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Dolan, R.
2012
Unknown
‘A step away from where you used to be’ – The Development of Teacher Educators’ Professional Knowledge in an Irish University
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This study focuses on the processes that teacher educators on a second level (post-primary) pre-service teacher education programme employed in order to learn how to teach pre-service teachers. It considers issues associated with the transition from second level schoolteacher to pre-service teacher educator and the professional development opportunities available to full- and part-time pre-service teacher educators. Research conducted with pre-service teacher educators within a University Education Department in the Republic of Ireland forms the basis for discussion. The study is based in an interpretivist paradigm and employs a biographical-narrative multiple case-study design, which encompassed both literal and theoretical replication models. Data were gathered through educational life-history interviews, observation of the pre-service teacher educators, document analysis and questionnaires. Findings include a description of the transition from second-level teacher to pre-service teacher educator; the different types of knowledge that are particular to the field of pre-service teacher education and inter- and intra-personal processes employed by pre-service teacher educators for professional development. It further situates these processes within identified local, national and global communities of teacher educators and describes the gateways for entry to those communities. A contribution is also made to the previously under- researched area of the induction and professional development of part-time teacher educators. While the results of the research are specific to the site of the research, the use of both replication and theoretical models within the case study design and provision of ‘thick descriptions’ within the discussion strengthens the generalisability of the findings, particularly within the second-level pre-service teacher education programmes in Ireland.
University of Cambridge
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