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Global Trends and Challenges in Teacher Education and The Place of Teacher Inquiry

Professor Marilyn Cochran-Smith

Cawthorne Professor of Teacher Education for Urban Schools

Lynch School of Education and Human Development

Boston College


Date: October 15, 2020 (Thursday)

Time: 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm (HKT)

"…teachers, or educators are professionals and knowledge generators. They are not just… implementers of theory and knowledge… teachers are problem posers, not just solving problems identified by experts outside schools and classrooms. (They) have the potential to be advocates and activists for equity..."

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In developed countries around the world, efforts to boost teacher quality have brought unprecedented attention (and critique) to teacher education, including the development of multiple, sometimes competing, reform agendas. The first part of this lecture focuses on global trends and challenges facing contemporary teacher education by identifying five interrelated “turns,” or broad shifts in thinking: the policy turn, the accountability turn, the practice turn, the research turn, and the equity turn. In the second part, the lecture focuses on teacher inquiry, which is based on the assumption that teachers are professionals and life-long learners who generate as well as consume knowledge. The lecture concludes with an analysis of how the major “turns” correspond or collide with the notions of inquiry and professionalism and what the implications are for policy and practice.

About the Speaker

Professor Marilyn Cochran-Smith is the Cawthorne Professor of Teacher Education at the Lynch School of Education and Human Development, Boston College, USA. Drawing on her research interests, which include practitioner inquiry and teacher education research, practice and policy with a focus on social justice and equity, Professor Cochran-Smith is a frequent presenter nationally and internationally. She has written 10 books, seven of which have won national awards, and more than 200 articles, chapters, and editorials. Her co-authored book, Reclaiming Accountability in Teacher Education won the 2020 Best Book Award from the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE). Professor Cochran-Smith was also a 2020 winner of the Spencer Foundation’s prestigious Mentorship Award as well as the 2018 winner of the American Educational Research Association’s (AERA) Division K Lifetime Achievement Award. Professor Cochran-Smith is an elected member of the National Academy of Education, a former president of the AERA, an AERA Fellow, and an elected member of the Laureate Chapter of the Kappa Delta Pi National Education Honorary Society.


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