The ‘contested enterprise’ of Initial Teacher Education




Initial teacher education, standards, teaching councils, partnerships


Since 1990 Initial Teacher Education (ITE) in New Zealand has undergone significant change following organisational shifts across the education system. Yet key issues from earlier years are still contested, with ongoing debates over the locus and oversight of ITE, the nature of quality teacher education, and the establishment of national standards for ITE programmes and their graduates. The debates have been underpinned by changing social and cultural expectations, the establishment and development of new regulatory bodies, New Zealand and international research. This paper examines these debates and argues that policy makers and practitioners in ITE face contradictory pressures and challenges such as the continuing pressure for quick fix and uniform solutions and deficit thinking about ITE. Progress depends on ongoing dialogue at both national and local level, rigorous evaluation of new developments, an acknowledgement of complexity, and a need for mutual trust and accountability.


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Author Biography

Noeline Alcorn, Waikato University

Noeline Alcorn is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Waikato where she was Dean of the School of Education 1993-2006 and has since been attached to the Wilf Malcolm Institute for Educational Research. She has held a number of national roles, including being the inaugural chair of TEFANZ, and has published widely on aspects of New Zealand educational history, leadership, and teacher education.


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