Research and teacher education at SFU's Faculty of Education


When I joined the SFU Faculty of Education in 1974, I was impressed with the emphasis on research. The recruitment process was rigorous in finding professors who had strength in both teaching and research in those early years.  

My story in this article brings me to the most memorable project of which I am most proud and which brought me to a high point in my career. A group of faculty came together to discuss building a better link between teacher education and research in the 1980s.  The discussion prompted Peter Grimmett and I with the approval and help of Jaap Tuinman (Dean) set up the Institute for Studies in Teacher Education in 1990.  Support for the Institute also came from a Canada Council grant that I shared with Michael Fullan from OISE  that was completed in 1983.  It focused on the study change in teacher education.

The initial activity of the Institute was to examine and summarize published papers on teacher education to provide a data-base for research. The data-base was maintained by a full time secretary, Ida Clayton. Nearly one thousand items were assembled that provided excellent support for research.

 A group, linked to the Institute, undertook an experiment to promote research and inquiry into teacher education by those involved. Stan Shapson (Associate Dean), Jaap Tuinman (Dean) Sandy Dawson (Director of PDP) took steps to promote research and inquiry involving the work in preparing teachers. Seven groups undertook research and development projects examining the connections among Faculty, Faculty Associates and students.  Each group prepared a report on their work. We later collected their reports and assembled a book Wideen & Pye (1994). Peter Grimmett provided a summary of each of the seven chapters.

Marv Wideen

This memorable road that I have just summarized, has one more highlight. I will close my story with that.

Barbara Moon (a PHD student working with me), Jolie-Meyer Smith (a student at UBC) and I drew on the data-base that we had put together and reviewed other research in teacher education.  We produced a paper that critically reviewed research in teacher education. That paper won the AERA Annual Research Award (Wideen, Moon, & Meyer-Smith,). Receiving this award at the AERA annual meeting in San Francisco was the Highlight of my career in Education. It justified much of the effort that went into the research emphasis in our faculty, its link to teacher education as well as the effort that had been put into the Institute, and remains one of my proudest moments.

Marv Wideen
Professor Emeriti


     Wideen. M & Pye, (I994).  Collaborative Research in Teacher EducationThe SFU Experience. Vancouver.  Institute for Studies in Teacher Education.

     Wideen, M, Moon, B. & Meyer-Smith, J (1998). A critical analysis of the research on learning to teach.Review of Educational Research. 68(2), 130-178. Outstanding publication award from (AERA) for the best review paper published in an AERA journal in 1998.