First, on a positive note, I wish to nominate three issues which are implicit in Fielding's paper which busy teacher trainers and educational researchers often set aside, possibly because of the disturbing consequences of thinking seriously about them. The first is that he is prepared to recognise the limitations, indeed failings, of contemporary teacher training* programmes, in so far as available evidence indicates that training effects are rapidly 'washed out' when beginning teachers enter the classroom and that, setting aside periods of school-based practice, students are disenchanted with teacher training courses (for example, see Desforges & McNamara 1977; Shaw, 1981; Wilson, 1975). The second is that Fielding recognises that teachers must develop their skills and competencies within the context of the school. This is a theme which has certainly been reflected in official pronouncements on teacher training during the past decade and within the United Kingdom there is a groundswell in this direction (see, for example, DES, 1972; DES, 1983(a); DES, 1983(b)). Fortunately, Fielding goes further than the official documents in arguing that in order to claim full professional status, teachers must be able to locate their skills and classroom competence within theoretical contexts which provide a framework for thinking analytically and critically about practice. Thirdly, Fielding recognises that teachers are not fully qualified and competent after what may be a comparatively brief period of initial training. Becoming a well rounded and accepted professional is a process which continues throughout the career.
Less Idealism and More Realism : The Programme for Teacher Education.
Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 8(2).