Surviving the maelstrom : teacher educator in the 21st century

Harris, Catherine 2008, Surviving the maelstrom : teacher educator in the 21st century, in ATEA 2008 : Teacher Educators at Work : What works and where is the evidence? Proceedings of the 2008 Australian Teacher Education Association. Conference, Australian Teacher Education Association, [Melbourne, Vic.].

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Title Surviving the maelstrom : teacher educator in the 21st century
Author(s) Harris, Catherine
Conference name Australian Teacher Education Association Conference (2008 : Sunshine Coast, Qld.)
Conference location Sunshine Coast, Qld.
Conference dates 8-11 Jul. 2008
Title of proceedings ATEA 2008 : Teacher Educators at Work : What works and where is the evidence? Proceedings of the 2008 Australian Teacher Education Association. Conference
Editor(s) Aspland, Tanai
Publication date 2008
Publisher Australian Teacher Education Association
Place of publication [Melbourne, Vic.]
Summary A plethora of reports, research papers and commentaries have focused on teacher education in Australia, its quality, status and ability to adequately prepare teachers for the 21st century. There is however, little research on the worklives of teacher educators, in particular Australian teacher educators. That which does exist tends to focus on new teacher educators (how to best prepare and induct them) and experienced and senior teacher educators (personal reflections and narratives) (see for example, Acker, 1997; Cochran-Smith, 2002; Murray & Male, 2005). What is missing from this research field is an exploration of the contemporary contexts that shape the worklives of Australian teacher educators, and in particular how these contexts influence the work of teacher educators in between these two demographic groups. How post-induction early-mid career teacher educators (re)negotiate their professional identities in view of the changing role of ‘the teacher educator’ in the 21st century is therefore, an under-researched area of study. This paper provides a brief overview of the existent research on teacher educators and highlights areas in need of further examination. Two particular contexts shaping the work of Australian teacher educators are examined: the standards movement, and marketisation and the rise of new mangerialism as are the ramifications of these on the teacher education landscape. How these have impacted on how teacher educators perceive themselves and are perceived by others is subsequently explored as are the implications of these changing contexts on the work of teacher educators in the 21st century. To discuss these issues I draw on my experiences in teacher education and highlight the challenges and opportunities available for teacher educators as we try to ‘survive the maelstrom’. This paper is significant given the federal government’s commitment to social inclusion and an ‘Education Revolution” (ACDE, 2008). Education academics are critical to advancing the [Government’s] complex agendas around innovation, productivity and inclusion (ACDE, 2008, p1). In the next 15 years, over half of the currently working teacher education academics will retire. There is therefore a need to not only attract new and talented people into the teacher education workforce, but to retain those early-mid career academics who have entered teacher education, and are like me, finding it hard to “survive the maelstrom”.
Language eng
Field of Research 139999 Education not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 930202 Teacher and Instructor Development
HERDC Research category E2 Full written paper - non-refereed / Abstract reviewed
Copyright notice ©2008, Australian Teacher Education Association
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