Home Page Image

   
     
 
 

Monograph Series Volume III, Number 1

Issues
Executive Summary

To order a complete copy of the monograph, send Shannon Horn an e-mail

Focus Area One: Institutional Mission
Focus Area Two: College/University Faculty
Focus Area Three: Curriculum Issues
Focus Area Four: Program Procedures/Methodology
Focus Area Five: Links With Schools
Focus Area Six: State Relationship

back to top

Executive Summary
Dave Else
Director

 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 careers.
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 be assumed.
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 person.
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, and more.
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 into teaching.
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 conference:

Institutional Mission
  1. Reassess and clarify the institution's mission.
  2. Identify a mission that recognizes the unique characteristics and strengths of the institution.
  3. Develop, as leaders, a shared vision of teacher education that recognizes the primacy of the endeavor.
  4. Commit to excellence in every aspect of teacher education programs.
  5. Strive, as teacher educators, to establish and nurture mutually beneficial relationships with other units in the institution.
  6. Clearly define the concept of teacher education with a focus on the holistic development of the person as a teacher.
  7. Ensure that faculty reward criteria acknowledge that teacher educators engage in a variety of roles: teaching, research, clinical supervision, and service to schools.
  8. Protect the resources and governance integrity of teacher education programs within the institution.
College/University Faculty:
  1. Significantly reduce the number of state rules, regulations, and mandates which affect teacher education licensing and teacher education programs.
  2. Encourage selected school districts to apply for external funds to set up model schools, programs or classrooms.
  3. Upgrade significantly the entrance requirements into teacher education programs.
  4. Recruit private sector and public sector external funding to support unique, innovative programs.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Design exchange programs, mentor programs, and inservice programs for staff development of post secondary teachers.
  8. Expect that teachers at all levels will become knowledgeable about and committed to appropriately using the standards from the various professional organizations to enhance their teaching.
  9. Form a 10-12 person study committee from this conference to make recommendations to appropriate organizations and bodies.
  10. Study the technology of interactive/laser distance learning to assess its ability to help develop a quality inservice program for Iowa teachers.
Curriculum Issues
  1. 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 non-actions.
  2. Rethink the relationship between courses and practice in higher education and the "to be" lived experiences of teachers and schools.
  3. Make public the concerns and issues that have not previously been a part of public debate as the outcomes of teacher education are reconstructed.
  4. Offer teacher educators new paradigms in the way they think about education and teacher education.
Program Procedures/Methodology
  1. 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.
  2. Form teacher development centers in certain schools for the purpose of university/college and K-12 school personnel collaboration.
  3. Include specific indicators and assessments for admission to teacher education programs.
  4. Evaluate all college/university and school faculty involved in teacher education on effective teaching skills.
  5. Involve college/university faculty in schools continually through teaching, serving on committees, and conducting research.
Links With The Schools
  1. 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 processes.
  2. Though AEAs, offer regular conferences by subject, level, or strategy.
  3. Promote legislation dealing with fiber optics for establishing a communication link among all publics involved in the preparation and induction of the classroom teacher.
  4. As a critical component of college/university faculty evaluation, include participation in those service activities which provide direct linkages with schools.
State Relationship
The state should:
  1. Identify 6-10 broad outcomes for students who complete an approved teacher preparation program.
  2. Approve the systems for determining student success in achieving these outcomes.
  3. 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.
  4. Provide adequate financial resources to deliver these high quality educational programs for the preparation of teachers.
  5. Continue its evaluations with a redesigned state program approval system of teacher education programs using state and national standards.
  6. 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
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 education.
Resource List
  • 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.

back to top