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A critical review of Allen Pearson,The Teacher: Theory and Practice in Teacher Education


If I have understood Pearson's use of “a practice” correctly my main objection to his project is that it gives the current practices of teaching far too much normative force over the educational beliefs of teachers. While the principles of practical reasoning advocated by Pearson may serve to test the coherence of the various beliefs which are part of current practice, they do not suffice to test the reasonableness of such beliefs. To do this we need, at least for some of these beliefs, to draw upon the resources made available to us by such theoretical practices as psychology, philosophy, history, etc. None of these, of course, nullifies the significance of regarding teaching as a practice. Indeed, such a conception is a forceful reminder that the theoretical practices which are concerned with education need to focus on current teaching practices if they are to guard against the sort of empty rationalism despised by Oakeshott, while saying something to the teaching profession. This will not give us an educational theory, but rather theoretical perspectives on teaching as a practice.

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  1. Harman, G.: 1986,Changes in View: Principle of Reasoning, The M.I.T, Press, Cambridge.

  2. MacIntrye, A.: 1981,After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory, University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame.

  3. Pearson, A.: 1989,The Teacher: Theory and Practice in Teacher Education, Routledge, New York.

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O'Leary, P. A critical review of Allen Pearson,The Teacher: Theory and Practice in Teacher Education . Stud Philos Educ 13, 157–162 (1994).

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  • Teacher Education
  • Belief Revision
  • Normative Belief
  • Educational Theory
  • Causal Belief