Research into initial teacher education has come to prominence in recent years, with governments and international organisations advocating reforms in teacher education to serve the needs of a ‘knowledge economy’. In this context, educational research plays a central, albeit controversial, role. On the one hand governmental focus on increasing global economic competitiveness frames the discourse of teacher education within agendas of scientific rationality and the search for ‘what works’ in education; on the other hand, teachers working on the ground are confronted with a plethora of multiple, and sometimes contrasting, interests and needs. Drawing on the experience of an ongoing Scottish Government funded project in initial teacher education in Scotland, this paper examines the tripartite tensions created by differing perspectives and rationales with respect to teacher education: policy, research and practice. Juxtaposed against recent thinking with regard to complexity theories the paper goes on to reflect on what we see as the changing attributes of practice-relevant and ethically grounded research for education.
- initial teacher education, multiple perspectives, complexity , dialogue