We believe that teacher education is a lifelong process. The gaining of pre-service qualifications is part of an induction into the profession, during which theory and practice must be experienced together. This is then followed by employment in an educational setting, accompanied by on-going professional development and learning.
Teacher education is not an “applied” discipline where theory developed within one domain can be expected to dominate praxis. Teachers and teacher educators need a broad knowledge base around which they can continue to build emerging theories of practice.
- Teacher education must be viewed not simply as pre-profession education, but as an induction into the profession of teaching in which the place of the learner is central
- The learning environment, with close links to schools and early childhood centres, is fundamental to successful teacher education.
- Teacher education must model excellence in teaching, by the use of classes rather than lectures, and the use of community as a context for learning in both face-to-face and flexible modes.
- Subject/content knowledge must be valued as well as pedagogical knowledge.
- The professionalism of teaching must be included and valued equally with theory.
[pullquote right]We believe that teacher education is a lifelong process. The gaining of pre-service qualifications is part of an induction into the profession, during which theory and practice must be experienced together. This is then followed by employment in an educational setting, accompanied by on-going professional development and learning.[/pullquote]
- Teacher educators must have significant experience of teaching within schools or early childhood centres and should hold current teacher registration.
- All elements of teacher education, including classes, tutorials and supervision of students on practicuum, should be carried out by teacher educators. Input from other professionals must be under the direction of teacher educators.
- The career path progression of teacher educators should recognise teaching and contributions to the profession, as well as research.
- Education support services should be an integrated part of teacher education.
- The critical importance of students spending structured time in a variety of classroom environments or early childhood centres must be recognised.
- The number of supervisory visits to student teachers in classes must be adequate for effective mentoring and promotion of reflective practice.
- The best times for student practicums must be selected on an educationally sound basis, not the expedient needs of the institution (eg. not first or last week in the year to suit semesters).
Responsibility to Stakeholders
- There must be strong links with communities of practice (eg. early childhood centres, schools, special education, curriculum associations etc).
- Teacher education must maintain pathways through the profession and provide access to professional development for teachers.
- Teacher education must value and support cultural diversity, Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the particular importance of Te Reo and tikanga Māori in education in Aotearoa.
- Teacher education must promote the principles of the New Zealand Teachers’ Council Code of Ethics.
- Teacher educators must be responsible for leading research into issues concerning teaching, learning and teacher education.
- Teacher educators’ workloads, including the work of teacher educators in support services, need to allow equitable opportunities to achieve meaningful research outcomes.
- Forms of practice-based research that generate experiential knowledge of theory-in-action must be fostered and promoted so that their importance to the profession and their intellectual rigour are readily understood.
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