In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section A Pedagogy of Teacher Education

  • Introduction
  • General Overviews
  • Handbooks
  • Journals
  • Professional Associations
  • History
  • A Pedagogy of Teacher Education
  • Reflection
  • Professional Knowledge of Practice
  • Making the Tacit Explicit
  • Teacher Education Program Structures
  • Self-Study of Teacher Education Practices

Education A Pedagogy of Teacher Education
John Loughran
  • LAST REVIEWED: 29 July 2020
  • LAST MODIFIED: 24 July 2013
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756810-0096


A pedagogy of teacher education is based on the view that the teaching of teaching requires specialist skills, knowledge, and abilities that need to be recognized, developed, and refined by teacher educators as they become more expert at teaching about teaching. Central to conceptualizing a pedagogy of teacher education is the notion that teaching about teaching must encompass much more than the delivery of teaching “tips and tricks.” Teaching about teaching must make the pedagogical reasoning that underpins quality practice clear, explicit, and meaningful for learners of teaching. That means then that the learning of teaching revolves around teacher educators’ ability to create pedagogical experiences and conditions that illustrate the importance of moving beyond technicist views of teaching, thus making the tacit dimensions of knowledge of practice explicit and meaningful in learning about teaching. In essence then, a pedagogy of teacher education comprises the processes and practices of teaching and learning about teaching, and is captured through an articulation of the knowledge (and practice) of teaching and learning about teaching.

General Overviews

The only book devoted solely to a pedagogy of teacher education is Loughran 2006, which argues that knowledge of teaching about teaching is important to the academy, and that teacher educators should actively pursue the development of such knowledge. The book purposefully portrays and explores the complex nature of teaching and learning about teaching and illustrates how the knowledge articulated is important in underpinning the professional knowledge of teacher educators and how that knowledge must impact practice. Teaching about teaching is different and distinct from teaching per se, in that it calls on knowledge and skills about practice that require more than simply being a good teacher. Teaching about teaching draws attention to the distinction between teaching student-teachers and teaching them about teaching (accessing and understanding the knowledge, thoughts, skills, and pedagogical reasoning that underpin expert practice). A pedagogy of teacher education requires teacher educators to explicitly “unpack” for student-teachers the pedagogical expertise that allows examination of practice to push beyond the technical while still responding to the need to develop and display appropriate attitudes, knowledge, and skills of teaching itself. Understanding learning about teaching is also crucial to a pedagogy of teacher education because teacher educators need to be sensitive and responsive to the two competing agendas the student-teachers face. The first is their need to be comfortable with, and capable of, handling particular aspects and skills in teaching (and these are all impacted by their needs and concerns as learners). The second is the need for student-teachers to see and comprehend the complexity of practice such that they not only concentrate on learning what is being taught (the particular subject matter content) but also the nature in which that teaching is conducted, that is, that they see teaching as problematic and have opportunities to examine and question it as such. These two competing agendas make it difficult for student teachers to develop a big picture understanding of their learning to teach and therefore tends to complicate their valuing of practice. That means they easily simplify views of practice to a skill set or to some intangible, knowledge that is tacit and does not fully apprehend the complexity of practice. Inherent in a pedagogy of teacher education is the need to conceptualize teacher education as holistic as well as the importance of articulating knowledge of practice in such a way as to demonstrate scholarship of practice.

  • Loughran, J. J. 2006. Developing a pedagogy of teacher education: Understanding teaching and learning about teaching. London: Routledge.

    This book offers a conceptual framework for understanding what a pedagogy of teacher education is, how it might be developed, what it looks like in practice and why it is important. The book examines two perspectives on a pedagogy of teacher education: (1) teaching about teaching and (2) learning about teaching.

back to top

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login.

How to Subscribe

Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions. For more information or to contact an Oxford Sales Representative click here.