What is it about?

In recent years, substantial resources have been invested in researching and describing the enactment of “core practices” of teaching in teacher education. In this review of the literature, we examine more than 40 articles published between 2008 and August 2018 in an effort to determine how teacher educators using core practice approaches in their work with teacher candidates.

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Why is it important?

The review of the literature presented here demonstrates two distinct approaches that teacher educators report in terms of introducing and preparing teacher candidates to enact core practices: a predesigned enactment approach and an open-design enactment approach. By Identifying these two approaches explicitly, we illuminate the decisions and actions of teacher educators in core-practice work. We demonstrate that the decisions teacher educators make in core-practice work are complex and nuanced, and require further description than heretofore available.


As graduate students and novice teacher educators, we began a journey to overhaul our respective mathematics and social studies methods courses with a general commitment to offer teacher candidates opportunities to identify, study, and attempt specific practices of teaching. We read as much as we could get our hands on in order to better understand how others in the field were doing this work. Those initial efforts, however, provided more questions than answers. As we read, we found that some of the existing literature lacked clarity in the ways in which teacher educators designed and implemented learning experiences for TCs. We began to wonder whether other teacher educators faced similar questions to our own. The literature review reported here is a product of our study as we grappled with a variety of questions and sought direction from available scholarship.

Michael Neel
Vanderbilt University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Contrast, Commonality, and a Call for Clarity: A Review of the Use of Core Practices in Teacher Education, Journal of Teacher Education, October 2019, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/0022487119880162.
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