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Constructing Outcomes in Teacher Education: Policy, Practice and Pitfalls

Abstract

"As we enter the twenty-first century, the outcomes, consequences, and results of teacher education have become critical topics in nearly all of the state and national policy debates about teacher preparation and licensure as well as in the development of many of the privately and publicly funded research agendas related to teacher and student learning. In this article, I argue that teacher education reform over the last fifty years has been driven by a series of questions about policy and practice. The question that is currently driving reform and policy in teacher education is what I refer to as "the outcomes question." This question asks how we should conceptualize and define the outcomes of teacher education for teacher learning, professional practice, and student learning, as well as how, by whom, and for what purposes these outcomes should be documented, demonstrated, and/or measured. In this article, I suggest that the outcomes question in teacher education is being conceptualized and constructed in quite different ways depending on the policy, research, and practice contexts in which the question is posed as well as on the political and professional motives of the posers." from the Abstract.

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