More than a craft: philosophical reflection on the future of teacher education

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)


The Secretary of State for Education in England, Michael Gove, is clear that teaching is a craft and is seeking to reform teacher education on the basis of this assumption. While there may be dimensions of teaching that are ‘craft-like’; and to execute a craft successfully may demand highly developed skills, personal qualities and dispositions; contemporary philosophers of education, have developed more promising accounts of what very good teaching practice necessarily entails based on neo Aristotelian ways of thinking about professional practice. The notion of ‘practical wisdom’ allows for both theoretical and practical dimensions to what the best teachers do very well. Philosophers have a role to play in the professional education of teachers in at least three ways. First, as the future role of university-based teacher education is called into question, philosophers can help to clarify the conception of professional knowledge that informs both existing practice and proposals for its reform. Second, philosophers should be willing to think through what a clearer, more coherent alternative of teacher education in the future might entail and be prepared to communicate this in language that is intelligible to an audience of non-philosophers. Third, teacher education programmes in the future should include a philosophically informed dimension that fosters systematic reflection on professional practice, including the aims of lessons, relating these to the purpose of formal education and what constitutes ethical practice.
Translated title of the contribution‘More than a craft: philosophical reflection on the future of teacher education’
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhilosophical Perspectives on the Futue of Teacher Education, Oxford
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Bibliographical note

Medium/genre: Workshop
Conference Organiser: PESGB

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