Transforming Teacher Education

Transforming Teacher Education Reflections from the Field

Edited by David Carroll, Helen Featherstone, Joseph Featherstone, Sharon Feiman-Nemser, and Dirck Roosevelt
paper, 280 Pages
Pub. Date: January 2007
ISBN-13: 978-1-891792-33-5
Price: $32.00

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At a time when traditional teacher education is coming under fire, Transforming Teacher Education presents a powerful vision of what teacher education could and should be.


A breathtaking book. With all the talk about ‘doing something’ about teacher education, here is a rare example of a book that actually does something. It offers a fascinating opportunity to play with the critical ideas confronting us as educators. Transforming Teacher Education must get into the hands of those thinking seriously about educating America. — Deborah Meier, Senior Scholar and Adjunct Professor, Steinhardt School of Education, New York University

The appearance of a new book by this team of extraordinarily thoughtful teacher educators is an event worth celebrating. The book details what it took to accomplish what many thought could not be done—creating and sustaining a model of teacher education, rooted in a vibrant intellectual and professional community, in the context of a large, bureaucratic public university. We learn from Transforming Teacher Education what it takes to create ambitious programmatic change, and all the pleasures and challenges entailed in such an effort. — Pam Grossman, Professor of Education, Stanford University

At last! A fascinating, deep, and honest analysis of the reform effort of a large teacher education program, using principles, theories, and values from small, elite boutique programs. This book describes the successes, dilemmas, and nightmares of the process, interspersing research, analysis, and reflection. It should be required reading for any teacher education program undergoing major reform. — Virginia Richardson, Professor of Education, School of Education, University of Michigan

Teacher educators in programs large and small will be inspired and instructed by this book. The members of Team One remind us of the folly of those who believe that there are shortcuts to preparing teachers to do well the difficult work confronting us today. — Marvin Hoffman, Founding Director, North Kenwood Oakland Charter School, and Associate Director, Urban Teacher Education Program, University of Chicago

This clearly written and insightful l book tells the story of the reform of teacher education at Michigan State in the 1980s and 1990s. In large research intensve universities, teacher education is often low in the list of institutional priorities. This work described in this book clearly demonstrates how a top reserach university can develop high quality and cutting edge teacher education programs that play a large role in influencing teacher education across the nation. This book is must reading for all who are intersted in teacher education reform. The lessons learned by these teacher educators about the complexities of creating genuine and progressive reofrm in a large university like Michigan State can be of benefit to us all. — Ken Zeichner, Hoefs-Bascom Professor of Teacher Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison

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About the Author

David Carroll is an assistant professor in the elementary education department at Western Washington University. He taught previously at Michigan State University (MSU), where he served initially as manager of the professional development school network and as university coordinator for professional development school work at a large urban middle school in Lansing. With the beginning of Team One in 1993, Carroll became program coordinator, and he later also worked as a university liaison at one urban elementary school. While at MSU, Carroll also earned his Ph.D. Before that he served as director of the teacher education program at Prospect Center in Bennington, Vermont and conducted summer institutes and professional development consultations. He began his career in education as an elementary teacher for the School District of Philadelphia.

Helen Featherstone is associate professor of teacher education at Michigan State University, where her primary research and instructional interests are in teaching prospective elementary school teachers intellectually ambitious approaches to math instruction and in helping experienced elementary teachers to think together about math and math teaching. She began her career in the Boston Public School District and since then has taught at Harvard University and at Wellesley College, as well as at MSU. Featherstone founded the Harvard Education Letter, a publication that synthesizes research on education for a broad audience. She is the author of A Difference in the Family: Life With a Disabled Child (1980) and is currently working on a book about changes in U.S. kindergartens.

Joseph Featherstone is a professor of teacher education at MSU. He has taught at Harvard University and served for many years as an editor of the New Republic. He was the principal of the Commonwealth School in Boston. He was a faculty coleader of Team One, in which he had special responsibility for overseeing TE-301, the course that introduced students to child study. He was a coauthor of the influential Holmes Group report, Tomorrow’s Schools (1990), and is the author of many books and articles, including most recently Dear Josie: Witnessing the Hopes and Failures of Democratic Education (2003). He is also a poet, author of Brace’s Cove (2000).

Sharon Feiman-Nemser is the Mandel Professor of Jewish Education at Brandeis University. She began her career as a high school English teacher in Chicago. She taught at the University of Chicago and then at Michigan State University, where she spent twenty years as a faculty member in the College of Education. At MSU, she served as faculty coleader of Team 1 and as a senior researcher at the National Center for Research on Teacher Learning. An early student of teacher learning, she has written extensively about mentoring, new teacher induction, teacher centers, and the curriculum and pedagogy of teacher education. At Brandeis, she combines her expertise in teacher education with her deep interest in Jewish education. 

Dirck Roosevelt (Ph.D., Michigan State University) is associate professor and director of the master of arts in teaching program at Brandeis University. He taught at the elementary level, at the Prospect school—where he also was principal, and in public schools—for many years. Since 1993 he has been involved in teaching, design, and study of teacher education at Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, and, currently, Brandeis University. His present research focuses on the dimensions of learning to teach: valuing children, learning well from experience and constructing intellectual and moral authority. His underlying concern is making education fit for democracy. He has published in Theory into Practice, Curriculum Inquiry, and the National Society for the Study of Education Yearbook.

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