Faculty researchers win award for best article in Journal of Teacher Education

01 February 2018

The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) today announced an article by Claire Sinnema, Frauke Meyer and Graeme Aitken of the University of Auckland as the recipient of the 2018 AACTE Outstanding Journal of Teacher Education Article Award. Their article, “Capturing the Complex, Situated, and Active Nature of Teaching Through Inquiry-Oriented Standards for Teaching,” was published in the January/February 2017 issue of the journal and will be recognised formally with the award at AACTE’s 70th Annual Meeting next month in Baltimore, Maryland.

In this article, the authors identify problems in the design and implementation of teaching standards that widen the divide between theory and practice. They propose an alternative model, dubbed Teaching for Better Learning, that attempts to account for the complex contextual features that teachers face and that significantly shape the identification of student needs and instructional practices. This model also positions both teachers and students as learners and is driven by inquiry and evidence. In this way, the authors are raising critical issues that diverse stakeholders in teacher education—from practitioners to policy makers—must take into account to ensure more effective teaching.

Associate Professor Mark Barrow, Dean of Education and Social Work, says: "The Teaching for Better Learning (TBL) model and standards set out in this article contribute an innovative approach to our thinking about teaching standards that not only challenges persistent and oft-criticized norms in the design and approach to standards set out for the teaching profession, but proposes an alternative approach. The inquiry-oriented approach the paper suggests is timely given wide-spread recognition of the role of rigorous inquiry in effective teaching and calls for professionalization of the teaching profession"

"The authors cleverly foreground the practice of inquiry into the priorities for, approach to, and impact of teaching, with careful integration of knowledge, competencies, dispositions, commitments and concern for social justice. Most importantly, this article disrupts a commonly accepted approach to standards in which lists of indicators are presented in domains that despite being described as inter-related, remain discrete—an approach that is not consistent with the very nature of teaching. As such, Claire Sinnema, Frauke Meyer, and Graeme Aitken present a compelling and thought-provoking prompt for dialogue amongst and between teachers, teacher educators, researchers, policy-makers and others involved in standards for teaching. Their paper makes an important contribution to international debates about teaching standards."

Open access to this article has been made available throughout 2018.
Download a copy at this link: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0022487116668017?journalCode=jtea

About the award

This award is given annually by AACTE to recognise exemplary scholarship published in the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) during the last volume year. The journal’s editors, based at Michigan State University, nominate several top articles for consideration, and the AACTE Committee on Research and Dissemination selects the winning paper to receive the award.

Based in Washington DC, AACTE is a national alliance of 800 colleges and universities with educator preparation programmes dedicated to high-quality, evidence-based preparation that assures educators are profession-ready as they enter the classroom. The AACTE awards program has been recognising excellence since 1996 in both member institutions and individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of educator preparation. By honouring notable programmes and practices, professional accomplishments and scholarship, these awards encourage AACTE members to strengthen the profession through innovation, leadership and inquiry.