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Manuscript Title

READING: THE CONFERENCES

Publication Date

6-1-1993

Abstract

The theme of this issue of Reading Horizons is exemplary practice, and as I recall several of the sessions from the annual conference of the International Reading Association it becomes clear how central the concept of teacher as professional is to exemplary practice. One session in particular — Teacher Preparation and Staff Development: Lessons from New Zealand — presented by Debra Elliot and colleagues provided some food for thought in considering the teacher as professional. In discussing current models of student teaching, which is of course a critical component to the development of the teacher as professional, Stephanie Steffey from San Jose State University prompted our thinking through a series of questions about our own teacher preparation experience. Questions included the following: 1) Did we begin to view the teacher as risk-taker, decision-maker, facilitator and observer, or were we trained as technicians? 2) Did we have the chance in our preparation programs to see ourselves as readers and writers, as mathematicians, as social scientists? 3) Were our classes student-centered or teacher-directed? 4) Was there a focus on teacher autonomy or did we as students participate in a shared, negotiated curriculum? 5) Did we engage in the development of a theory about how children learn? 6) Did we experience congruence between teacher education and what is happening outside the university in K-12 education? 6) Did we begin to develop the concept in ourselves of teacher as researcher?

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