Teaching made wonderful: redesigning teacher education with imagination in mind

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Education—Aims and Objectives
Teacher Education
Imagination in Education
Imagination in Teacher Education
Teacher Education Program Design
Teacher Education Research
Teacher education
Pre-service teachers
Program design
Teacher education research
Imaginative education

How should pre-service teachers be educated, if they are expected to make imagination a central theme of their professional practice? This question is explored using Kenneth Howey’s recommended triadic approach to the design and implementation of teacher education programs: a defensible conceptual framework, derivative themes and programmatic structures. Part One, comprised of three chapters, is the conceptual framework for an imaginative teacher education program. Chapter one is a discussion of the purposes of education, and, by extension, of teacher education. I argue that the imagination is essential to achieve three educational goals: helping individuals develop a breadth and depth of knowledge, personal and collective agency, and a ‘moral compass.’ Chapter two is a consideration of why Kieran Egan’s theory of imaginative development is particularly helpful for these purposes. I explain the theory and highlight certain features that make it a suitable basis for an imaginative teacher education program. Chapter three is a discussion of the ways in which the theory needs further development to be used in the context of teacher education. I address three theoretical issues that need resolution and suggest four principles to guide the program. In Part Two, likewise comprised of three chapters, I consider the remaining two components of Howey’s triadic design: derivative themes and programmatic structures. Chapters four, five and six examine the three cornerstones of teacher education, respectively: understanding of subject matter, pedagogy and contexts. In each of these chapters, I clarify the kinds of imaginative understandings pre-service teachers need to develop in this area (“derivative themes”), consider in some depth relevant teacher education research literature, and then propose design features of an imaginative teacher education program (“programmatic structures”) that reflect the program principles derived earlier and respond to challenges identified in the literature. In the concluding chapter, I explain the relationships between pre-service teachers’ imaginative understanding of subject matter, pedagogy and contexts and the three educational goals I argued for in chapter one. I then summarize the program features developed in chapters four, five and six. Finally, I briefly consider how an imaginative teacher education program might affect faculties of education and schools.

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Faculty of Education - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (Ph.D.)