Do the Policies and Practices of Teacher Education Serve to Improve Education? A Response Based on the Analysis of the Social Construction of Teaching

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Abstract

Few people would deny that initial and continuing teacher education are crucial factors in the improvement of education. Nevertheless, one must adopt a certain reservation before offering categorical and knee-jerk responses to the question which heads this article. This is not only a result of the ambiguity of the available evidence, so much the worse if one were to succumb to the temptation of establishing monocausal relationships, but also due to the very complexity of a question whose explicit and implicit terms (?improvement? and its conditions, the ?object? and the ?subject? of the same, the approach to professional preparation, etc.) are all debatable. Moreover, there needs to be some caution in examining the belief that it is feasible to determine empirically the body of knowledge, skills and commitments which would be required by teachers in order to guarantee ?effective? and successful teaching. Given the socio-political nature of institutionalised education, whatever teacher education project must be open to supra-empirical consideration and, for this reason, should be expected to defend itself in accord with general principles. However, these principles or values are proposed; they are not discovered. It follows, therefore, that one inevitably enters into the world of ?discourse?, which tries to persuade by means of arguments and not through the proposal of predictions. On the other hand, in no way does this mean that the problem is reduced to a mere doctrinal choice. The arguments presented neither can nor ought to be divorced from the best knowledge available to us. Precisely for this reason, the authors seek to make a modest contribution to this debate, drawing attention to a body of research which focuses on how professional practice is ?constituted? de facto. It is a body of research too often passed over within this field, despite the fact that it seems fundamental to us in weighing up the possibilities and limitations of teacher education. Its consideration will give us cause to rethink some of the immediate challenges, and to revise (in the light of our findings) the reforms presently being imposed in an effort to redefine professionalism in teaching.

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How to Cite
Romero Morante, J., & Luis Gómez, A. (2007). Do the Policies and Practices of Teacher Education Serve to Improve Education? A Response Based on the Analysis of the Social Construction of Teaching. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 15, 19. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.v15n19.2007
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Author Biographies

Jesús Romero Morante, Universidad de Cantabria España

Jesús Romero Morante (Mannheim, 1968) trabaja en la Facultad de Educación de la Universidad de Cantabria (España) como profesor titular de Didáctica de las Ciencias Sociales. Es miembro del grupo Asklepios y de la Federación Icaria. Entre 2000 y 2001 permaneció como fellow en el History Education Centre de la Universidad británica de Exeter. Es autor de diversas publicaciones sobre la utilización educativa de las nuevas tecnologías en la enseñanza de la Historia y sobre la sociogénesis del currículum social. En relación con el tema de este artículo, ha participado en dos recientes volúmenes colectivos, titulados La formación del profesorado y la mejora de la educación (2006) y La formación del profesorado a la luz de una “profesionalidad democrática” (2007).

Alberto Luis Gómez, Universidad de Cantabria España

Alberto Luis Gómez (Bilbao, 1946) es profesor titular de Didáctica de las Ciencias Sociales en el Departamento de Educación de la Universidad de Cantabria (España). Desde hace largo tiempo se interesa por la historia del currículum como vía de acceso al estudio de la configuración de principios organizadores para la enseñanza de distintas materias curriculares en niveles no universitarios. Ha sido coeditor de un reciente trabajo sobre La formación del profesorado y la mejora de la educación (2006). Pertenece al grupo Asklepios, integrado en la Federación Icaria, y a la Sociedad Española de Historia de la Educación (S.E.D.H.E.).