Promoting teacher education curricula by using methods of historical research: Estonian case

(full text in pdf format)


Edgar Krull

University of Tartu



Abstract. The main purpose of this historical case study is to show that by studying the past of teacher education at an institution of higher education or in a country one can capitalize on the already existing experiences and avoid wasting resources on reinventing the wheel, even where radical social changes characterize the studied period . This claim is exemplified by describing and analyzing teacher education organization, principles, and content at Tartu University, Estonia, over a period of eighty years. A special focus is given to the period of Soviet occupation (1940–1991) and its impact on the current subject of teacher education practice in Estonia. The study proves that teacher education principles, organization, and content are more similar than dissimilar with the conditions charac­teristic of Soviet totalitarianism and liberal democracy, if the ideological biases and distortions of totalitarianism are filtered out.


Keywords: historical research, teacher education, teacher education curriculum, teacher induction, teacher education practice, educational renewal, educational research, teacher training





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