Coherence and Assignments in teacher education

Prosjektperiode: 01/04/2012 - 31/08/2016

Institusjon: Institutt for lærerutdanning og skoleutvikling, Universitetet i Oslo

Prosjektleder: Kirsti Klette

Program: Praksisrettet utdanningsforskn


Using a comparative design that examines teacher education institutions in Norway, Finland and the United States, this research project provides breadth (examining preparation across three countries and six programs) and depth (by analyzing program featur es as well as assignments from mathematics and language arts classes in each program). Drawing upon data that include program documents, interviews with program leaders and faculty, and analysis of course syllabi and reading lists, we will examine each of the six programs in order to understand the degree to which each one is designed around a common vision; is coherent; and provides opportunities to learn that are grounded in practice. In addition, we aim to use assignments within the teacher education m ath and language arts courses as lenses to understand the specific instructional practices within these teacher education institutions. Examining assignments allows us to determine the degree to which they provide opportunities for prospective teachers to make links between theoretical ideas and practical strategies that might actually be used in classroom teaching. This is a particularly important contribution, given that we have little knowledge regarding teaching and learning practices in higher educat ion in general nor in teacher education specifically. Furthermore, research suggests that when teachers have these opportunities, measures of student learning are positively impacted. This project will not only identify structural features that may link theory and practice more effectively in teacher education, but will also give insight into the specific instructional practices that accomplish such links. The opportunity to examine the instructional practices of teacher educators across a set of effecti ve programs would represent a significant step in providing empirical evidence that would in turn, help shape strong policies for preparing the best teachers for all our children.