A Brief History of the Centre

our story

Centre for the Study of Teacher Education was founded in 1982 with the primary purpose of nurturing the growth of research activities among faculty and graduate students in the field of teacher education.

Ian Housego was the first Director of the Centre and he served in that capacity for four years. During this time one of the primary mandates of the Centre was the promotion of research on teacher education, which entailed the involvement of both faculty members and graduate students. This was accomplished through several types of activities. First, there were two invitational conferences with participating speakers from all over North America and England. The latter conference resulted in an edited book (Housego & Grimmett, 1985). A second type of activity was the invitation of high profile researchers in the field of teacher education to U.B.C. to present seminars and workshops on research in teacher education. (For example, Walter Doyle and Peter Mortimer presented seminars on their work in the field and James Raths and Lillian Katz conducted a two day workshop on conceptual problems and methods of conducting research in the field of teacher education). A third type of activity was the sponsoring of doctoral students through two to three research fellowships per year.

Peter Grimmett became the second director of the Centre in 1986. The financial resources available to the Centre were reduced at this point in time resulting in a shift in the primary strategy of the Director. Peter decided to focus on increasing the visibility of the Centre nationally and to develop specific research projects in collaboration with other faculty members for the purpose of obtaining outside research funding through agencies such the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Hence he became an active member of the Canadian Association of Teacher Educators and organized four mini-conferences on research in teacher education that were held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Canadian Society for the Study of Education. He was also successful in obtaining a major SSHRC grant with Patricia Crehan. This project focussed on collaborative inquiry into classroom management models. This grant supported a number of graduate students and resulted in five graduate degrees and several research articles. Gaalen Erickson was also a Centre Associate at this time and during this time period he held two major SSHRC grants which focussed on inquiring into problems associated with science teacher education. These were collaborative projects involving both pre-service science teachers and experienced science teachers. In addition, Peter and Gaalen worked together on a research agenda aimed at understanding better the nature of reflective practice as it was being developed at the time by Donald Schön. This work resulted in an edited book called Reflection in Teacher Education published in 1988.

In the Fall of 1991, Peter Grimmett assumed a post at Simon Fraser University, and Gaalen took over as Acting Director and then in the Spring of 1994 was appointed as the third Director in the Centre’s history. Under Gaalen’s directorship, a number of initiatives were undertaken, including  establishment of the CITE Cohort in Teacher Education and the inaugural IOP conference in 1997.  Both initiatives continue to this day.  Gaalen was also responsible for the Centre’s role in organizing CSSE 2007, the annual Canadian national educational research conference.

Throughout most of this time, Judy Paley was the CSTE secretary.  Her tireless work for the Centre stands as one of the hallmarks of dedication for Teacher Education at UBC.

After Gaalen’s retirement in 2010, Anthony Clarke and David Coulter took over as Co-Directors of the Centre.  In 2012, Anthony Clarke and Anne Phelan became Co-Directors, a role which they continue in today.