Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Theses

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    The institutional provision for the education of intending teachers: a comparative study of changes in Canada and Australia
    Ainley, John ( 1972)
    The thesis which has been explored has been that one major determinant of change in the institutional provision for the education of intending teachers has been the school system itself. This has acted partly through the numerical demands for teachers and also through qualitative changes in schools. Such things as the type of primary and secondary education, the curriculum, and the numbers of children at school in each age level all seem related to changes in the way that teacher education is provided. A theoretical basis for such a hypothesis has been developed and the hypothesis then tested through a consideration of the pattern of changes in Australia and Canada. In both countries teacher education systems can be considered to have evolved from a fundamentally dichotomous model. The education of secondary teachers had taken place in the universities while that of intending primary teachers took place in specialist institutions controlled by the employing authority. As the distinction between elementary and secondary education became less marked so there occurred changes in the pattern of teacher education. In Australia the changes in the provision of teacher education in the late sixties and early seventies have followed a period when there was an expansion of secondary school enrolments and a series of curriculum changes at both the primary and secondary level. In Canada a more detailed comparison of changes in each province was made and a similar relation emerged. Those provinces which first made changes in the provision of teacher education were those which experienced first an expansion of secondary school enrolments and an intensive period of curriculum revision. As a result of these comparisons it is suggested that these changes in schools are best described as initiating factors in this change. A comparison of the different form of the changes which occurred in Australia and Canada suggests that to some extent the nature of the general provision of tertiary education in a given country can be regarded as a formative factor in the changes discussed. The solutions to the problem of a need to change the control of teacher education which have been adopted in each of these countries have been coloured by the form of tertiary education which prevailed. It is suggested that while these factors are contributing rather than controlling factors, and that while they do not provide a closed set of determinants, at least this is a useful framework for discussing these changes. They may also provide a useful starting point for a further analysis of the provision of teacher education in other countries.