Pedagogy in Further Education and Vocational Teacher Education

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Example 9 from research – Cochran Smith (2003)

Cochran Smith (2003) carried out research which analysed ‘four teacher educator communities in different contexts and entry points across the career lifespan’ (5). Cochran Smith reviews literature which supports the view that ‘the opportunity to engage in inquiry within a learning community may be a vital part of teachers’ and teacher educators’ ongoing education’ (ibid: 7).

Using four examples and the reflections on and experiences of some forty teacher educators, in four examples over an extended period of time, Cochran-Smith (2005) identifies some important commonalities, similarities, differences and a diversity in the roles and responsibilities of those who could be called teacher educators, such as ‘multiplicity’ and ‘conflicting and competing demands’. The research argues that what is needed is not ‘better generic strategies for teaching’, but ‘generative ways for prospective teachers, experienced teachers, and teacher educators alike to work together in communities of learners—to explore and reconsider their own assumptions, understand the values and practices of families and cultures that are different from their own, and construct pedagogy that takes these into account in locally appropriate and culturally sensitive ways’ (ibid: 24).