ERIC Number: ED323206
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Program Coherence in Teacher Education: A View from the United States. Issue Paper 90-6.
Buchmann, Margret; Floden, Robert E.
Concern for coherence in European teacher education is fueled by changes in political organization and teacher mobility. "Coherence" is a value-laden concept, yet its meaning is unclear. In the United States, advocates of coherence assume that a tightly connected set of experiences is needed to give teacher education programs sufficient power. Both "coherence" and "program" have positive associations with harmony and wholeness. The difficulties with "program" and "coherence" in the U.S. context are suggested by the term's historical associations with behaviorism and the pursuit of efficiency. Single-minded planning for particular program effects may crowd out other goals and compromise the idea of educational progress. Rather than adopting the metaphors of force historically associated with program coherence, teacher educators should consider metaphors of light, especially the metaphor of a sparkling diamond. This metaphor implies that education has many facets, which provide light when seen from a variety of perspectives. Teacher education, as this metaphor suggests, can benefit from the incorporation of variegated ideas and practices, among which different patterns of connection may be drawn. Program coherence can be valuable if it helps students build interconnections while also inviting a reweaving of beliefs and ties to what is as yet unknown. (Author)
Descriptors: Coherence, Curriculum Development, Educational Philosophy, Higher Education, Institutional Mission, Preservice Teacher Education, Program Content, Program Design, Program Effectiveness, Teacher Education Programs
National Center for Research on Teacher Education, 116 Erickson Hall, College of Education, Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI 48824-1034 ($4.00).
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center for Research on Teacher Education, East Lansing, MI.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Association for Teacher Education in Europe (15th, Limerick, Ireland, August 26-31, 1990).