Explores the shortcomings of teacher education and proposes design principles for rethinking teacher preparation. Establishes a reform agenda for teacher education faculties.
Alan Tom is among the best at relating important issues in teacher education and a critical reading of the literature with his own professional experience. This book is ambitious. It lives up to the claim of examining political and institutional problems along with conceptual and intellectual ones. This is something few teacher educators attempt and is a critical area to open up for sustained analysis.
Drawing upon events from his career as a teacher educator, Alan R. Tom candidly analyzes the predominant criticisms of teacher education and rejects the common tendency to infer the teacher education curriculum from such ideas as metaphors for teaching or knowledge. He proposes eleven design principles to serve as a reform agenda including creating programs capable of self-renewal, having faculty model the desired image and skills of teaching, and rethinking the sequence of practice and theory. Each principle identifies a differing dimension for the conceptual and structural redesign of teacher preparation. Four specific change strategies are evaluated as well: task force, top-down, piloting, and family style. The low status of teacher educators and the excessive regulation of teacher education are also examined, as is the failure to give adequate attention to the administrative organization for teacher education.
Alan R. Tom is Professor of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author of Teaching as a Moral Craft and An Approach to Selecting Among Social Studies Curricula and coeditor of Teacher Education in Liberal Arts Settings.
"The contrast between a design approach and a two-step implications approach to teacher education is one of the strongest aspects of the book. Each of Tom's conceptual and structural principles is significant in itself and should stimulate significant rethinking about teacher education. " -- Linda Valli, University of Maryland at College Park
"This book is clearly written by someone who knows first hand what he's talking about with regard to teacher education. There is plenty of appropriate and accurate scholarship woven into the fabric of the book, but there is even more personal insight. This is substantively different from teacher education books that study the problems other people are having in reforming teacher education. This person has already tried what I, as a teacher educator, am trying to do. " -- Barbara S. Stengel, Millersville University