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Article
Publication date: 4 January 2013

Subadrah Madhawa Nair, Abdul Rashid Mohamed and Nagamah Marimuthu

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the practice of teacher trainees on science and the relevance of science education. The study focuses on teacher trainees'…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the practice of teacher trainees on science and the relevance of science education. The study focuses on teacher trainees' practice on science teaching and its relevance to understanding science education.

Design/methodology/approach

The study employed a survey method using questionnaires. The samples consist of 80 teacher trainees, majoring in Science Education, from a teachers training institute in Malaysia. The teacher trainees were asked to complete a set of questionnaires on the relevance of their content knowledge of science to Science Education, application of student's home culture in classroom science and in infusing moral education in classroom lessons. The data obtained from the questionnaires were analyzed using descriptive statistical and inferential statistical (independent samples t‐test).

Findings

The results showed that the female trainees' practice of science and the relevance of science education is significantly higher than that of their male counterparts. Besides that, the findings indicate that there is no significant difference between the male and female trainees on their practices of students' home culture applied in classroom science and applying moral education in teaching science. The findings also indicated there is a need to bring in students' home culture into the teaching and learning of science.

Practical implications

Findings of this paper suggest one approach that could be adopted to make science education more relevant to the students understanding is by incorporating teaching strategies that are designed to promote content learning through a cultural relevant curriculum. This will make schools a better place to inculcate environmental concerns for a sustainable future.

Originality/value

This paper highlights the need to educate trainee teachers (male and female) and bring them closer to gain cooperation and commitment to achieve sustainability. The paper also proposes the need to bring in students' home culture, priorities and concern into the teaching and learning of science.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 4 February 2014

Adeline Yuen Sze Goh

This paper aims to extend the workplace learning literature by conceptualising the relationship between college-based and workplace learning, through critically examining…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to extend the workplace learning literature by conceptualising the relationship between college-based and workplace learning, through critically examining how trainee teachers learn when they enter an initial teacher training programme.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper draws on the findings of a completed research study which explores how individuals learn to become a vocational and technical teacher (VTE) in Brunei. The research comprises a qualitative study of a group of student teachers enrolled on a one-year teacher training programme that consists of a combination of college-based and workplace learning. This approach argues that it is necessary to look beyond demarcating what is formal and informal learning.

Findings

From a theoretical point-of-view, Bourdieu's theoretical tools can be used to extend Lave and Wenger's notion of legitimate peripheral participation in understanding how individuals learn in a learning context. This approach provides us with a way to think of learning as relational to the individuals. That is, learning is influenced by the roles and practices of each individual, even within the same learning context. Thus, to label the college-based learning as formal and workplace learning as informal is unhelpful in understanding this relationship.

Practical implications

Understanding that roles and practices in different learning sites such as college and workplace influence learning has practical significance for teacher training organisations wanting to focus on learning issues and opportunities for the development of trainee teachers. More specifically, such an understanding also acts as a reminder to teacher training organisations of the importance of considering learning within a teacher training programme as a whole, rather than focusing only on the practices within each of the learning sites.

Originality/value

This paper highlights the importance of roles and practices in relation to particular situations which are often overlooked in the learning literature. In addition, the paper focuses on both college-based and workplace learning in order to understand learning within a vocational and technical teacher training programme.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 26 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 17 May 2011

Kevin Orr and Robin Simmons

This paper problematises the experience of trainee teachers in further education (FE) colleges in England. It focuses on colleges as employers and developers of their own…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper problematises the experience of trainee teachers in further education (FE) colleges in England. It focuses on colleges as employers and developers of their own teaching staff, 90 per cent of whom are trained “in‐service”, while in paid employment. The paper aims to explore how a shift towards more expansive workplace practices could better develop these teachers and contribute towards enhancing the learning culture in FE.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on data gathered from two instrumental case studies of FE colleges focusing on the experience of in‐service teachers training in the workplace. Using Fuller and Unwin's expansive‐restrictive framework, the paper draws on qualitative data from interviews with trainee teachers, teacher educators and human resource managers. It critiques the current practice of colleges as employers and considers alternative strategies for workforce development.

Findings

This research finds that in‐service trainee FE teachers are expected to cope with heavy workloads almost immediately upon commencing employment and that these trainees are required to quickly make the transition to full practitioner. Consequently, opportunities to develop are restricted, often leading to conservative practice. There is evidence of the prioritisation of expedience over the development of professional knowledge and creative practice, a scenario that this paper challenges.

Research limitations/implications

This is a small‐scale qualitative research project based upon two colleges within a large and diverse sector of employment. As such, its findings do not claim to be representative of workplace practices experienced in all FE colleges. However, the research gives informed insight into some of the challenges trainee teachers are likely to face during the early stages of their employment.

Practical implications

The paper identifies strategies to challenge current practice and to enhance the work‐based learning experience of trainee teachers.

Originality/value

This paper considers FE colleges primarily as employers and explores the consequences of their employment practices on new teachers as both trainees and employees.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 March 2015

Vicky Duckworth and Bronwen Maxwell

The purpose of this paper is to explore how mentors can act as change agents for social justice. It examines mentors’ roles in initial teacher education in the lifelong…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how mentors can act as change agents for social justice. It examines mentors’ roles in initial teacher education in the lifelong learning sector (LLS) and how critical spaces can be opened up to promote a flow of mentor, trainee teacher, learner and community empowerment.

Design/methodology/approach

Two thematic literature reviews were undertaken: one of UK LLS ITE mentoring and the other an international review of social justice in relation to mentoring in ITE and the first year of teaching. Bourdieu’s concepts of capital, field and habitus (Bourdieu, 1986) are used as sensitising tools to explore LLS mentors’ practices and the possibilities for increasing the flow of “pedagogical capital” between mentors, trainee teachers, learners and communities, in such a way that would enable mentors to become agents for social justice.

Findings

LLS mentors and trainee teachers are uncertain about their roles. In the UK and several countries, mentoring is dominated by an instrumental assessment-focused approach, whereby social justice is marginalised. In contrast, what we call social justice mentors establish collaborative democratic mentoring relationships, create spaces for critical reflection, support trainees to experience different cultures, develop inclusive critical pedagogies, and generally act as advocates and foster passion for social justice.

Research limitations/implications

While the literature reviews provide timely and important insights into UK and international approaches, the existing literature bases are limited in scale and scope.

Practical implications

A model for mentoring that promotes social justice and recommendations for mentor training are proposed.

Originality/value

The paper addresses the omission in policy, research and practice of the potential for mentors to promote social justice. The proposed model and training approach can be adopted across all education phases.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

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Article
Publication date: 19 October 2010

Viv Speller, Jenny Byrne, Sue Dewhirst, Palo Almond, Lisa Mohebati, Melanie Norman, Sarah Polack, Anjum Memon, Marcus Grace, Barrie Margetts and Paul Roderick

The purpose of this paper is to report the outcome of an education and public health collaboration investigating the impact of adapted training to enhance teachers'…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report the outcome of an education and public health collaboration investigating the impact of adapted training to enhance teachers' potential role to promote child health and wellbeing.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was conducted in three phases: a survey of the health education content in universities in initial teacher training courses; a longitudinal survey at the commencement and completion of courses to capture trainees' knowledge, skills and attitudes towards health and their role in health promotion; and mapping curriculum content against qualified teacher standards and public health competencies.

Findings

Training about health varies largely between institutions. Trainees' knowledge levels remained low after training; ranked importance of key health topics – nutrition, alcohol, smoking, – decreased significantly; a majority thought that teachers and schools play an important role in health promotion, but significant increases were also noted in the minority who thought health promotion is not part of their remit (Phase 2).

Originality/value

To the best of one's knowledge, similar work has not so far been reported. While teachers are in a prime position to influence child health, trainees require knowledge and skills to realise their public health potential.

Details

Health Education, vol. 110 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-4283

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Article
Publication date: 30 July 2020

Steve Connolly, Gareth Bates and James Shea

The purpose of this paper is to report the findings from an action research project in which the researchers sought to develop a set of questions for use by mentors…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report the findings from an action research project in which the researchers sought to develop a set of questions for use by mentors (experienced teachers) and mentees (pre-service teachers) on a course of initial teacher education (ITE) when they first met – the “initial encounter”.

Design/methodology/approach

The researchers used an action research approach in order to address the lower retention rate of pre-service teachers from different backgrounds, such as Black and Minority ethnic (BAME) and the issues around mentoring which may exacerbate this problem. Discussions between the course team and participating mentors and mentees suggested that the initial encounter between mentor and mentee was significant, and an action research methodology would allow for developing questions that might structure such encounters.

Findings

The researchers found that a useful and effective set of questions could be developed and used by mentors and mentees. Additionally, this process gave researchers insights into the nature of the first encounters between mentors and mentees on an ITE course and how both groups see their roles. In several cycles of action research, the participants produced a number of iterations of such questions, which were refined across a two-year period.

Research limitations/implications

While it is too early to tell if the issues leading to the lower retention rate of pre-service teachers that prompted the project have been reduced in any significant way, the researchers suggest that thinking about these initial encounters can have an impact on the way mentors and mentees go on to build a relationship.

Originality/value

The authors found that there is very little research in the field of teacher education which looks at initial encounters between mentors and mentees, and thus make an original contribution to the mentoring literature.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2017

Karen Pickett, Willeke Rietdijk, Jenny Byrne, Jonathan Shepherd, Paul Roderick and Marcus Grace

The purpose of this paper is to understand early career teachers’ perceptions of the impact of a pre-service health education programme on their health promotion practice…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand early career teachers’ perceptions of the impact of a pre-service health education programme on their health promotion practice in schools and the contextual factors that influence this.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 14 primary and secondary trainee and qualified teachers who had trained at a university in England. Data were analysed using thematic analysis.

Findings

The teachers found the training to be a useful introduction, particularly when it was relevant to their practice. They valued gaining practical skills at university, on placement and in school once qualified. They reported that witnessing pupils’ lives in school had increased their awareness that health education is important. Their personal qualities, life experience, the school’s ethos and competing pressures influenced their practice. Teachers considered that building relationships with colleagues, pupils and parents facilitated health promotion, and that health education needs to be relevant to pupils. Some teachers expressed that teaching about health could be a “minefield”. They also discussed whether schools or parents are responsible for educating pupils about health issues and the place of health promotion within education’s wider purpose.

Originality/value

Few studies have followed-up trainee teachers once they are in teaching posts to explore the longer-term perceived impact of pre-service health education training. The findings suggest that teachers’ development takes place via an interaction between training and practice, suggesting that training could particularly aim to provide teachers with a contextualised understanding of health issues and practical experience.

Details

Health Education, vol. 117 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-4283

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Article
Publication date: 21 March 2008

Carol Evans and Michael Waring

The purpose of this paper is to compare the cognitive styles of trainee teachers with their notions of differentiation and perceptions of its place/location within their…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare the cognitive styles of trainee teachers with their notions of differentiation and perceptions of its place/location within their teaching and learning during a PGCE programme of ITE.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 80 trainee teachers completed the Cognitive Style Index (CSI) at the beginning and at the end of their course. After completing the CSI measure trainees received instruction on cognitive styles. To assess their initial understanding and prior knowledge of differentiation, all trainees completed a questionnaire at the beginning and at the end of their course.

Findings

At the outset rudimentary understandings of differentiation were found to be held by the trainees, as well as stylistic differences between the four style groupings. Gains in understanding of differentiation and the use of cognitive style in school were evident in all trainees. Moderate changes in style were evident, with all trainees becoming more intuitive over the course of the programme.

Research limitations/implications

The sample size may be seen as a limitation in terms of generalisability.

Practical implications

The predominant direction of cognitive style movement was from analytic to intuitive. The suggestion that cognitive style, while relatively fixed, is also something that can be developed is a feature which should offer encouragement to those developing university courses through interventions such as this.

Originality/value

Teaching sessions on how cognitive styles can be used in the classroom were used to enhance trainee understandings of individual learning differences and increase awareness of one's own style to facilitate understanding of differentiation.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 50 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 14 July 2020

Joy Pattisson

The purpose of this study was to explore young Arab women's understandings of mentoring as part of a pre-service teacher training program both before and after an extended…

Abstract

Purpos

The purpose of this study was to explore young Arab women's understandings of mentoring as part of a pre-service teacher training program both before and after an extended internship throughout which a collaborative approach to mentoring was practiced. It aimed to identify the opportunities and challenges such an approach would bring in the quest to support trainee teachers' professional development.

Design/methodology/approach

Data for this small-scale qualitative study were collected using a brainstorming class-based activity, semi-structured interviews and reflective journals. Data were analyzed using word clouds, and the identification of themes through the coding of transcripts.

Findings

The dominant findings in this study were that mentoring was perceived as emotional support, pedagogic and professional support, evaluation and relationship. While understandings of mentoring amongst participants did shift as a result of mentors adopting a collaborative approach, data indicated that the strength of cultural assumptions held by the participants hindered the rate of change, creating an obstacle to the desired outcome of increasing trainees' agency.

Originality/value

While perceptions of mentoring reported within this study indicate considerable overlap with those in other geographical and cultural contexts, closer examination of the data identified differences also. Without an understanding of the nature and influence of the social assumptions that underlie these differences, mentors who participate in culturally diverse mentor–trainee pairings can misinterpret an unwillingness of trainees to fully engage with the mentoring process and thus fail to provide the required scaffolding and support needed to maximize professional development.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 September 2014

Gillian Bailey

The purpose of this paper is to examine how the culture of teacher accountability has been intensified in further education (FE) under neo-liberalist policy, with the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how the culture of teacher accountability has been intensified in further education (FE) under neo-liberalist policy, with the result that the student-teacher relationship has shifted to one of supplier-consumer. The paper focuses on the impact which this shift has had on teachers’ pedagogical practice and employment prospects.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on data gathered during a three-year ethnographic study which focused on the experiences of trainee and newly qualified teachers working in the FE sector. The data were generated from naturally occurring evidence including reflective diaries, lesson observations and class discussions.

Findings

The findings suggest that target-driven college cultures are creating conditions which encourage teachers to “play safe” in terms of pedagogical practice whilst students are becoming increasingly dependent on teacher-led direction in a bid to achieve targets. Not only are teachers being held increasingly accountable for their students’ results but their employment prospects are also dependent on them.

Research limitations/implications

Although based on a small-scale study, the findings are of sufficient significance to stimulate debate and future research around the issue of how neo-liberalist policy impacts on practice in FE.

Practical implications

The paper suggests that for both FE teachers and their students, creative thinking and experimentation may be at risk from the impact of such policy.

Originality/value

This paper goes beyond existing critiques of accountability: it argues that as teachers’ employment prospects become increasingly dependent on student results, both teachers and their students are vulnerable to focusing on risk-free practices which jeopardise the potential for innovation and autonomy.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 56 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

Keywords

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