Phases in Collaboration: Using Schwab’s Deliberation to Respond to Change in Teacher Education

Type of content
Journal Article
Thesis discipline
Degree name
Informa UK Limited
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
North CJ
Clelland T
Lindsay H

© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. The literature suggests that radical changes to teacher education are common but rarely well-planned or resourced. Such changes can be detrimental to the quality of learning and it is challenging for educators to know how to respond. Joseph Schwab argued that for balanced curriculum development to occur, deliberation must take place with the four commonplaces (teachers, learners, subject matter and milieu). In this study, three teacher educators in a research intensive university in New Zealand were forced to combine three distinct courses (Health, Outdoor and Physical Education) into one course. Concerned that student learning would be compromised, we embarked on a series of deliberations informed by Schwab’s ideas. The deliberations involved meeting regularly over six months, inviting representatives from the commonplaces (program leaders, pedagogical specialists, pre-service teachers and teachers) into our deliberations and reflecting on the process. Analysis revealed that our deliberations could be characterized by phases: (1) creating the necessary conditions, (2) the problem emerges, (3) the solution emerges, (4) evaluation and (5) beyond deliberation. These phases of deliberation were distinguished by different concerns and timeframes and roughly reflected the stages of deliberation identified by Schwab. Convergence and divergence from Schwab’s stages are discussed. While much of Schwab’s work on deliberation remains relevant today, we recommend the addition of an initial phase focused on establishing a collaborative basis at the beginning of the process. We found this phase not only generated respect and care amongst the collaborators, but also helped frame the problem and enabled new solutions to emerge.

North CJ, Clelland T, Lindsay H (2018). Phases in Collaboration: Using Schwab’s Deliberation to Respond to Change in Teacher Education. Studying Teacher Education. 14(2). 212-230.
Initial teacher education, change, deliberation, Schwab, commonplaces
Ngā upoko tukutuku/Māori subject headings
ANZSRC fields of research
Field of Research::13 - Education::1303 - Specialist Studies in Education::130313 - Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators
Fields of Research::39 - Education::3901 - Curriculum and pedagogy::390102 - Curriculum and pedagogy theory and development
Field of Research::13 - Education::1303 - Specialist Studies in Education::130309 - Learning Sciences
Fields of Research::39 - Education::3901 - Curriculum and pedagogy::390110 - Medicine, nursing and health curriculum and pedagogy
Fields of Research::39 - Education::3903 - Education systems::390303 - Higher education