The ‘contested enterprise’ of Initial Teacher Education
Keywords: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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