Sunday, April 11, 2010

On the Threshold of a New Century: Trustworthiness, Integrity, and Self-Study in Teacher Education

Hamilton, Mary Lynn and Stefinee Pinnegar. “On the Threshold of a New Century: Trustworthiness, Integrity, and Self-Study in Teacher Education.” Journal of teacher Education. 51 (3) May/June 2000. 234-240.

The authors of this article suggest that there needs to be a shift in what is considered of central importance in teacher education. It mainly focuses its attention on what has been said and argued previously by other teacher educators, and presents no significant new research. First, it addresses the current knowledge bases for teacher education, which include having strong mentors, common vocabulary, collaborative communities and tech-based communities. Then it suggests that perhaps it would be more prudent to focus on the individual teachers – essentially, differentiating teacher education programs to the teachers themselves. The authors conclude that we must trust teachers and make self-study at the forefront of teacher education.


The literature review seemed extensive for a six-page article, however, this article presented few new ideas. The arguments seemed ill-substantiated, and more ruminations on the possibility for new foci in teacher education. Without more research and data, the ideas feel empty.

However, I do find the parallels interesting between teacher education and student education. We are beginning to understand that “knowledge” cannot be at the center of our classroom, as knowledge is easily obtainable. Instead, we are attempting to create student-centered classrooms, and why should this be any different within classrooms full of teachers? Or during professional development? Is there any knowledge that is so sacred, or can we trust teachers to guide their own learning? And if we can trust teachers do this, how can we support one another?


“As teacher educators engaged in the study of our practice, we would ‘walk our talk’ or demonstrate our integrity by bringing together our beliefs and actions. We would continually study our action, reflect on it, collect data that documents our students’ response to that practice, and create and recreate teacher education as a living education theory. We would expect from ourselves no less than we expect of future teachers.”

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