teacher education in England

Professional preparation in
times of change: teacher
education in England
Jonathan Allen, Jacek Brant, Norbert Pachler
and Katharine Vincent
November 2014
• The “good teacher”
• Good teaching
• Teacher training or teacher education?
• ITE landscape in England
• Routes into teaching
• Partnership: universities and schools
• Conclusion and arguments
Emphasis on importance of teacher quality
The best school systems are those that have the best
teachers. Countries and regions such as Finland,
Singapore, South Korea, Ontario and others recruit
teachers from the top echelon of graduates each year,
they pay them well and they create and maintain a
culture of inclusion and quality throughout teachers’
careers that imbues the whole school system.
Barber, M., and Mourshed, M., (2008) How the world’s best
performing school systems come out on top
London and New York: McKinsey
Emphasis on importance of teacher quality
What is the most important schoolrelated factor in student learning?
The answer is teaching
Bob Schwartz, 2010
What makes great teaching?
Sutton Trust Report (2014) identifies 6 factors:
• Content knowledge
• Quality of ‘instruction’
• Classroom climate
• Classroom management
• Teachers’ beliefs
• Professional behaviours
Initial teacher training
Craft knowledge: learn from
seasoned experts replicate ‘best practice’
Theory and practice are
independent of each other
Competencies to evidence
Knowledge as a defined
Teaching is complex
Knowledge is ‘messy’
Good teaching requires
the understanding of
classrooms as systems
Theory and practice are
Teachers as professionals
Changes to the ITE landscape in England
between the 1988 and 2014
1988: Education Reform Act
- 1998: Start of Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP) and
School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT)
- 2002: Introduction of Teach First
2010: DfE White Paper ‘The Importance of Teaching’
(followed by 2011 Education Act)
- 2011: Designation of first Teaching Schools
- 2012: Introduction of School Direct
Changing relationships with schools
owing to the current policy context
Under the current UK government, education policy has
- Teaching as ‘practical competence’ and as ‘craft’
- The idea of ‘Teaching Schools’ where new entrants are provided
training ‘on the job’ and where ‘trainee teachers can observe and
learn from great teachers’
- The benefits of ‘school-based’ (and ‘school-led’) teacher training
- Challenging and questioning the role of universities in relation to
teacher education and training
Current routes into teaching in the UK
‘University-led’ programmes:
Bachelor of Arts (BA) with QTS (3 or 4 years)
Bachelor of Education (BEd) (4 years)
Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) (1 year)
‘School-led’ programmes:
Teach First (1 year – training ‘on the job’)
School Direct (1 year – salaried trainees train ‘on the job’
and unsalaried trainees usually join a PGCE programme)
**All of these routes lead to QTS**
‘Responding to our critics’
(Grossman 2008)
Teacher educators must be able to provide credible evidence of the
effectiveness of their practice in preparing teachers which enable them
to make strong claims about the effectiveness of their programmes.
This will require:
- Well-designed and well-executed studies examining the outcomes of
different teacher education programmes, using clear, credible
procedures for data collection and analysis.
Comparative studies teasing out the effects of different programmes,
based on characteristics of entrants or the specific effects of
particular pedagogical approaches.
More ‘programmatic research’, focusing on a critical set of questions,
that builds on its own findings and provides better, clearer answers.
‘An economy of discourses and truth’
(Maguire 2014)
We must resist the technology of erasure:
‘the erasure of the work of progressive and reforming teacher
educationalists who have in different times attempted to produce new
ways of using school-based experiences to produce new forms of
teacher (and trainee teacher) knowledge.’
Teacher educators working in
universities must...
- Continue to engage with schools and teachers, contributing to the
development of a research-informed and research active profession, and
developing even stronger, more constructive relationships with schools.
- Design, undertake and disseminate research which provides credible
evidence of the effectiveness of their approaches to teacher education.
- Continue to challenge the ‘erasure’ of contributions made by progressive and
reforming teacher educators; continue to emphasize the extent to which
teacher education has always been rooted in schools.
Jacek Brant
[email protected]
Katharine Vincent
[email protected]

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