ERIC Number: ED346065
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Between Routines and Anarchy: Preparing Teachers for Uncertainty. Occasional Paper No. 138.
Floden, Robert E.; Buchmann, Margret
Many aspects of teaching reveal it to be an activity imbued with uncertainty. Teachers are frequently unsure of their students' knowledge and understanding, of the effects of their instructional strategies, of the most appropriate content to cover in their limited time with students, and ultimately of their own intellectual and social authority. This paper explores what it would mean to prepare teachers, as adult learners, for uncertainty. Initial inclincations to reduce teachers' uncertainty through the introduction of routines or through more extensive subject matter study may be misguided, however, for whereas too much uncertainty may promote anarchy, too little uncertainty may engender dogmatism. Teacher educators might instead consider introducing their students to the myriad uncertainties they will face in their work, assist them in learning to judge when it may be desirable to increase certainty, and encourage them to view remaining uncertainties as an essential driving force in teaching. (Author)
Descriptors: Decision Making, Elementary Secondary Education, Evaluative Thinking, Higher Education, Interpretive Skills, Preservice Teacher Education, Teacher Education Curriculum, Teaching (Occupation)
The Institute for Research on Teaching, College of Education, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1034 ($2.50).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Michigan State Univ., East Lansing. Inst. for Research on Teaching.
Identifiers: Uncertainty Reduction
Note: This paper will be a chapter in the forthcoming book, "Detachment and Concern: Topics in the Philosophy of Teaching and Teacher Education" edited by Margret Buchmann and Robert E. Floden (New York: Teachers College Press).