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Teacher Education for the 21st Century: Developing teachers who are thoughtful, reflective and inquiring IRN

IRN Start Date: December 1, 2012

The 21st century is characterized by a rapidly changing, technology-based economy and an increasingly diverse and complex world. In this landscape, education has to be structured to meet current needs while anticipating emerging trends and challenges for students. Successful teachers must be professional leaders who are thinkers and researchers, and not "technician, consumer, receiver, transmitter and implementer of other people’s knowledge”  ADDIN EN.CITE Cochran-Smith19991`, p. 16(Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 1999, p. 16)1117Cochran-Smith, M.Lytle, S. The teacher research movement: A decade later Educational Researcher Educational Researcher 15-25 2871999(Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 1999, p. 16).

Teacher education literature points us to inquiry-based approaches as a way of preparing teachers who are thoughtful, reflective and inquiring. Nonetheless, there is limited amount of theoretical and empirical work done in teacher education where the outcome is teacher learning  ADDIN EN.CITE Cochran-Smith200530(Cochran-Smith & Zeichner, 2005)303028Cochran-Smith, M.Zeichner, K. M. 2005 America Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc (Cochran-Smith & Zeichner, 2005). Thus there is a need for more conversation internationally on inquiry in teacher education, and more high-level research, especially globally, that defines critical components of teacher education programs that prepare teachers to be inquiring thinkers and researchers.

Aims and Objectives of this IRN include:

1. To create an international platform for teacher educators to share and learn about practices of teacher education programs with strong inquiry components.

2. To facilitate conversations amongst teacher educators and researchers from different cultures and continents on what it means to be a thoughtful, reflective, and inquiring teacher.

3. To establish a network of researchers who focus on inquiry-based approach in teacher education.

4. To facilitate collaboration among researchers internationally to examine key components of teacher education programs that impact teachers’ learning, especially from the perspective of being thoughtful, reflective, and inquiring.

5. To collate documentary accounts of strong teacher education programs that aim to prepare teachers who are thoughtful, reflective, and inquiring.

6. To have a professional voice on teacher education to influence governments and policy makers by working through appropriate networks such as WERA and the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Centre for Higher Education and Development (SEAMEO RIHED).



Oon Seng Tan


Dean, Teacher Education

National Institute of Education, Singapore


(Governing Board Member, Southeast Asia Ministers of Education Organisation Regional Institute for Higher Education Development, SEAMEO RIHED)


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