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DAY 1 | March 16 – *Across Paradigms and Worldviews*
KEYNOTE: Prof, Clive Beck | CTL page
Prof. Beck’s Keynote Talk draws on two publications:
Book Chapter: “Rethinking Teacher Education Programs” (to appear in Building Bridges: Rethinking Literacy Teacher Education in a Digital Era)
While we have distinctive concerns in this volume – literacy, literacy teacher education, and digital technology – these need to be explored within a general approach to teacher education. In this last chapter, I present elements of such an approach for discussion along with the specific themes. I propose a broadly constructivist vision of teaching and teacher education; a collaborative research base that takes seriously the input of practitioners; a campus program in which we practice what we preach; close links between the campus program and practicum schools; an appropriate technology emphasis; and an incremental approach to improvement.
This volume is concerned with improving literacy teacher education, especially by attending to developments in digital technology. This needs to be done, however, against the backdrop of a general approach to teacher education. In this final chapter I discuss several aspects of such an approach, building in part on ideas already advanced in preceding chapters. The chapter does not have a particular literacy focus, but the issues it raises are of relevance to literacy teacher education along with other areas of teacher preparation.
Teacher education, like school teaching itself, is an enormously complex enterprise and I can only touch on a few aspects here. However, I believe the ones I have chosen are of central importance to the field. They are:
- a vision for teacher education
- a research-based teacher education program
- a campus program that embodies our vision
- a practicum component that connects the campus and the schools
- an appropriate technology emphasis
Article: “Experiences in Philosophy of Education: A Self-Portrait”
Paideusis, Volume 19 (2010), No. 2., pp. 10-15
I grew up on a somewhat remote sheep farm in Western Australia and did my early and final years of schooling by distance education. My mother was a school teacher so she could help supervise me, especially in grades 1 and 2. From grades 3 to 10, I went by bus to local public schools. The last two “leaving” years were spent in splendid isolation doing correspondence courses. My two older brothers led the flight from farm to university and, when I finished school, I went off to the University of Western Australia (UWA). My four-year B.Ed. degree included teacher certification. However, I also opted for some fairly academic studies: honours in philosophy of education, a major in history, and courses in philosophy and Greek. After graduating, I worked part-time and enrolled in another bachelor’s degree at the University of Sydney, doing honours in general philosophy and more courses in classical Greek. I then became a lecturer in philosophy of education at the University of New England (UNE), just north west of Sydney. At the same time, I did a Ph.D. in philosophy at UNE with a focus on philosophy of education. In 1967, I got a position in philosophy of education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto on the recommendation of Israel Scheffler, one of my doctoral examiners. Given my roots, why all this early interest in philosophy and philosophy of education? Cynics might explain it in terms of exposure to vast horizons and myriad sheep. Others might refer to my strongly religious upbringing (long since left behind). But the farm experience was, of course, quite practical, and our religion was rather unreflective, concerned more with getting into the next world than understanding the present one. I think it was more a matter of personality. It was in my nature to enjoy theorizing about life, society, and reality in general. Also, being something of an optimist, I had accepted (naively, I think now) the general Western notion that “the truth will make you free”, that getting to the bottom of things leads rather quickly to personal and societal transformation. I saw philosophy not only as enjoyable but as potentially very useful. Finally, philosophy of education at that time offered employment, and with wool prices plummeting, it seemed like a congenial alternative.
Prof. Beck’s keynote, March 17, 2016, OISE NEXUS Lounge