n South African Journal of Higher Education - Integrated tales of policies, teaching and teacher education : reflecting on an ongoing process

Volume 23, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



Changing times in teacher education has been a long mantra and many changes have been occurring globally in this sector of higher education. In South Africa teacher education change has been linked to changes in the broader education processes and includes policy changes and the development of regulatory frameworks which all impacted on practice of teacher educators. My own experiences as a teacher educator are based largely on my shift from school teacher to teacher educator has, almost paralleled the major shifts in teacher education in South Africa. In this article I sketch the development of my own practice as a teacher educator and highlight some of the changes that have affected my practice as a teacher educator in a faculty of education. In my opinion this process of almost a decade represents a tale of rigid practices in and around messy realities against a backdrop of shifting sands of national changes in teacher education. I present this mix of policy, institutional and personal practice as interconnected processes that are inextricably linked influencing and influenced by each other, in a sense what Robinson (2003) refers to as a tension between reform through legislation and reform through personal and institutional vision building. My main contention is that real change cannot be effected by policies alone or by changing approaches in terms of current practice and paradigmatic orientations but that more contextualised responses are necessary for reconceptualisation and not just tinkering for transformation of teacher education.

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