ERIC Number: ED385519
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Nov
Foundational Studies in Teacher Education.
Reynolds, Richard J.
Educational foundations programs remain ill-defined despite generations of discussion. A review of the literature over the past three decades indicates that foundational studies are frequently subject to criticism and devaluation as irrelevant, serving no useful purpose, lacking a rigorous body of knowledge, and in general, poorly taught. Students often consider courses in theory less practical than courses in instructional methods or subject matter, and most students lack the philosophical perspective for analysis, or the experience to understand and relate to the material. The literature, however, also indicates that educational foundations rightfully belong in the teacher education curriculum and may be seen as the bridge between general education and pedagogy. An example is given of an undergraduate foundations course at a small East Coast state university that was made relevant by tying it to the real world of education. In addition to traditional course elements of history, philosophy, sociology, finance, and governance, students were required to attend a school board meeting, interview an education official, and spend time in both a special education and a regular education classroom. Though students had anticipated that foundations courses would be uninteresting or irrelevant, informal evaluations indicated that students found the material both relevant and interesting, and they predicted it would prove useful in their preservice teacher education. The findings suggest foundations studies can provide a counterbalance to a preponderance of skill training in the preparation of preservice teacher candidates. (Contains 22 references.) (ND)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A