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date: 19 September 2017

Research In Teacher Education

This is an advance summary of a forthcoming article in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education. Please check back later for the full article.

Although teacher education has been recognized as a key aspect of educational policy and practice over the past few decades, the research undertaken to inform teacher education policy has been in many respects inadequate. Drawing on reviews of such research as has been undertaken in Europe, the United States, and Australasia, as well as other parts of the world, the key questions for teacher education researchers are identified. These include such topics as the relationship between theory and practice in professional learning, the significance of partnerships between schools and higher education institutions, the relationship between pre-service teacher education and ongoing professional learning, and the nature of the assessment of beginning teachers.

It is suggested that three approaches to teacher education research may be defined and that all of them are important in the quest for better understanding of the field. These three approaches are research in teacher education—mainly carried out by teacher education practitioners; research on teacher education—mainly carried out by education policy scholars; and research about teacher education—carried out by scholars in a range of disciplines, and seeking to explore the wider social significance of teacher education. The disciplinary bases that typify each of these three approaches are explored as is the range of research methodologies that are deployed. It is established that there is a serious dearth of large-scale and/or longitudinal studies that may be seen as genuinely independent and critical.