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Xinyun Hu and Nicola Yelland

This review examines the design cycles of innovation in response to changing policy, technological and practical imperatives. It begins with the initial creation of an information and communication technology course in an early childhood teacher education program and describes its evolution into a contemporary topic. Program changes occur because of policy-driven trends, including the expansion of the definition of what constitutes technology and the incorporation of innovations into curricula and pedagogical practices. We characterize these changes in three design cycles. In the first cycle, courses to prepare preservice teachers for early childhood centers focused primarily on computer-based skills. In the second cycle, new technologies were integrated into the curricula and teaching programs and incorporated into the practicum. In the third cycle, the principles and practices inherent to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (stem) education were adopted to extend the role of new technologies in contemporary curricula and pedagogies. These new learning ecologies were characterized by the application of inter-disciplinary knowledge in authentic learning contexts. The reviewed case studies included students in three new technologies course projects in an early childhood teacher education program. The findings revealed that early childhood preservice teachers expected more opportunities to practice and apply new technologies in innovative learning spaces focused on stem learning. Furthermore, they believed that university teacher education courses should be applicable to practice-based contexts. The implications of this review inform the process of change in the design of teacher education programs from technology-based learning to the pedagogical innovations needed to prepare future teachers. It illustrates that new technologies for learning should consider changing learning ecologies in their design and implementation, and should support early childhood teachers in understanding and using child-centered pedagogical approaches.

Roxanne T. Bongco and Rodrigo D. Abenes

Feminisation in the teaching profession is a global issue. It has been said this problem implies gender inequality in relation to their male counterpart for it results in the lack of male models in the basic education and, thus promote social exclusion. This social reality is also the case in the Philippines. Data in 2008–2009 from the Philippine Commission on Women reveals that about 89.58% of the teachers in public elementary and 77.06% in the public secondary schools are female (pcw, 2014). In this regard, this paper argues that feminisation of education in the Philippines, all the more result to uncompromising situations of female teachers for as women, they need to work in shifts as part of their changing roles both in school and at home. Further, this paper presents an analysis of the narratives of ten female teachers in basic education which reveals that in spite of the feminisation of teaching from a purely statistical perspective, they still remain disadvantaged in the career that had always been believed to be their domain, especially in the area of career promotion. Limiting factors to the promotion of women still point to their social conditions as women, where the multiplicity of social expectations and duties in their diverse spheres clash to the detriment of their careers.

Wenjie Pei

In January 2017, the Chinese Ministry of Education issued the Curricular Standards of Science in Elementary Schools, aiming at developing students’ scientific literacy and a foundation for their learning and development as competent citizens. To achieve its overall goal, the reform reflects four main strategies: extending the learning time of science education, integrating engineering and technological contents into science subject, phased design based on the idea of learning progressions, and using big concepts to guide teaching contents. The Curricular Standards of Science in Elementary Schools has been implemented in major provinces and cities across the country and achieved initial outcomes in stimulating students’ enthusiasm for learning science. To better implement these standards, increasing capital investment, improving experiments, and upgrading equipment become urgent to be considered.

Horst Zeinz

Digitalization as a key issue of society is increasingly a topic in school. Authorities like the recently deceased scientist Stephen Hawking and the founder and ceo of Tesla, Elon Musk, see both challenges and chances in the developing artificial intelligence (A.I.). Musk remarked: “A.I. will be the best or worst thing ever for humanity” (cnbc 1 2017). The solution, Musk said, is to increase regulatory oversight of the development and implementation of A.I. immediately: “AI is a rare case where I think we need to be proactive in regulation than be reactive.” (cnbc 2 2017). Stephen Hawking emphasizes the same point: “The emergence of A.I. could be the “worst event in the history of our civilization” unless society finds a way to control its development (…). Success in creating effective A.I. could be the biggest event in the history of our civilization. Or the worst. We just don’t know.” Hawking said during a talk at the Web Summit technology conference in Lisbon, Portugal, in 2017. (cnbc 3 2017). In view of these considerations and in regard to the meaning for education in school the question arises: Which topics and competencies should be presented to pupils against the background of the rapid processing in the field of digitalization and the corresponding uncertainty of topics and competencies that could be of importance in some years and decades? Verbalized differently: What does sustainable education for our future include? The answer will be aimed at the teaching and acquirement of basic competencies in general and in the field of digitalization. What should this “basic education” include? Another question is: How is it possible to combine learning processes in a “virtual reality” with learning processes in a “natural reality”? Further considerations are given in this article.

Jun

Jeff Stickney

Writing from the perspective of both an instructor in a teacher education program at University of Toronto and more importantly as a mentor for teacher candidates in the classroom, hosting for over twenty years student teachers from six universities in Ontario and New York, the paper explores the master-apprentice relationship within the practicum placement in schools – drawing philosophically on Martin Heidegger’s reflections on apprenticeship, Donald Schön’s pragmatic emphasis on studio work and Lee Shulman’s focus for training on developing subject related pedagogical-content-knowledge, to resituate the significance of what many educators and student-teachers say forms the core of teacher education. Subtle changes in teacher education over the last thirty years, set against dominant themes of professional autonomy and agency within sweeping educational and economic reforms such as the neo-liberal accountability and austerity movements, are sketched in order to follow their arc or trajectory into possible futures. Using a Foucauldian genealogical approach, the author aims to show how we could think and act differently in our practices and governance of teacher education.

The Future of Teaching in 500 Words or More

The Confucian Perspective of Education on “Self-Cultivation”

Yusef Waghid

Much of the pedagogical work with which I have been involved over the last three decades in higher education directly concerns my relations with students and vice a versa. More recently (Waghid, 2019), I have given some thought to my pedagogical relations vis-à-vis the virtue of caring in an attempt to make sense of my encounters with students in higher education. This article reflects a closer look at pedagogical encounters between students and myself (as a university educator). In a way, I firstly reflect on my teaching and learning in a university context by making a connection between what it means to engage in pedagogical encounters through the act of caring. Secondly, I show how pedagogical encounters constituted by care could enhance both teacher and student autonomy, before, thirdly, tackling the notion that caring in pedagogical encounters cannot be remiss of deliberative iterations. Finally, I argue why caring pedagogical encounters are inextricably connected to an enactment of play which, in my view, corroborates the future of teaching.

Marianna Papastephanou

Inclusion is nowadays a most cherished notion in educational discourses and policies around the globe. Discourses of inclusion appear as the most humane, politically sensitive and praiseworthy heights that political thought and educational practice can reach. At the same time, a kind of inclusion in the public sphere is enacted whenever people freely join debates on matters of general interest, educational or other. For, participation in debates on education and on teacher education is not limited to educational researchers, teacher organizations and all those involved in educational theory and practice. The present article begins with the operations of inclusion in educational theory and discusses some complicities and risks lurking in the unqualified valorization of inclusion that is noticeable in educational discourses and in public debates on education and teachers’ performance. Such valorization operates inter alia at the expense of thoughtful withdrawal and pertinent self-exclusion. In societal debates on education, inclusion as unconditional prerogative of a narcissist I (eye) or as social interpellation to participate legitimizes just everybody’s having investigative relevance to issues of education. The article ends with some suggestions concerning the positioning of inclusion within a broader set of concepts required for a desirable redirection of educational discourses and policies.