In 1992, the Commonwealth Department of Employment, Education and Training (DEET) released a policy document titled: "Teacher Education: A discussion paper." Among other thought provoking points, it presented Australian teacher educators as relatively old and lacking current teaching experience in schools. According to the discussion paper, 81 % of teacher educators are over 38 years old, 37% are over 48, only 20% taught in schools during the 1980's, and more than 50% were school teachers before 1973 (pp 11- 12). Further, consistent with their "obsolescent teaching experience" (p.12), teacher educators "simply pass on the theory of teaching" (p.17) and many of them "are out of touch with contemporary practice and the most recent educational research" (p.l7). The discussion paper also expressed concern that "faculty teaching experience has not kept pace with changes in schools" (p.12) and it questioned "the quality and relevance of (university) education programs" (p.16). Part of the problem is a tendency among teacher educators "to emphasise the academic content of studies frequently at the expense of a more professional and practical pedagogical orientation" (p.16) One way to address these critical issues, suggested the discussion paper, would be to consider transferring a lot of teacher education from universities to schools.
Contents page, and, Introduction by Rod Chadbourne, Guest editor.
Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 18(2).