The World Education Research Association (WERA) has officially accepted the proposal "Teacher Education for the 21st Century: Developing Teachers Who are Thoughtful, Reflective, and Inquiring" as a WRA International Research Network (IRN). The co-conveners of this IRN are Dean Jane Close Conoley of UC Santa Barbara's Gevirtz School, Oon Seng Tan, Dean of Teacher Education at the National Institute of Education, Singapore, and Woon Chia Liu, Associate Dean of the same institution. The network will satisfy the need for more conversation and research across cultures and across continents on inquiry in teacher education that defines critical components of teacher education programs that prepare teachers to be inquiring thinkers and researchers. Initial participants beyond the lead institutions of the Gevirtz School and Singapore's National Institute of Education include scholars in Denmark, Finland, Japan, Korea, Scotland, South Africa, and the American Psychological Association.
This International Research Network has six proposed aims and objectives:
1) To create an international platform for teacher educators to share and learn about practices of teacher education programs with strong inquiry components.
2) To facilitate conversations amongst teacher educators and researchers from different cultures and continents on what it means to be a thoughtful, reflective and inquiring teacher.
3) To establish network of researchers who focus on inquiry-based approach in teacher education.
4) To facilitate collaboration among researchers internationally to examine key components of teacher education programs that impact teachers' learning, especially from the perspective of being thoughtful, reflective and inquiring.
5) To collate documentary account of strong teacher education programs that aim to prepare teachers who are thoughtful, reflective and inquiring.
6) To have a professional voice on teacher education to influence governments and policy makers by working through appropriate networks such as WERA and the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Centre for Higher Education and Development (SEAMEO RIHED).
The World Education Research Association (WERA) is an association of 27 national, regional, and international specialty research associations aimed at advancing education research as a scientific and scholarly field. WERA was founded on April 18, 2009 in San Diego, California, when representatives of the member associations officially approved its establishment in accordance with the mission and articles set forth in its proposed constitution. IRNs are temporary collaborative groups of scholars working on a specific research topic primarily through virtual communication. IRNs synthesize knowledge, examine the state of research, and stimulate collaborations or otherwise identify promising directions in research areas of worldwide significance. IRNs are expected to produce substantive reports that integrate the state of the knowledge worldwide and set forth promising research directions.