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Hirschkorn, Mark, Paula Kristmanson, Alan Sears, Kathy Winslow, and Sharon Rich. "The Perfect Storm: Moving a Teacher Education Reform from Vision to Reality." Education Canada 50, no. 1 (2010): 19-21. 


In August 2008, the Faculty of Education at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) successfully began a new 11-month undergraduate education program, which features an "embedded practicum" and an emphasis on field-faculty collaboration. This is a considerable departure from the former 5-year concurrent and 2-year consecutive B.Ed. programs the Faculty offered. The significance of this accomplishment was emphasized to the authors during a recent conference presentation on the highlights of the new program and the lessons they learned during its inaugural year. During the conference session, which was attended by members of faculties of education from across the country, one participant noted, "We all have program vision. How was your faculty able to translate that vision into reality?" This question sparked a series of conversations and considerable reflection as the authors realized that they had been successful at moving forward with a process that often stymies others. They concluded that a range of disparate factors converged at the same time, creating a "perfect storm" that opened the possibility for reform. While the confluence of many of these factors was purely coincidental, the authors believe there may be important lessons to learn from their experience about how to take advantage of perfect storm conditions in order to move reform forward in educational settings. This article is not a prescriptive list of steps to make teacher education reform easy, or even doable. It is, however, a call for close examination of current circumstances with the view to seeing what opportunities they provide for positive reform.

Education Canada