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Teacher Education Futures - England

This event was sponsored by ESCalate, the Education Subject Centre of the Higher Education Academy

TEAN and ESCalate - Working together for the future of teacher education

On March 4th 2011, colleagues from teacher education in England came together at the University of Cumbria to discuss the future of teacher education in England. The following is a report of that day.

Andy Jones

Andy Jones, PVC and Dean of the Institute of Education, Manchester Metropolitan University and Vice Chair of UCET started the day with a thought-provoking keynote, outlining the shifting landscape of teacher education in England. He reminded us firmly that all concerned must remember to think of the children and young people at the centre of this shifting landscape and of how vital it is that, whatever happens, it is for their good that we always act. We in teacher education, Andy encouraged us, have enormous evidence that our work is transformative, powerful and successful. We are in a situation where there is little clarity concerning even the immediate future, but the partnerships that we have built with schools are built on secure foundations and working together remains of prime importance.

Download Andy Jones' PowerPoint

Sam Twiselton

Sam Twiselton, Dean of Education at the University of Cumbria, continued the theme of the day in the afternoon keynote by asking delegates to look positively and proactively towards the future. Sam discussed the moral purpose we all feel in teacher education and spoke of the massive expertise that teacher educators possess and transmit to their students as they journey towards being effective teachers. She spoke of the importance of multiple, contested perspectives; the school is central but time away is also important. Schools have many things that they can do which universities and colleges cannot but conversely we have many things that schools cannot offer and it is the combination of the two which allows effective teachers to grow. It is vitally important not to sit back and let things happen, but to take steps to shape our future.

Download Sam Twiselton's PowerPoint

Group Discussions

All delegates at the events discussed the issues of the day in group sessions. Following Andy Jones' presentation they addressed the following questions: 'What are we doing?' 'What could we do?' and 'What should we advise our teacher educator leaders to do? Sam Twiselton presented a list of what we offer teacher education and delegates were asked to continue this list and consider how we can inject the things we offer as HEIs into the things we are doing and could do. Six groups worked very hard at their task during the day and presented back to delegates in a plenary session. Many thanks to all the delegates who contributed and to the chairs of the groups - Andy Hamill from the University of Chester, Peter Horsfall from Liverpool John Moores University, Penny Sweasey from MMU, Neil Stott from Nottingham Trent University, Tricia Sterling from Liverpool John Moores University and Virginia Corbyn from Canterbury Christ Church University - who did such an excellent job of steering the discussions during the day and presenting the views of their group. We strongly urge you to engage with the notes presented here from the groups; they trace the groups' journey through the day from fears and gloom to a positive determination to be proactive and constructive in the face of our teacher education future in England. 

The summary of the groups' discussions

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