The Future of Education

Edition 12

Accepted Abstracts

Insights Into Post 16 Teacher Training Curriculum: Strengths and Challenges for Pre-Service Teachers

JOYCE ELEMSON, MEMBER OF LTN (United Kingdom)

Abstract

The objective of the presentation is to provide an insight into teacher training programme at the UK post 16 level following huge financial sector job losses in recent years. The curriculum will be examined as part of the skills that trainees must develop in preparation for real time practice after the training. Another objective is to investigate the effectiveness of the curriculum against in service practice, teacher preparedness for work, teacher resilience, compliance with government education policy and meeting the demands of the role within FE. Recommendations will be provided to improve the curriculum towards real time practice. An essential support mechanism is the appointment of a mentor to offer guidance and direction. The lack of a worthwhile remuneration for this added responsibility means that the role leaves nothing to be desired, leading to a strained relationship between the mentor and mentee. Confronted with a heavy teaching schedule, the teacher’s day, in addition to teaching is filled with administrative duties, tutorial sessions, pastoral guidance, meetings, interventions with students at risk, monitoring of attendance and punctuality, assessment procedures. Further to these are compulsory participation in CPD events to improve pedagogy and updates on e-learning and innovative practices. Internal  and external observations to monitor and raise quality of teaching and learning present additional challenge to the teacher. There are pressures to improve on previous academic year’s statistics on success rates, achievement, retention and attendance.

As a mentor to trainee teachers, it has been observed that these trainees fulfil the criteria of the training following pre-service subject qualifications and sometimes industry experience similar to the bankers mentioned at the outset.

The reality is that these newly qualified teachers are ill prepared for the demands of the job, leading to a large teacher turnover. A teacher support network reports that lack of support is responsible for large teacher turn over, which further reports that those who quit are inexperienced, leaving within the first 5 years. A University of Buckingham research concludes that 40% of newly qualified teachers drop out within the first six months of recruitment.  As stated by Hattie (2009), well trained teachers can effectively manage different ages and learning needs through support by their school administration, an indicator of good institutional performance, the absence of which creates a domino effect that produces a cause for concern evidenced by teacher absence,  low morale and an overt nonchalant attitude leading to poor learning experiences for students. It is expected that the presentation will critique current provisions of teacher training programmes and strategies to overcome the inherent challenges. The programme will need to be completely reviewed to equip teachers to meet the dynamic needs of young people. Transparency of real practice must be reflected in the curriculum so that teachers’ expectations in the discharge of their pedagogy in the main domain are real to help them make an informed decision.

 

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