Unsquaring Teacher Education

Reshaping Teacher Education in the Context of a Research I University
  • Judith Mcvarish
  • Frances Rust
Part of the Self Study of Teaching and Teacher Education Practices book series (STEP, volume 2)


In this chapter, we analyze a new undergraduate teacher education program as an example of an educational innovation in higher education. We use the geometric tangram puzzle — a puzzle of seven pieces that always begins as a perfect square — as a metaphor for the program. In using the tangram metaphor and rearranging the pieces to make the shapes that are part of the puzzle itself: square, parallelogram, and triangle, we argue that teacher education is more than a random array of parts: Construed as a meaningful whole, the parts are open to a variety of arrangements which might be seen as adaptive and essential to the shaping of practice in various contexts. We see in this work implications for reform in teacher education as well as in teaching and, ultimately, in schools.


Teacher Education Teacher Education Program Tangram Puzzle Child Case Study Student Teaching Site 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Judith Mcvarish
    • 1
  • Frances Rust
    • 1
  1. 1.New York UniversityUSA

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