Theory and Practice Issues in Pre-service Teacher Education: Discourse in Sweden and Turkey for the Latest Teacher Education Reforms
Constant global social and economic changes cause education systems to
change, including also teacher training. Education reforms cannot be
consideredwithout modifications for teacher training systems. In other
words, the adjustments in education systems are also reflected in the
Teacher Education Reforms across countries.Therefore, this study aims to
explore teacher education policies in twodifferent countries, Sweden and
Turkey, via the analysis of the educationreforms. Teacher training has
been modified throughout the years in the twocountries in relation to
the gap between theory and practice, which has formeda discourse around
which the reforms have developed. While Sweden was undergoing reform acts
in 1985, 2001 and 2010, Turkey went through a similar process in 1997 and
2006. The reforms are analyzed in relation to the reasons, structural and
substantive changes and expected outcomes. What were the causes for a
reform? What was changed? What was offered instead? What outcomes
were expected? These are the questions that form the core for the
analysis in the paper. These issues are interrelated with theory and
practice relations, teacher quality, and quality assurances.
We have used critical discourse analysis (Chouliaraki & Farclough,
1999;Fairclough, 1992, 1995, 2003, 2006) both theoretically and
methodologically. In terms of theoretical assumptions, intertextuality
and interdiscursivity are used as analytical screens towards which the
discourse about the relation between theory and practice in the process
of policy text production is analysed. The concept of discourse is used in
the way Fairclough (1992) defines it, as a form of language use and as a
kind of social practice, which means that discourse contains the
whole process of social interaction. For instance, the policy texts that
are analysed represent a part of this process only, though the process
also includes the conditions for policy text production and the process
The paper compares and contrasts teacher education policies in terms of
theory and practice relations within recent decades in two countries.
However, the similarities and differences are also evaluated within a
larger context, that of teacher education policies in the EU.
The study adopts the critical discourse analysis of Fairclough
(Chouliaraki &Farclough, 1999; Fairclough, 1992, 1995, 2003, 2006). The
critical discourse analysis contributes to an analytical model for
analysis of the policy text production process on the levels policy as
text, discursive practice and social practice. Using Fairclough’s
critical discourse analysis makes it possible to describe and compare the
discourse around theory and practice in relation to power and ideology in
The corpus of the study is limited to a set of key papers, such as policy
documents, authority reports like green/white papers and governmental
proposals for the latest two Teacher Education reforms:1997 and 2006 for
Turkey and 1985, 2001 and 2010 for Sweden. The further documents
include academic policy articles and reviews written specifically about
the reforms. The necessity for including these texts comes from the
difference between the strategies followed in the act of preparing and executing reforms. Turkey did not follow a similar framed policy-making for the teacher education reforms in question, unlike Sweden where government proposal had been voted in the parliament.
We expect three interrelated outcomes from this piece of study:
1. Theory and practice relations and the evolution of this
relationship throughout teacher educations reforms in Sweden and Turkey
within the recent decades will be described in-depth.
2. The reasons and outcomes of the teacher education reforms in both
countries will be compared and contrasted.
3. One can see the country profiles on education and teacher
education throughout the reforms in question.
Chouliariki, L. & Fairclough, N. (1999). Discourse in late modernity:
Rethinking Critical Discourse Analysis.Edinburgh: Edinburgh University
Fairclough, N. (1992). Discourse and Social Change. Cambridge:
Fairclough, N. (1995). Critical discourse analysis: the critical study
of language. London: Longman.
Fairclough, N. (2000). Discourse, social theory, and social research: The
discourse of welfare reform. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 4(2),
Fairclough, N. (2003). Analysing Discourse: Textual Analysis for Social
Research. London: Routledge.
Fairclough, N. (2006). Language and globalization. New York: Routledge.
Kavak, Y., Aydin, A.& Akbaba Altun, S. (2007). Ögretmen Yetistirme ve
Egitim Fakulteleri (1982-2007) [Teacher Education and Education Faculties
(1982- 2007)]. Ankara, Turkey: Yuksekogretim Kurulu Yayini, 2007-5.
Proposition(1984/85: 122). Regeringens proposition1984/85:122 om
lärarutbildning för grundskolan m.m. Stockholm: Riksdagen1985.
Proposition(1999/2000:135). En förnyadlärarutbildning. Stockholm:
Proposition (2009/10:89).Bäst i klassen – en ny lärarutbildning.Stockholm: Regeringen.