John Coolahan talked about differing conceptions of the nature of competence, comparing a narrow instrumetalist view based on a behaviouristic philosophy with a more liberal concept. This latter perspective sees the achievement of competence as accompanied in its appropriation and in its exercise by the the attributes, beliefs and personal culture of the person who acquires and exercises competency in practice.
Prof John Coolahan is currently giving the second Key Note of the day on Quality Assurance in Teacher Education in Ireland, within an International Context. He has stressed the importance of the academic community in shaping the future agenda and the dangers of leaving this to bureaucrats who are likely to take an instrumentalist approach towards social change.
John Coolahan stresses the challenge for Teacher Education institutions to participate pro-actively in the policy definition of teaching competences and qualification profiles at the European policy level.
A really good discussion about the need for critical professionalism with strong contributions from Dennis Beach, Pavel Zgaga and Stefan Hopmann. Questions about how the language of the “competence” discourse fails to address such dimensions.
Professor Ellen Piesanen from the Finnish Institute for Educational Research at the University of Jyväskylä is giving the second Key Note at TEPE 2010. She has reported on the “The Teacher Education Curricula in the EU? project carried out in 2008-2009. She is now discussing a current research project in Finland which is exploring reasons why teachers decide not to stay in the profession.
Professor Stefan Hopmann opened the TEPE 2010 Conference with a stimulating Key Note lecture on “Teacher Education Policy in Times of Transition”. Stefan outlined current proposals for reform of teacher education in Austria and the thinking behind these. Of particular interest is the proposal to link induction with Masters level qualifications. Also it was interesting to note his comments about the likelihood of increasing specialisation of provision and the need for institutions to work to their strengths. He described this model as multi-site teacher education.