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Caribbean Journal of Education

Making the Transition from College to Classroom What Knowledge Do Teachers Use and Why?

Publication Date: 
April 1997

School personnel often lament the quality of newly trained teachers who, they say, are unable to manage and control classes, and who seem unable to carry out effectively the routines of teaching. Teacher educators decry the rapidity with which the new graduate ceases to attend to important principles and concepts learned in college. Researchers have often referred to the gap between theory (what is taught in college) and practice (what occurs in the classroom). The graduates themselves in study after study have acknowledged that their college courses were too theoretical and had little influence on their practice (e.g., Lortie 1975). The expectation that the new teacher will apply the skills and knowledge learned in college is, on the surface, a reasonable one. For this is the purpose of the teacher education programme, and graduates have been able to show enough competence in theory and practice to be certified.

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