Strengthening Teacher Education

The 4th TEAN conference was held at Conference Aston in Birmingham on May 17 2013. We were very pleased to welcome a large audience of colleagues from across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to share this opportunity to celebrate the achievements of teacher educators and teacher education. Thanks are due to our main sponsor the Higher Education Academy and to Kathy Wright, the Education lead at the HEA for her support for TEAN during the year and for this conference.

We were also pleased to welcome d’Reen Struthers representing the Association for Partnership in Teacher Education and representation from the Open University Press. The title of our conference this year was ‘Strengthening teacher education’. Inspired by the Donaldson review of teacher education in Scotland, where the concept of ‘strengthening’ features throughout, this title invited presenters and delegates to explore what is meant by ‘strengthening’ in educational terms and how we go about achieving it. Donaldson suggests many areas which should be strengthened and therefore presenters could explore and share with us how their presentation contributed to this theme.

Graham Donaldson

Professor Graham Donaldson graciously accepted the invitation from TEAN to give the opening keynote at the conference and was very warmly received by delegates. Graham addressed delegates on the importance of the teacher as being central to the goal of improving education across the world. The title of his address was ‘Teaching isn’t rocket science – it’s much more complex than that!’ This, of course, immediately resonated with his audience. He stressed how important it is to minimise the chance factor for children and young people, and constantly brought us back to the central moral imperative of what we do. He argued that career-long professional learning is the route to deep and sustained improvement in education quality.

Download Professor Donaldson's comprehensive PowerPoint

Graham Donaldson is currently Honorary Professor in the School of Education at the University of Glasgow. Following his retirement as Head of HM Inspectorate of Education in 2010, he undertook a significant reform programme of teacher education for the Scottish Government and, as a result a significant reform programme is now under way.

Other Business

The keynote was followed by a wide range of presentations, round tables and workshops which were of a very high standard and much enjoyed by delegates. Many thanks to all presenters for the time they gave in preparing their presentations to help create a successful conference. Thanks also to the writers of some high quality posters which were a welcome enrichment of the day.

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