Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Higher Education Culture – A Fit or Misfit with Reform in Teacher Education?

Miller, Patricia S. and Vicki D. Stayton. “Higher Education Culture – A Fit or Misfit with Reform in Teacher Education?” Journal of Teacher Education (50, 4). September 1999.


This article is about the changing nature of higher education, specifically for teachers. As the needs of education change, the authors suggest that perhaps so, too, must our teacher education programs. The authors introduce some of the challenges or barriers preventing the change towards collaboration, and then introduce their study. This is an investigation of the voices of the faculty themselves, with a detailed presentation of their methodology and the findings of their survey and follow-up interviews.


The authors do a good job of not making any more assertions than allowed, considering the narrow nature of their study. They provide detailed information about the demographics and status of their study participants, and this lends to the credibility of their findings overall. This is certainly a qualititative study, with only 93 participants and 29 interviews, but they do demonstrate strong conclusions through their consistent methodology.


Although this article is about higher education, I believe it presents interesting findings that challenge the work that we do in secondary schooling. The authors make compelling arguments about the elements of collaborative culture, and how to create interdisciplinary programs at the college level. At High Tech High, we believe in continuing professional development opportunities, and we might benefit from understanding some of the challenges that teachers are confronted with before they come to the classroom.

As far as I can tell, most of the literature on collaboration and interdisciplinary teams is at the collegiate level. Perhaps we can learn from them, in order to create more fluidity between all levels of institutionalized education.

No comments:

Post a Comment