously advanced
by the institution's top leadership.
Postulate Two. Programs for the education of educators
must enjoy parity with other campus programs as a legitimate college or
university commitment and field of study and service, worthy of rewards
for faculty geared to the nature of the field.
Postulate Three. Programs for the education of educators
must be autonomous and secure in their borders, with clear organizational
identity, constancy of budget and personnel, and decision making authority
similar to that enjoyed by the major professional schools.
Postulate Four. There must exist a clearly identifiable
group of academic and clinical faculty members for whom teacher education
is the top priority; the group must be responsible and accountable for
selecting students and monitoring their progress, planning and maintaining
the full scope and sequence of the curriculum, continuously evaluating
and improving programs, and facilitating the entry of graduates into teaching
Postulate Five. The responsible group of academic and
clinical faculty members described above must have a comprehensive understanding
of the aims of education and the role of schools in our society and be
fully committed to selecting and preparing teachers to assume the full
range of educational responsibilities required.
Postulate Six. The responsible group of academic and
clinical faculty members must seek out and select for a predetermined number
of student places in the program those candidates who reveal an initial
commitment to the moral, ethical, and enculturating responsibilities to
Postulate Seven. Programs for the education of educators,
whether elementary or secondary, must carry the responsibility to ensure
that all candidates progressing through them possess or acquire the literacy
and critical thinking abilities associated with the concept of an educated
Postulate Eight. Programs for the education of educators
must provide extensive opportunities for future teachers to move beyond
being students of organized knowledge to become teachers who inquire into
both knowledge and its teaching.
Postulate Nine. Programs for the education of educators
must be characterized by a socialization process through which candidates
transcend their self oriented student preoccupations to become more other
oriented in identifying with a culture of teaching.
Postulate Ten. Programs for the education of educators
must be characterized in all respects by the conditions for learning that
future teachers are to establish in their own schools and classrooms.
Postulate Eleven. Programs for the education of educators
must be conducted in such a way that future teachers inquire into the nature
of teaching and schooling and assume that they will do so as a natural
aspect of their careers.
Postulate Twelve. Programs for the education of educators
must involve future teachers in the issues and dilemmas that emerge out
of the never ending tension between the rights and interests of individual
parents and special interest groups, on one hand, and the role of schools
in transcending parochialism, on the other.
Postulate Thirteen. Programs for the education of educators
must be infused with understanding of and commitment to the moral obligation
of teachers to ensure equitable access to and engagement in the best possible
K-12 education for all children and youths.
Postulate Fourteen. Programs for the education of educators
must involve future teachers not only in understanding schools as they
are but in alternatives, the assumptions underlying alternatives, and how
to effect needed changes in school organization, pupil grouping, curriculum,
Postulate Fifteen. Programs for the education of educators
must assure for each candidate the availability of a wide array of laboratory
settings for observation, hands on experiences, and exemplary schools for
internships and residencies; they must admit no more students to their
programs than can be assured these quality experiences.
Postulate Sixteen. Programs for the education of educators
must engage future teachers in the problems and dilemmas arising out of
the inevitable conflicts and incongruities between what works or is accepted
in practice and the research and theory supporting other options.
Postulate Seventeen. Programs for educating educators
must establish linkages with graduates for purposes of both evaluating
and revising these programs and easing the critical early years of transition
Postulate Eighteen. Programs for the education of educators,
in order to be vital and renewing, must be free from curricular specifications
by licensing agencies and restrained only by enlightened, professionally
driven requirements for accreditation.
Postulate Nineteen. Programs for the education of educators
must be protected from the vagaries of supply and demand by state policies
that allow neither backdoor "emergency" programs nor temporary teaching
licenses. (Goodlad, 1990 pp. 54 63).
Fifty-five K-12 practitioners, university faculty, and state leaders examined
Goodlad's Postulates. Individuals were selected based on their keen interest
in teacher education and school reform, their skills as communicators,
and their enthusiasm toward exploring the Postulates in an indepth and
interactive environment. The conference's purpose was to develop an action
agenda to make appropriate changes in Iowa policies to support the renewal
of teacher education.
Each participant selected one of six focus areas for indepth discussion:
(a) institutional mission, (b) college/university faculty, (c) curriculum
issues, (d) program procedures/methodology, (e) links with schools, and
(f) state relationship.
Participants prioritized focus areas and were then invited to
write a position paper on the area which they self selected. Papers were
submitted prior to the conference, copied, and sent to participants of
specified focus areas.
This monograph is a compilation of the position papers in each
focus area as well as the consensus reports groups developed during the
two day conference and written by each group's facilitator(s). Because
time constraints prevented development of a conference report, these papers
represent the views of the participants within each focus area and are
not necessarily shared by all conference participants. While the reader
is encouraged to read the entire monograph to gain detail and understanding,
the following recommendations are presented to highlight the outcomes of
The voices calling for transformation of Pre K-12 schools are not likely
to be silenced until significant changes are made in the way we prepare
young people to be contributing members in a democratic society. And we
cannot expect significant changes in elementary and secondary schools without
simultaneous renewal of teacher preparation programs. The monograph, A
Dialogue on Teacher Education Reform (1992), offers significant understandings
of resolutions and possible solutions to critical problems facing teacher
and clarify the institution's mission.
- Identify a mission that recognizes the unique characteristics
and strengths of the institution.
- Develop, as leaders, a shared vision of teacher education that
recognizes the primacy of the endeavor.
- Commit to excellence in every aspect of teacher education programs.
- Strive, as teacher educators, to establish and nurture mutually
beneficial relationships with other units in the institution.
- Clearly define the concept of teacher education with a focus
on the holistic development of the person as a teacher.
- Ensure that faculty reward criteria acknowledge that teacher
educators engage in a variety of roles: teaching, research, clinical supervision, and service to schools.
- Protect the resources and governance integrity of teacher education
programs within the institution.
- Significantly reduce the number of state rules, regulations,
and mandates which affect teacher education licensing and teacher education programs.
- Encourage selected school districts to apply for external funds
to set up model schools, programs or classrooms.
- Upgrade significantly the entrance requirements into teacher
- Recruit private sector and public sector external funding to
support unique, innovative programs.
- Form post secondary institution steering committees composed
of representatives of the Local Education Agency (LEA), the Area Education Agency (AEA), and 2 year and 4 year
institutions to look at the logistics and technical aspects of programs
and help facilitate the connections which lead to a
4 year preservice program.
- Form an early childhood to grade 16 steering committee charged
with providing a 5 and 10 year plan to unify the efforts between LEAs and teacher education institutions.
- Design exchange programs, mentor programs, and inservice programs
for staff development of post secondary teachers.
- Expect that teachers at all levels will become knowledgeable
about and committed to appropriately using the standards from the various professional organizations to enhance
- Form a 10-12 person study committee from this conference to
make recommendations to appropriate organizations and bodies.
- Study the technology of interactive/laser distance learning
to assess its ability to help develop a quality inservice program for Iowa teachers.
- Provide aspiring teachers in the teacher education program
with the desire for reflective inquiry and participatory democracy while assuming the responsibility for their actions and
- Rethink the relationship between courses and practice in higher
education and the "to be" lived experiences of teachers and schools.
- Make public the concerns and issues that have not previously been
a part of public debate as the outcomes of teacher education are reconstructed.
- Offer teacher educators new paradigms in the way they think
about education and teacher education.
Links With The Schools
- Articulate a socialization process between higher education
and the school to incorporate responsibility in the teaching culture by:
(a) mentoring; (b) forming cohort groups; (c) applying
sound educational principles through reflection and practice; and (d) attending
to the social and emotional needs of colleagues, students,
and community constituents.
- Form teacher development centers in certain schools for the
purpose of university/college and K-12 school personnel collaboration.
- Include specific indicators and assessments for admission to
teacher education programs.
- Evaluate all college/university and school faculty involved
in teacher education on effective teaching skills.
- Involve college/university faculty in schools continually through
teaching, serving on committees, and conducting research.
- Engage AEAs in annually convening joint meetings of representatives
from teacher preparation programs and LEAs to more closely align curricular/instructional approaches with current
research and best practice, to implement mentoring programs, to determine
staff goals and needs, and to establish K-12 teacher recruitment
- Though AEAs, offer regular conferences by subject, level, or
- Promote legislation dealing with fiber optics for establishing
a communication link among all publics involved in the preparation and induction of the classroom teacher.
- As a critical component of college/university faculty evaluation,
include participation in those service activities which provide direct linkages with schools.
The state should:
- Identify 6-10 broad outcomes for students who complete an approved
teacher preparation program.
- Approve the systems for determining student success in achieving
- Provide supportive and coherent legislation and policies to
facilitate the conceptualization, development, and delivery of a teacher education program fully involving K-12 school
systems and higher education.
- Provide adequate financial resources to deliver these high
quality educational programs for the preparation of teachers.
- Continue its evaluations with a redesigned state program approval
system of teacher education programs using state and national standards.
- Hold the approved teacher preparation program responsible for
its own outcomes by approving the assessment program each particular preparation program uses to meet
its continuing responsibility for this lifelong learning of educators
- Callan, P. M. (1990, July). [Interview with John Goodlad, on Teachers
for our nation's schools]. Education Commission of the States National
Forum and Annual Meeting, July 14, 1990. (Available from [Education Commission
of the States Distribution Center, 707 17th Street, Suite 2700, Denver,
CO 80202-3427, (303) 299 3692, ask for No. TE 90 4.)
- Else, D. (Ed.). (1992). A dialogue on teacher education reform (Monograph
Series Volume III, Number 1). Cedar Falls, IA: University of Northern Iowa,
Institute for Educational Leadership.
- Goodlad, J. I. (1990). Teachers for our nation's schools. San
Francisco: Jossey Bass.
- Senge, P. (1992, February). General Session Address. American
Association of School Administrators National Convention, San Diego, CA.
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