Eileen Kelly-Blakeney presentation

Student experiences of widening
participation in initial teacher
education: a Bourdieusian analysis
Eileen Kelly-Blakeney
St. Angela’s College, Sligo, Ireland
Education in the Globalised Age
University of Sheffield
14 February 2014
Applying Bourdieu’s three-level
approach to studying the field
1. Analyse the position of
the field vis-à-vis the field
of power
2. Map out the objective
structure of the relations
between the positions
occupied by the agents or
3. Analyse the habitus of
(Bourdieu & Wacquant,
1992; p. 104-105)
What is the structure and
position of ITE in HE in
How is WP and increasing
access to ITE enacted in
policy and practice?
How do non-standard
entry-route students
experience undergraduate
concurrent ITE?
Level 1: ITE: a field within fields within fields…
The Hunt Report
(DES, 2011)
The Landscape
(HEA, 2012)
Report on
Collaboration &
(HEA, 2013)
Criteria & Guidelines
for programme
providers (TC, 2011)
Literacy &
for Learning
& Life
(DES, 2011)
Report on Review
of the Structure
of ITE provision
in Ireland
(DES, 2012)
Level 2: WP in ITE: policy and practice
• Accessing data from HEIs on entrants to ITE from
Access courses – difficult
• Data obtained from personal communication with
HEA and Central Applications Office (CAO)
• Fewer Mature entrants to ITE (10.6%) than
average across all programmes (14.5%)
• Steady increase in HEAR applicants since 2010
• Now more HEAR – route students in ITE (7.9%)
than average across all programmes (4.5%)
• Not all HEAR applicants receive HEAR place – thus
not eligible to avail of supports provided
Level 3: Student teachers’ stories
• Face-to-face interviews with 9 non-standard
entry-route students in 2 HEIs in Ireland
• 6 Access-Route Students (4F, 2M), 3 MatureEntry Students (2F, 1M)
• A layered approach used in data analysis:
narrative analysis of narrative (Polkinghorne,
1995), intertwined with Bourdieu’s concepts
• Narrative – focus on the ‘relational’
• Field positions of students at time of
interviews: ‘Belonging’ or ‘Adjusting’
Field Positions
• Transition easy
• ‘Same’ as everyone
• Capacity to draw on
and convert capital
• High level of agency
in negotiating both
• Heightened reflexivity
• Non disclosure of
entry route
• Feeling ‘different /
inferior’ to others
• Capital not identified
• Failure experienced in
one/both fields –
• Resilience
• Available supports not
always drawn on
• Visibility and targeting re: WP routes to ITE at preentry stage
• HEIs: ‘normalisation’ of WP entry routes would
serve to enhance the student teacher experience
• HEAR scheme is successful in WP to ITE, but
needs to be adequately resourced
• Pre-entry Access courses very beneficial
• Teaching Council: Increasing accountability re WP

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