The dynamics of transformation at the Auckland College of Education 1985-2000 : an analysis of the impact of socio-political and institutional change on pre-service teacher education : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Education
Colleges of Education in New Zealand had during most of the 1900's enjoyed a protected position as sole providers of teacher education, providing the nation's centres and schools with teachers. The New Zealand Department of Education exercised tight control over the colleges and a degree of autonomy was accorded to them progressively from the 1960's. Change had been incremental and evolutionary in response to shifting socio-political pressures. Socio-political change over the period 1985 - 2000, however, was dramatic in style and profound in effect, as successive governments sought to reform the economy, the state sector, the administration of education and the shape of tertiary education. Colleges of education, along with other tertiary institutions, were manoeuvred into a competitive and contestable environment which imported into education the principles of the "free market". This qualitative study analyses the impact of those changes on pre-service teacher education at the Auckland College of Education over that intense period as transformational changes moved the College from its previously protected teachers college configuration, relating closely to the school system, to one which more typically reflected that of other tertiary institutions alongside which it now stood and with whom it now competed. A theoretical framework is developed that analyses the changes on two dimensions. A vertical axis assesses the nature of the pressures to change and the realities of the skills, knowledge, aspirations and dispositions that the staff of the College brought to them. A horizontal axis tracks the progress of the changes and their impact on the College. The study, which employed interviews with both individuals and focus groups and documents as its prime sources of data, adopted an eclectic methodological approach. Clusters of changes that impacted on pre-service teacher education emerged as "change narratives" based on sets of changes that reflected the impact of various institutional mergers, administrative and professional restructuring, the development of a research culture, the review of the degree taught jointly with the University of Auckland, and the development of a provider degree. The impact of those developments on the provisions for pre-service teacher education is evaluated and from them a set of principles for the management of transformational change in colleges of education or similar institutions and organisations is developed.