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New Threats in Advanced Knowledge-based Economies to the Old Problem of Developing and Sustaining Quality Teacher Education
University of Borås, School of Education and Behavioural Science.
2011 (English)In: Developing quality cultures in teacher education: Expanding Horizons in Relation to Quality Assurance / [ed] Eve Eisenschmidt, Erika Löfström, Tallin University Press , 2011, p. 15-35Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Our analysis starts from the 1974 Teacher Education Inquiry (SOU 1978:86). From this inquiry (and to some degree perhaps even earlier than this: Beach 1995, Eriksson 2009) and up to and including the 1997 Teacher Education Commission (LUK 97: SOU 1999:63) teacher education policy writers in Sweden seemed to be trying to establish foundations for a regional knowledge base in teacher education as a central part of the education of all teachers and for all pre-service teacher education (Carlgren 1992, Eriksson 2009, Beach 2000). Recent policy seems to have abandoned these aims (Sjöberg 2011, Beach 2011). This is most clearly exemplified in relation to a recent Green Paper (SOU 2008:109) and the subsequent government White Paper (Top of the Class: Government proposition 2009/10:89) that was based on the recommendations of the commission (Ahlström 2008) and its statement that knowledge about the professional, societal and institutional context of teaching – what was termed general pedagogical knowledge in previous Green and White papers (see e.g. SOU 1952:33, 1965:29, 1978:86, 1999:63) – has little real significance for the quality of teacher-work and that providing student-teachers with an understanding of the social, sociological, political, ideological, cultural and economic landscape in which they and their pupils live, work and learn has little effect on effective pupil learning. Instead, as also Sjöberg (2011) shows us, subject knowledge and vocational pedagogical skills are emphasised as of singular importance (e.g. Proposition 2009/10:89, p 9, p19, p24, p 26, p 41) as is organising teacher education in accordance with current school and pre-school organization(e.g. op cit, p 12, p 18, p 25). The professional knowledge that is given most value is once again described as founded on the subject knowledge domains of university singularities (e.g. physics, history and geography) together with some technical knowledge related to how to communicate subject knowledge effectively to pupils (Sjöberg 2011). This is against the grain of earlier policy developments and it may, in line with for instance Beck and Young (2005), help make future teachers and their practices more easily economically managed and controlled and more susceptible to political manipulation and economic exploitation (also Codd 2005). This shift has strong consequences for professional knowledge. As is suggested by for instance Apple (2001) and Ball et al (1994, 1996) in relation to developments in the USA and UK respectively, it suggests how neo-conservative standards about subject knowledge value and discipline together with new-managerial aims and technologies for increasing ‘efficiency, speed, and cost control’ now prevail (Apple 2001, 192) and have ‘replaced more substantive concerns about social and educational justice’ (ibid). These are important points that signal that there has been a clear turn of interests in education (Antikainen 2010) that as Apple says (2001,189) is crucial to recognize in any attempt to think through the running of the education systems in the future. More not less power is being consolidated within the national administrative structure of education and more time and energy are being spent on controlling performances and public image. Scientific content for teachers in teacher education relating to education and teaching as political and sociological objects of knowledge is being removed and replaced by subject and performance content at the same time as other changes in the political economy of the education landscape may render the sociological, political and ideological knowledge that has been lost more valuable and necessary than ever before.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Tallin University Press , 2011. p. 15-35
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Teacher Education and Education Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-5055Local ID: 2320/10254ISBN: 978-9949-29-023-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-5055DiVA, id: diva2:884474
Note

Sponsorship:

This publication has been published with the financial support

of the European Social Fund programme Eduko.

Available from: 2015-12-17 Created: 2015-12-17 Last updated: 2017-10-23Bibliographically approved

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