Teacher Education for the 21st Century: Developing Teachers Who Are Thoughtful, Reflective, and Inquiring

25 Dec 2015

Oon Seng Tan, National Institute of Education, Singapore, oonseng.tan@nie.edu.sg
Jane Conoley, University of California, Santa Barbara, jane-conoley@education.ucsb.edu
Woon Chia Liu, National Institute of Education, Singapore, woonchia.liu@nie.edu.sg
IRN Start Date: December 1, 2012

The 21st century is characterized by a rapidly changing, technology-based economy and an increasingly diverse and complex world. In this landscape, education has to be structured to meet current needs while anticipating emerging trends and challenges for students. Successful teachers must be professional leaders who are thinkers and researchers, and not “technician, consumer, receiver, transmitter and implementer of other people’s knowledge” (Cochran-Smith& Lytle, 1999, p. 16).

Teacher education literature points us to inquiry-based approaches as a way of preparing teachers who are thoughtful, reflective and inquiring. Nonetheless, there is limited amount of theoretical and empirical work done in teacher education where the outcome is teacher learning (Cochran-Smith& Zeichner, 2005). Thus there is a need for more conversation internationally on inquiry in teacher education, and more high-level research, especially globally, that defines critical components of teacher education programs that prepare teachers to be inquiring thinkers and researchers.

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