Challenges to ITE research in conditions of complexity

Donald S Gray, Laura Colucci-Gray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Research into initial teacher education has come to prominence in recent years,
with governments and international organisations advocating reforms in teacher
education to serve the needs of a ‘knowledge economy’. In this context,
educational research plays a central, albeit controversial, role. On the one hand
governmental focus on increasing global economic competitiveness frames the
discourse of teacher education within agendas of scientific rationality and
the search for ‘what works’ in education; on the other hand, teachers working on
the ground are confronted with a plethora of multiple, and sometimes contrasting, interests and needs. Drawing on the experience of an ongoing Scottish Government funded project in initial teacher education in Scotland, this paper examines the tripartite tensions created by differing perspectives and rationales with respect to teacher education: policy, research and practice. Juxtaposed against recent thinking with regard to complexity theories the paper goes on to reflect on what we see as the changing attributes of practice-relevant and ethically grounded research for education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425–439
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Education for Teaching
Issue number4
Early online date27 Sep 2010
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010


  • initial teacher education
  • multiple perspectives
  • complexity
  • dialogue

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