Literature reviews 2020

Authors: Amalia Ran and Liat Josefsberg Ben-Yehoshua

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This literature review focuses on coherent teacher education programs in Israel and around the globe. In recent years, increases the criticism on behalf of policymakers and the public concerning the little use of information infrastructures and skills development to a proficiency level among teachers. Furthermore, there is criticism concerning the irrelevance of theoretical contents obtained in academic courses to the practical experience in the field. The lack of reflection on teacher learning processes; the tendency to ignore different types of assessment concerning teacher education and professional development; lack of shared vision in teacher education programs; and limited collaborations between all stakeholders in the education system, are other deficiencies raised in this context.

Coherence in teacher education programs is an ongoing and consistent process. Despite the ambiguity of the term “coherence” in education, we may identify certain principles and areas according to which coherent teacher education programs are constituted. First, a vision shared by all stakeholders (schools, academic institutions, ministries of education, education districts, other professional organizations (characterize coherent programs. Second, there is a link between the academic, methodological and pedagogical contents in the curriculum, as well as a relationship between the theoretical contents and the practical experience in the field. Third, coherent program maintain active research and inquiry for continuous assessment purposes. Fourth, coherent programs promote partnerships and collaborations among all agencies responsible for teacher education.

In this framework, we study five models of coherent teacher education programs around the world: The STEP (Stanford Teacher Education Program) at the University of Stanford in California, United States; The ATOM (Accomplished Teachers of Mathematics and Science) program for elementary school teachers in sciences and mathematics at the University of North Carolina, United States; Teacher education programs in Finland; SHAHAF program in Kay College in Israel; NAHAR pilot program in Lewinsky College in Israel. These programs promote coherence as an ongoing process, which requires modifications and adjustments along the way, as part of the lifelong-learning perception in the shifting circumstances of the twenty-first century.