Archive article #00-01

Reading Teacher Education in the Next millennium:
What your grandmother's teacher didn't know that
your granddaughter's teacher should

James Hoffman and P. David Pearson


The preparation of teachers in the area of reading education is a primary concern of those who seek to improve reading achievement in schools. The challenges of the next millennium will make teacher preparation even more of an issue. Changes in the nature of literacy itself, changes in the diversity of our student population, changes in the occupational characteristics of teaching are part of the near future. Research in the area of teacher preparation has been limited. We summarize the research in teacher preparation. We argue that a great deal is known about the training of teachers but much less about the teaching of teachers. It is that latter that must occupy our attention if we are to prepare future teachers for the changing landscape of reading education. We review research in the areas of training and teaching of teachers. We point toward promising practices in the area of teaching teachers. These promising practices emphasize such features as inquiry and reflection. We argue that there are political forces that privilege a training model for the preparation of teachers, and that the emphasis on teaching teachers will be difficult. We conclude with recommendations for a research agenda in reading teacher education that is based on our analysis of the status quo.


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