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Who designs and controls the teacher education curricula in your context?

In this section a 'vignette' is used to present processes of curriculum development in an imaginary context, followed by questions for reflection about the curriculum development processes in your own teacher education context.

TASK A What are the main similarities and differences between this fictional example and the way teacher education curricula are decided on in your context? For example, in your context:

i. What national or regional legal frameworks (if any) govern the aims and structure of teacher education?

ii. Are there policies at institutional level which influence the way teacher education is organised and managed?

iii. How are decisions taken about the content of the overall curriculum for a teacher's degree?

iv. Which courses are an obligatory part of the curriculum and which are optional or elective? Who makes the decisions about this?

v. What procedures are used at different levels (e.g. by institutional authorities, heads of department and the teacher educators/lecturers) to review curricula from time to time? Who is normally involved in the review process: for example, are thecteacher educators who are responsible for the various courses consulted, and if so how? 

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The Pedagogic University in V. provides Bachelor and Masters´ level courses in various educational specialisms, including degrees leading to a first level qualification as a primary or secondary school teacher. In order to be fully qualified, students need to go on to a Masters' course lasting a further two or four semesters. Each faculty head is responsible for devising the curriculum for student teachers in the faculty and its departments according to general state guidelines and the specific standards laid down by the university's committee on academic quality. The outline curriculum is available on the faculty website. However, working out the detail and order of course content is the responsibility of the tutor(s) concerned. A detailed course outline is submitted to the faculty head office, but generally there is no feedback on the submission. Often the same tutor(s) teach the same courses semester after semester, and they sometimes make small adjustments to the programme in line with informal feedback from students and their own experience of elements that are harder to teach or 'don't-work-well'.

TASK B In your context, which of the following actions and principles are part of the process of reviewing the teacher education curriculum?

i. Studying national or regional guidelines on teacher education;

ii. Making sure there is coherence and complementarity among the individual courses and other elements of the curriculum (lesson observation, teaching practice in schools, etc.);

iii. Involving and consulting the teacher educators responsible for individual courses and those responsible for teaching practicum and mentoring;

iv. Getting feedback from student teachers or practising teachers participating in the courses.

What else does such a review involve?

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