Teacher education as the practice of virtue ethics: Editorial

Shlomo Back, Matthew Clarke* (Corresponding Author), Anne M Phelan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Recent decades have seen the elevation of education from an intermittent concern of governments to its current place as a cornerstone of social and economic policy. More specifically, education is now deemed vital to the simultaneous achievement of economic growth, community cohesion and social justice (Furlong, 2013).
However, primus inter pares within this redemptive view of education has been
an instrumental discourse of the centrality of the teacher as the guarantor (or
potential under-miner) of future economic growth and prosperity (Larsen, 2010).
As a result, teacher education is now deemed too important to be left in the
hands of academics and teacher educators. Thus, the field has consequently been
subjected to an intense and extended series of authoritative reforms, underpinned by the same competitive, instrumental and utilitarian worldview that has transformed education more broadly (Frankham and Hiett, 2011), in order to
ensure that education fulfils its economically conceived potential. Specifically,
and justified as an attempt to ensure that teachers and schools rise to the challenges of globalisation and come out ‘on top’ in the context of relentless international economic competition (see, e.g. Barber and Mourshed, 2007), teacher education in a range of global contexts, including Canada, England and Israel has undergone radical reconfiguration and reform. As a result of these reforms, teacher educators now find their work circumscribed within a matrix of policy requirements, including prescribed curricula, mandated teacher professional standards and ongoing inspection regimes. In short, teacher education has been
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalResearch in Education
Issue number1
Early online date7 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018

Bibliographical note

The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article


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