A teacher educator?

Facing the Storm?
Teacher Educators, Higher Education and
Government Policy for Teacher Education in the
Twenty First Century
Professor Jean Murray, The Cass School of Education,
University of East London.
Presentation for the University and College Union, London,
2nd November 2010
The ‘Battleground’
The part of the field which we are to examine has long been a
battleground for the expert, and many questions call for
discussion. What, for example, should be the purpose of
professional training? – its character and duration? Where
should it be given and by whom? .... At what age should it
commence? – and is a system of apprenticeship
Lance Jones - The Training of Teachers in England and Wales
A Future Vision: a model of training for twenty
first century teachers?
‘Teaching is a craft and it is best learnt as an apprentice
observing a master craftsman or woman. Watching
others, and being rigorously observed yourself as you
develop, is the best route to acquiring mastery in the
classroom.’ (Gove, 2010:6)
‘We will reform teacher training to shift trainee teachers
out of college (sic) and into the classroom’ and to ‘shift
resources so that more heads can train teachers in
their own schools’ (Gove, 2010:6).
Out of the Pedagogical Museum: the teacher
training college
Apprenticeship learning and teaching in the
nineteenth century
Back to the Future? Re-visiting old ideas... (1)
Attacks on HEIs as remote, limited in the training
provided and overly theoretical
1890s, 1960s, 1980s – 1990s (& 2010)
Dangers of school-based apprenticeship model
1880s, 1920s, 1970s, mid 1980s – mid 1990s (& 2010)
Back to the Future? Re-visiting old ideas... (2)
‘…teacher trainees (should) spend their first year in schools
apprenticed to a “master teacher”.’
Coz, C B & Boyson, R (Eds) (1977) Black Paper. London: Temple Smith
‘We … believe that there is no such thing as a qualified ‘expert’ in
education, and no coherent discipline of ‘education theory’.
Teaching, like business, is a form of practical knowledge.’
The Hillgate Group (1989) Whose Schools? A Radical Manifesto.
London: The Hillgate Group
Discourses of Derision: 1980 / 1990s
The majority of teacher training courses are
intellectually feeble and biased
They are overly concerned with topics such as race, sex,
class and even ‘anti-imperialist’ education
Their preoccupations appear designed to stir up
disaffection, to preach a spurious gospel of ‘equality’
and to subvert the entire traditional curriculum
Hillgate Group (1989:5) Whose Schools? A Radical Manifesto.
London: The Hillgate Group
A teacher educator?
A teacher educator?
Discourses of Derision: modern takes
....’the system has been brought low by poorly qualified,
trained and motivated teachers, supported by their unions.’
‘No single thing is more urgent, or more neglected, in
education policy today than to put a bomb under teacher
training and the outdated, lazy orthodoxy that has almost
wrecked English teaching traditions. That’s what is most
needed. Teacher training, teacher training, teacher
Minette Marrin in the Sunday Times, October 18, 2009
Accessed at
y_times/ 23rd November 2010.
Fitness for Purpose? Apprenticeship Learning in
Teaching in the Nineteenth Century (but not
the twentieth...)
Fitness for purpose in twenty first century
....and for twenty first century teachers and
student teachers
Global and national challenges for the teaching
Being a teacher is a complex and demanding profession
Teacher education is the key to better qualified
teachers who are able to educate pupils and teachers
for the demands of the 21st century
OECD (2005) Teachers Matter.
Joining up Professional Learning over the Life
Course: key questions
What is involved in teaching well and effectively over a
career? Pupil learning, teacher well-being and
learning, sustaining of teacher professionalism.
So what is involved in ITE as the process during which
the foundations of professionalism are forged?
Teacher education: the Janus-faced enterprise
Mis-leading dichotomies and simplistic
Practice = good; theory = bad (or vice versa)
School-based ITE = good; HE-based ITE = bad (or vice
Workplace learning = relevant; out of workplace
learning = irrelevant
Implicit learning = grounded; explicit learning out of the
workplace = difficult to apply / transfer
Immediately relevant learning = good; learning with
longer term relevance = bad
Teacher Professionalism for the Current
Teachers able to:
• meet the learning needs of increasingly diverse bodies of pupils who are
taught in increasingly diverse ways
• meet and anticipate the challenges which social and political changes
bring to education
• promote innovation
• take personal and collective responsibility for continuous professional
• meet the learning needs of neophyte professionals and experienced
Based on:
• decisions about evidence-informed practice, local needs and the broad
socio-cultural and political contexts within which the school operates
Traditional models of apprenticeship (1)
Traditional models of apprenticeship (2)
Traditional models of apprenticeship (2)
Induction: apprenticed to a ‘master’ plumber 4 days a
week – learning by watching and then doing
Attendance and study at college 1 day a week to gain
qualification – reading set texts on ‘how to’, trade
manuals, health and safety guidance etc etc
CPL: reading of new product publicity, new guidance on
how to fit products. Plumbing Today.
Occasional discussions with fellow plumbers / builders
/ customers on new developments.
Teach yourself new techniques – trial and error.
Workplace Learning: a panacea for all ills?
• Emphasises value of experiential knowledge above other sources of
knowledge generation
• In teaching adds to the over-valuation of classroom teaching as an activity
• Sees immediate learning in the workplace as most valuable
• But doesn’t always acknowledge that not all workplaces can provide the
necessary conditions for learners to be novices nor the variety of contexts
required for full professional induction
• Emphasises the importance of the ‘community’ inducting the newcomer
and drawing her/him into established practice
• Strengthens immediate and ‘local knowledge’ in teaching but does not
always acknowledge the broader context or add to the overall
development of the profession as a whole
The Cultures of ITE and Collegial CPL in Schools
as Workplaces
• Cultures strong in some schools but generally still weak across
the system as a whole
• Not all schools participate in ITE or have sustained
commitment to collegial CPL
• Schools’ priorities firmly focused on pupils first and foremost
• Pressures and pace of school life may make little space for
workplace learning
• Mentoring and school-based teacher education roles still not
fully recognised or accredited
• Risk of reproducing only local and experiential knowledge
Teacher Educators: the hidden profession
A generation of teacher educators closer to and more
knowledgeable about the school sector than ever
before • Overview knowledge of schooling, including but going well
beyond experiential knowledge
• Scholarship and / or active research engagement
• 2nd order pedagogy and practice, including student support
• Development of practical theorising skills with student
• Often caught between a rock and a hard place in terms of
‘fit’with HE workplaces and traditional constructions of
academic roles
Teacher education: the Janus-faced enterprise
The Faces of Janus: looking at, not looking
Neither schools nor HEIs - as the two faces of Janus in teacher
education - currently bring their full power to ITE and collegial
Tacit divisions, judgemental stances, derision and lack of
recognition based on old (and sometimes outdated) visions of
teaching and ITE abound under the rhetoric of partnership
ITE clearly needs the contributions of both schools and HEIs to
create a coherent and viable national system of ITE fit for the
21st century teacher.
Apprenticeship models alone cannot provide this; nor can an ad
hoc model of school-centred provision
Strengthening the HE Contribution (1)
• Re-clarification of what we mean by reflexivity, enquiry, scholarship &
research in ITE, CPL and Schools of Education
• Values base of ITE and CPL work in HE is clarified
• Use this understanding to re-think the place of academic activities in
Schools of Education – stakeholder / user engagement; impact?
• Create communal structures and ‘scaffolds’ across schools for the
development of evidence-informed reflexivity from student teacher to
experienced professional.
• Allow time to do this.
• Centre teacher development around a scholarly knowledge base about
learning and teaching in educational institutions and communities (true
Strengthening the HE Contribution (2)
• Articulation of panoply of scholarship and research activities,
their purposes and how they are manifested as processes and
• Teacher educators ‘standing at the forefront of their
discipline’ (Furlong, 2009)
• Highlight and disseminate 2nd order practice
• Generate and disseminate products of teacher and teacher
educator scholarship in conventional and new media
• Join forces with other professional education fields in HE
(nurse education, social work education)
Strengthening the School Contribution
• Participation in ITE and collegial CPL becomes the required
norm for schools and is seen as integral to teachers’ career
• Values base of ITE and CPL work is clarified. Challenge the
dominance of experiential knowledge in teaching.
• Role of mentors and of school-based teacher educators is fully
recognised, accredited and linked to further study
opportunities (generation of scholarship). Recognition of 2nd
order practice – androgogy as well as pedagogy. Award of
clinical practitioner role?
• Teachers have opportunities throughout their career for
further development through formal academic study and the
generation of personal scholarship and research
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