Accountability to whom? For what? : teacher identity and the Force Field Model of teacher development.
Samuel, Michael Anthony.
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The rise of fundamentalism in the sphere of teacher education points to a swing back towards teachers as service workers for State agendas. Increasingly, teachers are expected to account for the outcomes of their practices. This article traces the trajectory of trends in teacher education over the past five decades arguing that this "new conservative trend" is but one of the many forces that characterise present interpretations of the goals of teacher education and development. A de-professionalisation of teaching as a career looms on the horizon. Each era has progressively provided new insights into what the goals for teacher education could and should be. These have become increasingly layered into expanding roles and responsibilities being foisted on teachers. The article argues that this could threaten teaching as a career and fewer individuals now willingly choose the teaching profession. If they do, their accountability is seldom to quality teaching and learning as professional teachers find themselves threatened on a number of fronts by contradictory and often competing forces. The article presents a model for understanding the complexity of forces influencing teachers' identities, and shows why there is a need for creative discursive spaces for the coexistence of these many forces. Rather than capitulate to the forces of conservatism, the article argues that teacher professional growth can flourish when it is able to understand deeply the biographical, contextual, institutional and programmatic forces that impinge on teacher identity. The Force Field Model of Teacher Development thus provides stimulus for creative dialogue and renewal.