Institute for Studies in Teacher Education

Background

The idea behind the Institute for Studies in Teacher Education (ISTE) essentially had its nascence in a new interest in teacher education research in the late 1970s. One project reflecting that interest had its origins in Norway where Per Dalin had founded an institute called IMTEC focusing on the study of institutional change. Two Canadians, Michael Fullan from OISE and Marvin Wideen from Simon Fraser shared study leaves at IMTEC and collaborated on a study of renewal and change in Canadian teacher education using the Guide to Institutional Learning (GIL), developed by Per Dalin of IMTEC. The combined interest on the part of Fullan and Wideen in change and teacher education led to a study of renewal in ten Faculties of Education across Canada supported by a grant from the Canada Council that later became SSHRC. That research project drew together a network of teacher educators, administrators and graduate students in Canada with connections internationally. The use of feedback data from the GIL was examined as a vehicle for institutional improvement among the institutions in the study (Wideen & Hopkins, 1979; Hopkins, 1982). The study also involved case studies of renewal in selected Canadian institutions (Wideen & Hopkins, 1977).

The context for this was a period when program changes in teacher education took place across Canada. These changes followed the move of teacher education from the Teachers Colleges to University campuses and the emergence of new Universities in the late 1960s. Four examples illustrate the changing times in teacher education in the late 60s and early 70s. The first involved a different program at the newly established York University where the concept of adjunct professors was introduced to draw excellent teachers into the faculty to provide instruction and supervision to beginning teachers. Simon Fraser University offered a similar example where faculty associates provided the core-staffing model for new teachers in the newly established Faculty of Education.   The newly established Faculty of Education at the University of Lethbridge provided a new type of teacher education program in the Albertan context. The fourth example involved the University of Regina where the Faculty of Education completely changed a traditional program of teacher education to one involving strong connections with and input from the field. In each of these four innovative teacher education program settings there emerged a profound interest in the study of teacher education policies, processes, and practices.

Bibliography

Hopkins, D.  (1982).  Survey feedback as an organizational development intervention in educational settings:  A Review. Educational Management and Administration.  10: 05-15.

Wideen, M, & Hopkins, D.  (1979).  Professional renewal through teacher education at York University:  A case study of the host teacher and adjunct professor.  Paper presented at the IMTEC seminar held at Emmanual College, Cambridge, UK.