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 June 14th 2011, colleagues from teacher education in came together at Stirling Management Centre to discuss the future of teacher education Scotland with a particular emphasis on developing partnership. The following is a report of that day.
The 2010 Donaldson report recommends the necessity of building stronger partnerships within teacher education in Scotland; partnership with local authorities and schools should be strengthened to create relationships which are collaborative rather complementary. Delegates at this event considered how best these partnerships could be forged and sustained; local Authority and University partners came together to debate the issues, to identify challenges and opportunities and to share ideas on ways forward.
Tony Finn, Chief Executive of the General Teaching Council for Scotland started the day with a keynote exploring the challenges and opportunities of partnership. Tony reminded us that whatever we do, we do ultimately and most importantly for children and young people and that this should always be our main driver. He explained that all teachers want to improve and that the key is professionalism and that high strands of professionalism should be promoted through Consistency, Coherence, Responsibility and Quality. Tony was not convinced that all teachers could or should be teacher educators as Donaldson proposes but did feel that many should be and all could strive to be. As far as partnerships are concerned, Tony reminded us that we may think we are all doing the same but we are not, and that we may think we are being supportive but may well be undermining one another; knowing each other then becomes crucial. There are dangers with partnerships which need to be recognised: working collaboratively is not straightforward; there is a danger of complacency or simply adjusting to what we have at present. The important question to ask is ‘What does partnership mean?’ The answer to that question will help form the stronger partnerships which will benefit us all.
Download Tony's presentation
To start the afternoon, Jayne Bruce from the University of Aberdeen and Dr Beth Dickson from the University of Glasgow described successful projects undertaken in their respective universities; Glasgow and Aberdeen are ahead of the field in partnership and so set the scene for delegate groups to consider future possibilities.
Jayne Bruce spoke about different forms of partnership in developing practice and described strong partnerships which have been established in Aberdeen.
Download Jayne's PowerPoint
Beth Dickson picked up the theme of ‘All teachers teacher educators’ from Donaldson to which Tony had referred. She considered how overwhelming change can be when it carries on for years and went on to explain a project carried out at the University of Glasgow whose aims are:
- To co-construct and implement a new collaborative school (and community) based partnership approach to supporting the professional learning and development of student teachers, teachers and tutors
- To establish closer communication, shared understanding and relationships
- To build capacity within the profession to engage with effective practice-based and evidence-informed models of professional learning…
- To identify and evaluate the particular benefits for partnership…
Download Beth's PowerPoint
Delegates were asked to consider the present situation with regard to partnership and think of ways to strengthen or build those partnerships.
Download the notes from the group discussions. Please note that these note are in raw for and will be refined once the whole Teacher Education Futures programmes completed.