Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: February 22, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412957403 | Print ISBN: 9781412956642 | Online ISBN: 9781412957403| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Carolyn Talbert Johnson
Since the mid-1980s there has been growing consensus about the use of programmatic themes to guide the nature and direction of teacher education programs. In essence, researchers have contended that programs structured around particular themes (e.g., social justice) would be in a better position to foster value-added professional skills than would programs characterized by a loosely coupled set of courses. Connected to this idea of themes was the notion that pre-service teachers should necessarily demonstrate certain dispositions in order to be successful in both learning requisite professional skills and then using those skills in a professional context. Although the idea of themes has not fostered significant controversy, the use of dispositions has been the focus of acrimonious debate. Those committed to teacher education reform argue for both clear themes and thoughtfully developed dispositions related to those themes. Critics of such reform argue that reliance on the dispositions may limit the ...