competence development and citizenship in a modern European context - and the special case of Denmark
The present article is concerned with the paradigms of teacher education in the European Union and one of its member states. As one of its point of departure it briefly sketches three dimensions of modern society - its promises, institutionalization and risks. As another, classical positions in educational theory are chosen to present different perspectives on dilemmas of modernity and set the stage for the subsequent discussion of the paradigms of teacher education policy. In a brief historical account, basic positions in Danish teacher education are identified. Moving on to the European Union level, the next section is a tour de force of mostly European Commission educational documents, and it is shown that a dual, partly integrated paradigm of competence development and citizenship education catches the goals of European Union educational policy. The prevailing mode of educational governance is then analyzed; its alleged purposes and features are indicated, and a number of critical points are discussed, among them its relationship to democracy, its approach to education, its understanding of competences and its assumptions about learning outcomes. The conclusions of this discussion lead on to the issue of the nature of teacher expertise or the qualities which make for good teachers. Against this background the European principles for teacher competences are presented, and the educational thinking of the latest Danish teacher education reform is compared to them. It is shown, that the basic paradigms and a number of their dimensions are alike; but important inconsistencies are identified.
Formazione and Insegnamento, 2011, Issue April, p. 15-34
teacher education, educational policy, educational paradigms, European Union