UCD School of Education Associate Professor, Judith Harford, Co-Authors Journal Article Examining Recent Reforms in Irish Teacher Education

Judith Harford Picture

UCD School of Education Associate Professor, Judith Harford, has published a journal article titled, 'The Discourse of Partnership and the Reality of Reform: Interrogating the Recent Reform Agenda at Initial Teacher Education and Induction Levels in Ireland'

This paper examines two recent reforms in Irish teacher education and two aspects of partnership: the partnership between universities and schools as a core part of initial teacher education, and the partnership in policy development and implementation in the area of induction. Through an analysis of key documents which underpin the reform agenda, it argues that the partnership metaphor has been loosely employed in the Irish context to denote consensus and collaboration. The absence of any real interrogation of what partnership means, how it can be nurtured, and what supports are required to promote authentic and complementary partnership between schools and universities, or between and within schools means that policy decisions, made at the central level and which are implemented by practitioners, are floundering. It further contends that the ubiquitous nature of the discourse on partnership evident across the policy space legitimises the top-down policy development and reform, in the case of school placement and latterly induction, and masks the lack of any sustainable partnership framework to support these initiatives, a factor that threatens the very essence of the reform agenda.

Harford, J. and O’ Doherty, T. (2016) ‘The Discourse of Partnership and the Reality of Reform: Interrogating the Recent Reform Agenda at Initial Teacher Education and Induction Levels in Ireland’, Centre for Educational Policy Studies Journal, (in press)