Giroux and McLaren (1987) remind us that ‘one of the great failures of North American education has been its inability seriously to threaten or eventually replace the prevailing paradigm of teacher as a former classroom manager with the more emancipatory model of the teacher as critical theorist’ (p. 286). At the same time, they continue, ‘teacher education has consistently failed to provide students with the means…for fashioning a more critical discourse and set of understandings around the goal and purposes of schooling’. And John Wilson (1989) has recently said that ‘all practising teachers, right from the beginning, face problems both inside and outside the classroom which are not purely ‘practical’ and involve serious reflection on educational and social issues’ (p. 5).