Where to now for teacher education? Stakeholder views on the aims of education and initial teacher education programmes
Initial teacher education (ITE) programmes must take into account much more than just the current school curricula; they must also prepare student teachers for entry into a teaching environment that is likely to be very different from whence they came. At the same time, funding constraints, quality standards and potentially opposed stakeholder expectations provide an ongoing challenge. The New Zealand school system is undergoing major change as it introduces a new national curriculum focussed on outcomes. This new curriculum requires schools to design and review their own curricula within the framework of national philosophy and guidelines rather than according to prescriptions relating to the subjects that make up the curriculum. New Ministry of Education initiatives targeting senior students and M ori and Pasifika students require teachers to keep what is best for the student at the forefront of their teaching and decisionmaking. ITE programmes must ensure these considerations are evident in their overarching philosophy, course structure and practice. Teacher education programmes at the University of Canterbury are currently under review. As part of this process, we used the international Teacher Education for the Future project to help us identify aspects of the programmes needing attention. We asked stakeholders (teachers, student teachers and teacher educators) to rank the aims of education and their preferred future focus for ITE programmes. This paper reports the findings and discusses their implication for the design and facilitation of the university’s ITE courses.