Passivity and Authenticity in Teacher Education

  • Chris J. North
Part of the Self-Study of Teaching and Teacher Education Practices book series (STEP, volume 21)


This chapter articulates my approach to initial teacher education. It begins by establishing the criteria for quality teaching and learning, and argues that taking notes in lectures is an insufficient preparation for teaching because it promotes passivity. Pre-service teacher passivity places significant constraints on the influence of teacher education and therefore teacher education must facilitate a shift to more active learning roles. This in turn requires that teacher educators provide authentic learning opportunities. Authenticity aligns the learning in initial teacher education and the pre-service teachers’ future work as closely as possible. The second part of the chapter brings these concepts together to build a metaphor of pre-service teachers as passengers on a long-haul international flight. I argue that, like aeroplanes, the structures of classrooms and cumulative education experiences encourage passivity in pre-service teachers. The literature shows that metaphors are used widely in education and educational research. By articulating my metaphor, I am establishing a baseline from which to measure the success of my teaching in drawing pre-service teachers out of passive roles and into actively learning about becoming teachers.


Outdoor education Active learning Metaphors in research Real-life learning 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chris J. North
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand

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