Cultural-historical Perspectives on Teacher Education and Development: Learning Teaching

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Ellis, Viv, Anne Edwards, Peter Smagorinsky
Routledge, 2010 - Education - 254 pages
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Teachers, both in and beyond teacher education programmes, are continual learners. As society itself evolves, new settings and the challenges they provide require new learning. Teachers must continually adapt to new developments that affect their work, including alterations to qualification systems, new relationships with welfare professionals, and new technologies which are reconfiguring relationships with pupils.

Cultural-Historical Perspectives on Teacher Education and Development is an international volume which clarifies the purpose of initial (pre-service) teacher education and continuing professional development, and the role of universities and higher education personnel in these processes. An edited collection of chapters by leading researchers from the UK, the US and Europe, it gains coherence from its theoretical orientation and substantive focus on teacher learning. This book:

  • demonstrates the contribution of sociocultural and cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT) towards our understandings of teacher learning
  • offers a strong exemplification of a research focus on teachers as learners in specific sociocultural settings
  • shows what teachers learn, how they learn and where they learn, using specific research examples, in the context of broader interests in the development of professional practice and professional education.

As the only volume now available that applies CHAT principles to teacher education and learning, Cultural-Historical Perspectives on Teacher Education and Development will be highly useful for teachers and teacher educators undertaking postgraduate and doctoral studies, particularly in the area of professional learning and development. It will also be of relevance to the continuing development of teachers and other school-based professionals.

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A book that I am reading now is Cultural- Historical perspectives on teacher education development. What I can say after reading the preface and a couple of chapters is that Cultural-historical Perspectives on Teacher Education and Development is an outstanding contribution in the understanding of teacher education. This text does not only deal with different issues about teacher education, but it also offers an approach to examine the educational context.
The preface is illuminating since it provides with a theoretical discussion about sociocultural theory and its different emphases making distintions between sociocultural theory, cultural historical theory and Cultural historical Activity.
This volume is divided into three sections. Part one is titled "The social situation of teacher development" and comprises six chapters. These chapters examine the social situations of teacher education from three points: teachers as learners, the school as a learning setting, and through pedagogical discourses. This section also includes two chapters which explore teacher education as a product of societal expectations.
Part two of this text is devoted to offer a cultural historical methodological perspective. Four chapters address methodology and demonstrate how a cultural -historical perspective is productive in understanding the complexities of teacher learning. Section three presents studies of CHAT informed teacher education programs from very different locations: China, Luxembourg and the USA.

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About the author (2010)

Viv Ellis is University Lecturer in Educational Studies at the University of Oxford, UK.

Anne Edwards is Professor of Education in the Department of Education at the University of Oxford, UK, and a Visiting Professor at the University of Oslo, Norway.

Peter Smagorinsky is Professor of English Education at the University of Georgia, USA.

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