This is John Fischetti, Dean of Education/Head of School, at the University of Newcastle in Australia. We are one of Australia’s largest providers of new teachers. In March we launched an international network of educators, neuroscientists, psychologists, equity experts, creative arts specialists, researchers, evaluators, technologists, curriculum leaders, government regulators and many other colleagues from around the world to work collaboratively to reframe teacher education.
Our goal is to build new frameworks for teacher education based on combining the areas of “learning” and “equity.” Too often these domains are separate discourses in our programs.
The Global Learning Equity Network (GLEN) is developing new ways to conceive international frameworks for building learning leaders. The theme of the group is that “every child deserves the education that is right for them.”
Hot Tip: Most of the learning models and evaluation schemes used around the world still assume a teacher is the center of a didactic classroom, with students as primarily passive recipients of information assessed through teacher-directed tests. These deficit models actually measure teacher behaviours rather than student learning.
Most countries have been highly critical of teacher education programs, particularly our apparent resistance to changing the prevailing models.
With the emergence of the innovation age, we must develop the new models of teaching, learning and evaluating that are needed to truly personalize the educational experience for all students and to overcome injustice and inequities that plague school systems around the world.
Lessons Learned: The new frameworks serve as horizontal cross-sectional ways to connect the various standards implemented in the world. Think of the standards as vertical silos and the GLEN frameworks as horizontal connectors to allow an international framework of design and evaluation of teacher education programs. So, while there are major cultural and geographic differences around the world, isn’t Algebra mostly the same in Tasmania as in Tennessee? Is critical thinking a universal skill with some universal ways to understand it as core concept and result of schooling, albeit couched in cultural contexts?
What if we asked:
Where do children live?
How and when do children learn?
What should children know and be able to do?
Why is equity such a vital component for the common good?
Who am I as a learning and equity leader?
As the network continues we will build a cloud-based resource for new and experienced teacher development to include the best knowledge and resources in the world, sponsor longitudinal research about the implementation of these frameworks and build global partnerships around the preparation of new teachers.
Through these efforts, we believe that a dramatic change in the model of teacher education is forthcoming. We need a different kind of teacher for a different kind of school.
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