Teacher Preparation in Scotland

Cover of Teacher Preparation in Scotland

Synopsis

Table of contents

(17 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-xvi
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Abstract

This introductory chapter provides an explanation for and overview of this edited collection, including a brief synopsis of the themes which are developed in its chapters. Themes include the contested site of teacher preparation, whether it should take place mainly at university or in schools and whether the emphasis should be on the academic discipline of education or on the practical elements of teaching. A second theme relates to the impact of education policy on teacher preparation; in particular, the devolution of powers from the UK Parliament and Government to the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Executive (now Scottish Government). In this devolved context a new curriculum framework covering those aged 3–18 years, called Curriculum for Excellence, was introduced in 2010 and recently a Scottish solution to teacher shortages has been to create online and distance learning routes into teaching. A third recurring theme in the book is the review of all forms of teacher education led by the former Chief Inspector of schools, Graham Donaldson. This review resulted in a seminal report, ‘Teaching Scotland's Future’, and its 50 recommendations included many related to teacher preparation and induction. This collection also shines a light on some hitherto neglected areas of teacher preparation, including the Episcopalian Teacher Training College and the preparation for English Language teachers.

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This chapter examines the inauguration of the university study of Education in Scotland and its relation to teacher education in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The chapter outlines moves to establish Education as a disciplinary field in higher education and the junctures at which this movement aligns with and is in tension with concurrent moves to advance teaching as a profession. Academisation and professionalisation are the twin poles of this debate. This is not a parochial or obsolete debate. The place of teacher preparation in higher education has been the focus of sustained discussion across Anglophone nations. Three examples – the inauguration of chairs and lectureships, the governance of teacher education and deliberation on the content and purpose of a degree in Education – are used to help explain the apparent paradox between the historic place of education in Scottish culture and identity and the relatively recent full involvement of Scotland's universities in the professional preparation of teachers. Investigating the activities of the first academic community of educationists in Scotland may help to understand continuing struggles over jurisdiction and authority in this contested and yet neglected field.

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This chapter offers a description and analysis of teacher preparation in Scotland from the period after World War 1 to the end of the twentieth century. It traces the development of the sector from Training Centres responsible to Provincial and National Committees, through monotechnic Colleges of Education, to Faculties of Education within Universities. Among the topics covered are: political and economic pressures affecting the policy context; the drive to improve standards and raise the professional status of teachers; the influence of key policy documents, such as the 1965 Primary Memorandum; the degree of control exercised by the Scottish Education Department; the significance of shifts in language (e.g. training/education/professional learning). The 1960s are seen as a particularly important period when major structural changes were introduced in Scottish education (e.g. the establishment of the General Teaching Council and Central Committees reviewing particular aspects of the school curriculum): these impacted on the aims and content of courses designed to prepare trainee teachers for work in schools. Similarly, later reforms of curriculum and assessment (Standard Grade, 5–14, Higher Still) necessitated responses by the teacher education community. Throughout the chapter certain key themes recur: the relationship between colleges and universities; the variable scope for innovation at different points in the twentieth century; the differential provision for primary and secondary teachers, graduates and non-graduates, men and women; the relative importance of academic knowledge and pedagogic skills.

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The re-establishment of the Scottish Parliament in 1999, with education in schools being a devolved area, meant that school education would be area of focus for the labour–liberal democrat coalition. The consequent impact on Teacher Education of changes to school education is explored. This chapter will consider changes such as Curriculum for Excellence to discuss how Initial Teacher Education (ITE) at universities was impacted and, additionally, how changes to teacher conditions, following the McCrone Agreement, effected change in teachers' working conditions, and which influenced a range of professional standards under the guardianship of the General Teaching Council for Scotland. These factors engendered a fundamental shift in teachers' professional development. The chapter also explores the context of ITE with its locus firmly in Higher Education Institutions and how operational and strategic issues impacted the discipline of ITE within universities. In relation to ITE specifically, the two-stage review is discussed but the chapter concludes that the most change and innovation occurred at the post-qualification level rather than within ITE in universities. The reasons for this are explored.

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At the centre of recent reforms relating to Scottish teacher education is the report of a large-scale review, ‘Teaching Scotland's Future’ (Donaldson, 2011). This chapter provides a critical overview of one aspect of the review, namely partnership. Two key agendas underpinned the 50 recommendations contained in the Donaldson Report: the development and strengthening of partnership between universities, local authorities and schools; and, the modernisation and ‘re-invigoration’ of teacher professionalism. In ‘Teaching Scotland's Future’ it was argued that both of these are required for the development of ‘high quality’ teachers through initial teacher education. The report positioned teaching as an intellectual occupation, highlighting the complexity involved, making clear that teacher preparation should remain within the context of higher education.

Although the key messages from ‘Teaching Scotland's Future’ received support from across the education sector, the extent to which they have been achieved in practice remains unclear. We will explore the extent to which this key text has been translated into current initial teacher education provision through results from the Measuring Quality in Initial Teacher Education (MQuITE) Project and the ways in which partnership was experienced in post-Donaldson working. Through this partnership working will be examined in Scotland. The chapter will conclude by considering where we are now, and some final thoughts will be presented about the role that ‘Teaching Scotland's Future’ can play in a changing partnership policy landscape.

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This chapter will provide an overview of Bachelor’s degrees into teaching in Scotland. It will consider how policy contexts shaped the original Bachelor degrees in Education (BEd) and more recently how policy discourse and texts have helped to shape the development of the new Bachelor's degrees in Education now on offer in Scotland.

Whilst the traditional Bachelor's degree in Education for many years remained the main undergraduate route for teacher education in Scotland, the publication of ‘Teaching Scotland's Future’ (Donaldson, 2011) recommended a gradual phasing out of the traditional undergraduate degree and the development of a new Bachelor's in Education ‘concurrent’ or ‘combined’ four-year undergraduate route. Donaldson's ‘vision’ of concurrency has been interpreted in many different ways across Scotland's universities resulting in a rich variety of new Bachelor's degrees in Education reflecting a range of structural, contextual, attitudinal and environmental constraints and opportunities which have influenced the nature of ‘concurrency’ at each institution.

The chapter traces how a number of influential policy texts from the 1960s onwards have influenced the repositioning of the new Bachelor degrees, which in turn aimed to broaden student teachers' understanding of teaching in the twenty-first century.

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The Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) is one of the two main initial teacher education routes in Scotland. It is a short (1 academic year) university-based course, in which school placement is integrated, enabling students to develop and apply knowledge, skills and values for a career in primary or secondary education.This chapter explains the PGDE university provision across Scotland and the role of the General Teaching Council for Scotland in the design of, and recruitment to, the courses. The current high demand for places on PGDE Primary courses is not mirrored in PGDE Secondary, in which there are many ‘hard-to-fill’ subjects, leading to varied recruitment to, and selection of, applicants to the courses. The PGDE is acknowledged to be intense and demanding and yet remains a popular, viable route; this chapter discusses reasons for its appeal over the undergraduate route.

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This chapter focuses on the school placement element of Initial Teacher Education provision. It opens with an examination of a range of issues characterising research and writing about placement at global level before considering the vernacular nuances of the Scottish context. The chapter then turns to the problematic matter of quality in teaching practice and argues against reifying school placement as something that exists separate or apart from the student teachers who participate in it. It challenges simplistic analyses of the quality of the placement in terms of external provision through supportive mentoring relationships within a welcoming organisational culture. Drawing on data from the author's recent research, the relational nature of the school placement is emphasised and an argument promoted that individual student teachers make significant contributions to the nature of the support they experience on placement. Implications for further research are considered in the conclusion.

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This chapter critically examines the provision and underlying partnership structure of a range of online and distance teacher preparation courses introduced in Scotland from 2014 to 2018. These courses reflect a period of teacher shortages and were developed by Universities in partnership with local authority employers, particularly in rural areas. This chapter explores the geographic and policy context before analysing the national and local policy drivers that led to the expansion of online and distance provision. The structures of a range of programmes introduced by the University of the Highlands and Islands, the University of Aberdeen and the University of Dundee are considered in detail. This is reflected against the national policy drivers of teacher shortages in rural areas, the challenges of recruiting secondary science and technology teachers and the introduction of national funding from the Scottish Government for ‘New Routes into Teaching’. The Government aim of recruiting highly qualified graduates into teaching as a career is contrasted with the local requirement to support a wider more equitable access to a teaching career, for people already committed to living in rural Scotland. This chapter concludes with an analysis of the processes and technology utilised in these programmes before considering the future of online and distance teacher preparation in Scotland.

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This chapter explores the idea of Masters-level Initial Teacher Education (ITE), beginning by looking at the wider global context which reflects a drive towards increasing Masters-level ITE, but with limited empirical evidence as to its effectiveness and a variety of claims as to its potential impact. It then goes on to examine aspects of the policy context in Scotland that influence a growing move towards increased Masters-level ITE. This is followed by an overview of current practices, identifying three broad approaches: credits in courses, integrated Masters and full Masters. This chapter concludes by suggesting that while the direction of travel is clear, the underpinning rationale is much less so.

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Teacher Induction

Pages 151-164
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Scotland's Teacher Induction Scheme, which covers new teachers in the state sector, was introduced in 2002, before which there was a 2-year probation period. This chapter covers teacher probation prior to 2002; the components of the Teacher Induction Scheme; allocation of induction year teachers; the Standard for Full Registration; support and professional learning and tensions in the scheme, namely mentors' dual support and assessment roles, the vulnerable position of induction year teachers and the role of universities in teacher induction. While there have been some minor changes to the Teacher Induction Scheme and the Flexible Route (originally called the Alternative Route) to Registration, there has not been an official review or overhaul since their introduction in 2002. Therefore, this chapter concludes with suggestions on possible future developments.

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The history of Catholic Teacher Education is linked to the growth and development of Catholic schools that began in the early nineteenth century. The Catholic Church struggled to recruit enough certificated teachers and relied heavily on pupil teachers. This began to be resolved with the opening of Notre Dame College, Glasgow, in 1895 and St Margaret's College, Craiglockhart, in 1920. The two Colleges would merge into the national St Andrew's College in 1981. This national college would undertake a further merger with the University of Glasgow in 1999 to become part of the newly formed Faculty of Education, later School of Education. The School of Education continues to discharge the mission to prepare teachers for Catholic schools.

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The history of the Episcopal Training Institution is an under researched area of teacher education in Scotland. The College was opened in Edinburgh in 1850 and initially trained male students. After 1867, the male students transferred to Durham and the College trained female students. The students were trained to teach in the Episcopal schools throughout Scotland. These schools were predominantly established for the children of the Episcopal denomination or they were mission schools that educated the poor. The College struggled to recruit sufficient numbers of students in the early twentieth century and the College closed in 1934. A very small number of Episcopal schools still exist in the twenty-first century Scotland.

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English language teacher preparation has a relatively short history in Scotland's universities. This chapter outlines some of the contributions made by Scottish institutions and academics to English language teaching globally, including during the very early stages of English becoming a global language. Commercial influences on English language teacher education are outlined as an explanation for why programmes diverged from Initial Teacher Education (ITE) provision from the 1960s, including pressure from short-course teacher education and rising precarity of English language teachers. This chapter concludes with some encouraging work from foreign language teaching and Gaelic-Medium instruction, showing how English language teacher education may be able to rebuild connections to ITE to engage with the contemporary linguistic diversity in Scotland's classrooms.

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This chapter attempts to conclude this periodised collection by contemplating the future of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) in Scotland over a timeframe of the next 10–20 years. It develops a framework of antecedents of change drawn from the accounts, analysis and milestones presented in the preceding chapters. Five main wellsprings of change are articulated reflecting how teacher preparation has been cast and influenced by politics, economic circumstances, changes in the sociocultural order, important shifts in the intellectual climate together with the decisions and actions of institutional or individual actors. Using the framework, three scenarios for the future of teacher education in Scotland are sketched out in brief. Futurologists and strategic thinkers have used the development of scenarios as a technique or method to contend with multiple conceivable possibilities and to contain the unpredictability of possible futures. The scenarios presented in this chapter are offered as a stimulus for future-orientated thinking and action. The final section highlights dimensions of ITE that are tangibly within the reach of teacher educators in forging a future in which Scotland remains, in a context of global comparison, a jurisdiction providing ITE of the highest quality.

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Index

Pages 211-216
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Cover of Teacher Preparation in Scotland
DOI
10.1108/9781839094804
Publication date
2020-09-25
Book series
Emerald Studies in Teacher Preparation in National and Global Contexts
Editor
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-83909-480-4