Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Dolan, R.
How did you learn to be a pre-service teacher educator
European Conference on Educational Research (ECER)
Helsinki, Finland
Oral Presentation
Optional Fields
Researchers have noted the paucity of research on teacher educators in the twentieth century (Cochran-Smith 2003; Ducharme 1993; John 1996), although this has improved in the past decade (Korthagen et al, 2005). As a group, they are under-researched and poorly understood at national and international levels. While vast attention has been devoted to what teachers need to know and to be able to do, scant attention has been paid to what teachers of teachers need to know (Cochran-Smith, 2003). The research that has been carried out on teacher educators has tended to focus on demographics rather than on how they learned to be teacher educators. Although a number of papers emerging from teacher educators’ self-study have been published (e.g. Doecke 2004; Zeichner 2005; Ritter 2007; Berry 2007), there is still a lack of knowledge about the modes of professional learning for pre-service teacher educators and the range of factors that may impinge on them, “including the individual’s personal agency, his/her involvement in communal initiatives and the institutional structures in which he/she works” (Murray and Harrison, 2008). Using the framework of professional development stages for teachers developed by Day and Gu (2007) and the idea of communities of practice (Wenger 1998), this paper will describe some of the strategies employed by three teacher educators, each of whom is at a different career stage, in order to learn their craft. It contributes to the international conversation on teacher educators by answering the question : How are these teacher educators learning and developing their expertise in the area of initial teacher education (ITE) at various stages of their careers?