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Teacher educators' professional development (Jean Murray)

This core topic in the TEG database deliberately draws on broad definitions of who might be defined as a teacher educator and what might be considered to constitute the learning or professional learning (another core topic within the database) of this group. This broad definition of teacher educators as a heterogeneous occupational group reflects the lack of fixed definitions found in both national and international  literature. This lack of definition is a particular issue in England where more than 18 years of formal partnership arrangements between schools and Higher Education Institutions and the growth of Employment-Based Initial Teacher Training (EBITT) programmes have resulted in the growth of a group of teachers who may be located in school settings but have teacher education as the major focus of their work. Writing from a North American context, Zeichner (2009:6) has characterised this group as ‘hybrid teacher educators’.

The items in the database under this core category therefore relate to teacher educators working in universities and other Higher Education Institutions, as well as to mentors and educators working in school - and college-based teacher education programmes. There are also items which focus on broad issues of the professional development of academics in education and other disciplines and on school teachers  and the ways in which they engage with teacher educators in school-focused in-service programmes, an engagement which is seen as bringing significant learning benefits to both groups.

All of these items indicate the impact which the national contexts and the regulatory frameworks and policy (both core categories in this database) have on the organisation of teacher education and consequently on the nature of teacher educators’ work and the opportunities and limitations for their professional development.

Many of the items in the database include a focus on situated learning or learning in / through communities of practices (or enquiry) as a major mode of professional development, particularly for new teacher educators being inducted into their occupational group. Mentoring and / or peer learning are often seen as key elements in the creation of such communities.

Other items indicate the importance of the relationship between professional development, professional knowledge and identity constructions. Since both school teaching and teacher education are feminised areas of education, gendered analyses  of teacher educators’ careers and work need to be factored into considerations of identities.

Further items in the TEG database focus on the place of Higher Education teaching and research in professional learning for teacher educators and their students and mentors in schools and colleges. A further emphasis is the tensions between experiential knowledge of schooling, the multiple demands of Higher Education work and engagement in research for educators working in universities.

Further useful websites

C-TRIP bibliography

The Teacher Education Research Network (TERN)



Acker, S. (1996). Becoming a Teacher Educator: Voices of Women Academics in Canadian Faculties of Education. Teaching and Teacher Education, 13(1); Ducharme, E. (1993). The lives of teacher educators. New York: Teachers College Press;

Ducharme, E., & Ducharme, M. (1996). A Study of Teacher Educators: Research from the United States of America. Journal of Education for Teaching. 22(1);

Swennen, A., Volamn, M. & van Essen, M. (2008) The Development of the Professional Identity of Two Teacher Educators in the Context of Dutch Teacher Education. European Journal of Teacher Education 31.2.

Maguire, M. (1994). The Job of Educating Teachers. Unpublished Ph.D thesis, Kings College, University of London, London;

Maguire, M. (2000). Inside/Outside the Ivory Tower: Teacher Education in the English Academy. Teaching in Higher Education. 5(2);

Murray, J. (2002) Between the Chalkface and the Ivory Towers? A study of the professionalism of teacher educators working on primary Initial Teacher Education courses in the English education system. Collected Original Resources in Education (CORE) volume 26, number 3. October 2002.

Zeichner, K. (2009:6) Rethinking the Connections between Campus Courses and Field Experiences in College- and University-Based Teacher Education. Journal of Teacher Education 61(1-2), pp. 89-99.

Murray, J. and Male, T. (2005) Becoming a teacher educator: evidence from the field, Teaching and Teacher Education, 21(2).

John, P. D.(2002) The teacher educator's experience: case studies of practical professional knowledge, Teaching and Teacher Education, 18(3) pp 323-341.

Harrison, J. and McKeon, F.(2008) The formal and situated learning of beginning teacher educators in England, European Journal of Teacher Education, 31(2) pp 151-168

Baumfield, V. and Butterworth, M.(2007) Creating and translating knowledge about teaching and learning in collaborative school and university research partnerships: an analysis of what is exchanged across the partnerships, by whom and how, Teachers and Teaching, 13(4) pp 411-427.

Elliott, J., Battersby, J., Boddington, D., Brown, K., Doherty, P., Haydn, T., Nardi, E., and Shreeve, A.(2002) Working 'against the grain': a conversation piece from the academy about the experience of sustaining collaborative research with teachers, Pedagogy, Pedagogy, Culture and Society, 10(2) pp 323 - 348

Kennedy, A., Christie, D., Fraser, C., Reid, L., McKinney, S., Welsh, M., Wilson, A., and Griffiths, M.(2008) Key Informants' Perspectives On Teacher Learning In Scotland, British Journal of Educational Sudies, 56(4) pp 400-419.

Noel, P.(2006) The secret life of teacher educators: becoming a teacher educator in the learning and skills sector, Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 58(2) pp 151-170

Leathwood, C.(2005) Treat me as a human being - don't look at me as a woman': femininities and professional identities in further education, Gender and Education, 17(4) pp 387-409.

Archer, L.(2008) The new neoliberal subjects? Young/er academics’ constructions of professional identity., Journal of Education Policy, 23(3) pp 265-285.

Hey, V. and Bradford, S.(2004) The return of the repressed?: the gender politics of emergent forms of professionalism in education, Journal of Education Policy, 19(6) pp 691 – 713

Burn, K., Hagger, H., Mutton, T., and Everton, T.(2000) Beyond Concerns with Self: the sophisticated thinking of beginning student teachers, Journal of Education for Teaching, 26(3) pp 259-279.

Burn, K.(2007) Professional knowledge and identity in a contested discipline: challenges for student teachers and teacher educators, Oxford Review of Education, 33(4) pp 445 - 467.

The TLRP Thematic Seminar Series Menter et al, Learning to teach in post-devolution UK: the transition from initial teacher education through induction to early professional development in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales maps out many relevant factors in the national contexts of the four countries within the UK.

Bryan, H. and Carpenter, C.(2008) Mentoring: a practice developed in community, Professional Development in Education, 34(1) pp 47-59.

Burgess, H. and Mayes, A. S.(2007) Supporting the professional development of teaching assistants: classroom teachers' perspectives on their mentoring role, Curriculum Journal, 18(3) pp 389-407.

Webb, M. E., Pachler, N., Mitchell, H., and Herrington, N.(2007) Towards a pedagogy of mentor education, Journal of In-Service Education, 33(2) pp 171-188.

Murray, J. and Maguire, M. (2007) Changes and continuities in teacher education: international perspectives on a gendered field. Gender and Education 19(3). This article is in a special issue of Gender and Education on gender and teacher education. The issue also includes other analyses of teacher educators’ learning from Sweden and the Netherlands.

Harrison, J. and McKeon, F.(2008) The formal and situated learning of beginning teacher educators in England, European Journal of Teacher Education, 31(2) pp 151-168
Murray, J.(2006) Constructions of caring professionalism: a case study of teacher educators, Gender and Education, 18(4) pp 381-397.

John, P. D.(2002) The teacher educator's experience: case studies of practical professional knowledge, Teaching and Teacher Education, 18(3) pp 323-341.

Cove, M.(2006) Myth and substance: the concept of 'recent relevant experience' in initial teacher education, Scottish Educational Review, 38(2) pp 173-184.

As Goodson (2003, cited in Menter, Brisard and Smith, 2006: 37-38) argues, issues of professional identity are intricately related to the formation and application of professional knowledge. Goodson’s argument is neatly exemplified in Hodkinson and Hodkinson’s (2004) case studies of two school teachers and the very differing ways in which they respond to and benefit from work-based professional learning opportunities. Issues about teacher identities are explored in more depth in the C-TRIP bibliography.

Some recent capacity building initiatives in teacher education have focused on developing educators’ research skills (see the websites for the Teacher Education Research Network (TERN) website and the Welsh Educational Research Network.




































How to reference this page: Teacher Education Group (2009) The Teacher Education Bibliography. London: TLRP. Online at (accessed )

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