Much of what is known about teaching and teacher education is based on research conducted and theory developed in Western, Educated, Industrialised, Rich, and Democratic (WEIRD) societies. The challenges facing education in developing and poor societies (e.g., poverty, lack of infrastructure) and in traditional societies (e.g., feudal, tribal, hierarchical) are often overlooked in teacher education. Societies that ration resources through examinations expect teachers to ensure students do well on those evaluations, regardless of the merit in such testing. Societies that impose obligation on children to fulfil parental and familial expectations, rather than prioritise their own individual preferences, create challenges for teaching which is focused on the individual. Societies that have strong gender-specific expectations impose limitations on what teachers are expected to deliver for all. Societies in which teachers exploit their professional status for personal gain create especially difficult challenges for teacher education. In this talk I will review lessons I have learned in my international research career from societies such as China, India, Malaysia, Brazil, and South Africa about how our contemporary approaches to teacher education have questionable relevance and validity.
Bio- Professor Gavin Brown
Prof. Gavin T. L. Brown is the Associate Dean Postgraduate (Research) and Director of the Quantitative Data Analysis and Research Unit in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at The University of Auckland. He is also an Affiliated Professor in Applied Educational Sciences at Umea University, Sweden and an Honorary Professor in Curriculum & Instruction at the Education University of Hong Kong. His research interests focus on educational assessment and the psychology of teachers and students within assessment. He was a secondary school teacher for 10 years in low socio-economic schools in Auckland, NZ, a tertiary teacher of ESOL for 3 years, and a standardised test developer for 9 years before entering academic life. He has authored >180 academic publications which have had considerable international impact (Google Scholar h-index=45).