The Sage Handbook of Research on Teacher Education

The Sage Handbook of Research on Teacher Education edited by D. Jean Clandinin and Jukka Husu has finally been published – and what a monster! Two volumes and so many authors I lost count. It is one of those research handbooks which will become a standard desktop reference but also a publication that not many people (myself included) will own a hard copy of. With an ‘educator’ discount it retails at £265 in print; and there is an e-book at around £150, depending on seller. So it is one that should be recommended to librarians in colleges and universities (done for KCL and HVL); and one for inter-library loan requests if you use a public library.

Jean and Jukka have done a fabulous job in organising such comprehensive coverage of research topics across the two volumes and combined this design with their meticulous editing. My favourite sections so far are the introductory section which sets out to ‘map the landscape’ of research in the field and then a later section about learning to teach ‘content’ (North American usage meaning, in the UK context, something like ‘subject knowledge’).

My chapter, with KCL colleague Meg Maguire, is about critical approaches to teacher education. It begins by discussing the sociological literature on critical pedagogy in teacher education (and does so critically, drawing on Elizabeth Ellsworth’s important essay ‘Why doesn’t this feel empowering?’) before looking at two traditions of critical pedagogy R&D in teacher ed: socioculturally-informed practice developing research; and anti-homophobia/queer pedagogy research. In 7000 words. It was tough.

As the title suggests, this isn’t a book for the bedside table nor is it one that you would necessarily plough through from page one to the end. But over two volumes, it does offer a wealth of entries on key research topics in the field. It’s a brilliant effort and wonderfully executed.