Tensions Between Knowledge Discourses in Norwegian Teacher Education: Does Current Reform Represent an Attack on Critical Knowledge?
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionKnowledge Cultures. 2017, 5 (4), 91-109. 10.22381/KC5420177
Internationally there are heated debates on what knowledge should be provided in teacher education. Historically, teacher education has played a role in critiquing and challenging current discourses on education. In the neoliberal discourse, teacher education first of all plays an instrumental function, prioritising knowledge proven to be efficient for students´ learning outcomes. In recent reform it is emphasised that Norwegian teacher education at universities should be research-based and close to practice. Furthermore pedagogy and subject didactics are given the same name, professional knowledge, and are expected to be integrated. When boundaries between disciplines are broken important questions relate to how a new knowledge orientation is negotiated and what consequences the integration might have on future teachers´ professional identity. Analysing an integration project which failed due to great tensions, insight is provided on struggles over how the reform principles are to be recontextualised. Pedagogy and subject didactics build on different discourses of knowledge which serve different purposes that are difficult to integrate. Contextualising the analysis within international trends in teacher education, the authors argue that the integration may represent another attack on critical knowledge.