Research on Initial Teacher Education in New Zealand 1993-2004 Literature Review and Annotated Bibliography Publications
The primary purpose of this project is to analyse New Zealand research about initial teacher education, and present findings in the form of an annotated bibliography and a literature review of initial teacher education in New Zealand from 1993 to the present. It is intended that the findings will inform future policy and practice and identify key areas for further research.
Author(s): Marie Cameron and Robyn Baker, New Zealand Council for Educational Research. Report prepared for the Ministry of Education.
Date Published: January 2004
The essential feature of teaching is its uncertainty and unpredictability. Teaching cannot be directed by formal theory, lockstep national syllabi or centralised procedural policies yet remain responsive to both student insights and misconceptions. Moreover, as our educational goals increasingly emphasise higher order thinking and reasoning and student collaboration around real problems, the education of teachers must emphasise their development of flexibly powerful pedagogical understanding and judgement. Therefore discourse on teaching must go beyond broad principles and propositions as objects. This set of conditions not only defines the difficult conditions for teaching; it also identifies the reasons why the education of teachers represents a challenge of the first magnitude (Shulman, 2004, p. 444).
In the last five years international research has identified the significant impact of teachers on the learning of children and young people (Hattie, 2002) and as a consequence teacher education is gaining new attention (Goodlad, 1999). While it is reasonable to assume that the quality of initial teacher education has implications for the quality of teaching and learning in New Zealand, there is considerable debate internationally about the importance of initial teacher education. While some writers maintain that teacher education has limited impact on classroom practice (Lampert & Ball, 1999), other writers (Kennedy, 1999) attribute an apparent lack of impact to aspects of ineffective teacher education such as the type and design of pre-service programmes.
There is growing acknowledgement however that initial teacher education programmes make a difference to the teaching skills of teachers. In a large-scale project, Darling-Hammond (2000) reports that measures of teacher preparation and certification are by far the strongest correlates of students' achievement in reading and mathematics. Teacher education provides the professional knowledge base to facilitate the development of an understanding of how students learn, and what and how they need to be taught (Berliner, 2001). There is further evidence that teachers who have a solid foundation both in pedagogy and subject matter are more effective teachers and have a positive influence on their students' achievement (Rice, 2003).
While there has been no shortage of assertions about teacher education,1 within New Zealand, there has never been a systematic overview of the New Zealand research in this area. Approaches to research on initial teacher education in New Zealand have been characterised as "a lot of small scale 'one shot' studies by individuals, some team research and development type work through contracts" (McGee, 1999). Has there been a more focused approach to research in this area since then? The New Zealand Teachers Council and the Ministry of Education have identified the need for a review of the existing research evidence to inform policy and practice and provide a platform for further initiatives, and have commissioned this literature review and annotated bibliography.
- See, for example, Kerr, R. (1992). Stand and Deliver. Metro, March, 111–115, and Education Forum (1993). Teaching Teachers to Teach. Wellington: Education Forum; and recently Morris, J. (2004), supporting direct instruction of boys rather than the "child-centred voyages of discovery so much loved and espoused by the doctrinaire teachers' colleges". NZ Herald, 13 July 2004.
Education Data Requests
If you have any questions about education data then please contact us at:
Email: Requests EDK
Phone: +64 4 463 8065