The Carter Review of Initial Teacher Training (England) published its findings on 19 January 2015. This independent review was set up to look at the quality and effectiveness of ITT courses in England. This TEAN event invited colleagues to come together to consider the outcomes of the report and offered the opportunity to consider positive moves forward ‘after Carter’.
Professor Samantha Twiselton
TEAN was delighted to welcome Professor Samantha Twiselton from Sheffield Hallam University to give the opening keynote for the day. Professor Twiselton is the Director of Sheffield Institute of Education at Sheffield Hallam University. She was a member of the advisory panel for the Carter Review of ITT and was heavily involved in visiting providers, meeting with experts and analysing a wide range of evidence from across all routes into teaching. Sam offered delegates a very useful oversight of the Carter Review from her perspective as a panel member which set the scene for the day.
Chris Carpenter and Sean Cavan
Both Chris and Sean gave us much food for thought and valuable insights from both philosophical and practical standpoints.
Chris Carpenter is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Education at Canterbury Christ Church University. Currently he is the subject leader for the secondary Physical Education PGCE and also teaches on the MA education where he leads a module on Effective learning and a module on Educational Policy.
Sean Cavan is Head of Strategic Business Engagement at Sheffield Hallam University and Vice Chair of UCET, the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers. His teaching interests include: The development of high-quality, accessible and meaningful learning experiences that meet the needs of organisations and the individual professionals that work within them.
Group sessions provided further interesting reactions and many useful ideas for moving forward after the Carter Review.
- Challenges: SCITT/other partnerships with universities overseeing PGCE and M level credits
- Challenge: applicant confusion
- Challenge: moving forward when recent changes have threatened out roles
- Auditing and teaching Subject Knowledge presents a variety of time and funding-based challenges (R2 and 3)
R2 - All ITT partnerships should:
i. rigorously audit, track and systematically improve trainees’ subject knowledge throughout the programme
ii. ensure that changes to the curriculum and exam syllabi are embedded in ITT programmes
iii. ensure that trainees have access to high quality subject expertise
iv. ensure that trainees have opportunities to learn with others training in the same subject
R3 - Schools should include subject knowledge as an essential element of professional development
- Uncertainty of numbers limits strategic planning
- Delivery of very small subject specialist subjects
- QA issue remains within the partnership
- Note that a core content for ITT will not change much!
R1- DfE should commission a sector body (for example, the Teaching Schools Council, a future professional body (College of Teaching), or another sector body) to develop a framework of core content for ITT
- R4 is good recommendation, but barely feasible
R4 - DfE should make funded in-service subject knowledge enhancement courses available for primary teachers to access as professional development
- R5 Universities seem already to be making provision.
R5 - Universities should explore offering “bridge to ITT” modules
- SD allocations make placement more straightforward
- The task of placement procurement may be alleviated for HEIs because SD transfers that responsibility to schools
- A national ITT framework SHOULD encourage and facilitate more progressive and scheduled observation opportunities and foci for trainees as schools have increased responsibility for programme design.
Future role of the HEI
- In seeking to articulate what it is that HE contributes to ITE, should we ensure that universities are positioned not as ivory towers from which to view practice and theorise from a distance but as comfortable spaces (in time and/or location) in which teachers from all educational environments can come together to reflect on how we, together, contribute to learning?
- Important role of HE in research
- Offering academic identity
- There is a need to carve out unique roles in ITE for university
- We need to maintain the ‘HE-ness’ of ITE
- The opportunity for positive steps
- Consider how we ensure a high quality student journey.
- Consider how we structure the learning over the period.
- Consider what is special about teacher education pedagogy; research on this is weak.
- Consider lesson study
- Articulate subject specific pedagogy
- Strength in collaborative approach rather than competitive approach - Work together to find solutions
- There needs to be a resource review – in particular staffing recognition of time required to work in partnership
- By producing professional practice papers for schools/teachers from academic
- Changing mode of delivery – subject knowledge and pedagogy – using VLE with a supported infrastructure
- Mentor standards a good thing
R12 - DfE should commission a sector body, for example the Teaching Schools Council, to develop some national standards for mentors
- The mentoring culture of the school is key
- Mentoring and links to helping students to develop behaviour management strategies is key – however many university-based sessions there are and however good they are, there is a need to test and apply in practice
- Lesson observation – we can do more with this – more research is needed. We can make more of this work with the mentors and students
Many thanks to all for a day full of interesting debate and helpful inspiration.