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Archive for the 'Teacher education' Category

ITT Market Review: excellent science teaching needs skills in overcoming misconceptions

Blog Editor, IOE Digital5 April 2022

Marian Mulcahy.

The National Curriculum states that the purpose of science education is to provide a foundation ‘for understanding the world’ and that it is essential for ‘the world’s future prosperity’. It can safely be argued that these aims, whatever is thought of them, cannot be met within the confines of a school classroom or lab, but they do highlight the importance that is placed on students experiencing a really high-quality science education.  This in turn can only be achieved through exceptional teaching.

We have a very clear vision of what that teaching should look like, from the crucial point of view of the pupils.  Exceptional science teachers are those: (more…)

IOE at 120: Seeking the best way to educate the ‘whole child’, 1922-1932

Blog Editor, IOE Digital30 March 2022

Nazlin Bhimani.

This blog is the third in a series of 12 exploring each decade in IOE’s history in the context of the education and society of the times. Find out more about our 120th anniversary celebrations on our website, and follow us on TwitterInstagramFacebook and LinkedIn to keep up with everything that’s happening.

By 1922, Prime Minister Lloyd George’s declaration that the men would be coming home to a ‘land fit for heroes’ rang hollow. The initial euphoria that gripped the nation in the aftermath of the First World War quickly dissipated as the enormity of the destructive capacity of the war in human and economic terms was realised. Some 750,000 British men were killed or wounded, the number of widows rose to c1.6 million, and just over 730,000 children lost their fathers. Families suffered extreme poverty as unemployment averaged 64 percent.

Britain’s relatively undereducated citizenry, in comparison with her European and International competitors, was seen as a growing liability in terms of the nation’s financial health and the future of the empire. With the passing of the People’s Representation Act in 1918 (and later the Reform Act in 1928), which extended franchise, the need for an educated citizenry became more imperative. To meet the demands of a new, modern world, the 1918 Education (Fisher) Act embodied the notion of creating a responsible and informed citizen. Though raising the school leaving age to 14 was achieved, the Act failed to meet its other targets when the Geddes ‘axe’ drastically reduced the (more…)

Language teaching and learning beyond vocabulary and grammar: our success stories

Blog Editor, IOE Digital15 March 2022

Zhu Hua, Caroline Conlon, Camilla Smith, Fotini Diamantidaki and Áine McAllister.

The strong reactions from the language teaching and learning community to the Government’s French, German and Spanish GCSE subject content review are hardly surprising. If the review’s intention was to make the subject ‘accessible’ and to motivate students, then making a few tweaks to words, themes and topics, question types and grammar will not do the job.

Learning another language is not simply about putting words and sentences together; it is about communicating ideas, feelings and experiences; connecting with people and cultures and broadening horizons. Language curriculum, assessment and pedagogy need to focus on developing intercultural competence.

So what has worked well in classrooms? How do we create space for cultural exploration and exchange of perspectives? And what role does (more…)

Subject specialism is at the heart of teaching and Citizenship Education is at the heart of a whole school approach

Blog Editor, IOE Digital3 March 2022

Hans Svennevig.

In a time of global conflict, raised concerns about climate change and political disharmony, Citizenship Education is more important than ever. As a subject, it also ensures that young people can have discrete teaching within a whole school approach, bringing together what The 1998 Advisory Group on Citizenship guided by Sir Bernard Crick originally proposed. All subjects should be involved in whole school approaches, but to do that we need subject specialists.

The government’s December 2021 response to its ITT market review is not just a risk for one ITE institution over another, or one subject over (more…)

IOE at 120: war and peace, 1912-1922

Blog Editor, IOE Digital24 February 2022

Georgina Brewis.

This blog is the second in a series of 12 exploring each decade in IOE’s history in the context of the education and society of the times. Find out more about our 120th anniversary celebrations on our website, and follow us on TwitterInstagramFacebook and LinkedIn to keep up with everything that’s happening.

Following its foundation in 1902, the London Day Training College’s second decade was profoundly shaped by the First World War (1914-1918) and its aftermath. The numbers of students on the roll dropped sharply as men enrolled in the armed forces after the British government’s declaration of war with Germany in August 1914. Women students also left for war work, including in munitions factories or in clerical work in government departments. By the middle of the war in September 1916 there were just 211 students, nearly all of them women. The 16 men left were those deemed medically unfit for service.

With London schools facing severe staffing shortages, the LDTC’s student teachers stepped up to new responsibilities that included increased teaching practice, students assuming full control of classrooms, and women being placed in boys’ secondary schools for (more…)

In the balance: the artful mix that goes into becoming a Modern Foreign Language teacher

Blog Editor, IOE Digital23 February 2022

Caroline Conlon.

JESHOOTS-com / Pixabay

Many teacher educators are concerned that the Government’s Initial Teacher Training Market Review and its ITT Core Content Framework impose too many generic requirements, and leave insufficient time for each subject’s unique characteristics and methods. Teaching and learning a second language is a complex, messy business and, as the Ofsted Subject Review on languages recognises, ‘there is no single way of achieving high-quality language education.’

Languages teachers, therefore, need not only to have subject knowledge expertise in the languages and associated cultures they teach, but also in second language learning theories and pedagogy.

The PGCE Secondary languages programme at UCL does not promote any single teaching (more…)

IOE at 120 – an expansive vision for teaching and learning

Blog Editor, IOE Digital19 January 2022

John Adams, the first principal (centre), with Margaret Punnett and Percy NunnThis blog is the first in a series of 12 exploring each decade in IOE’s history in the context of the education and society of the times. Find out more about our 120th anniversary celebrations on our website, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn to keep up with everything that’s happening. 

Tom Woodin.

At the turn of the Twentieth Century, a sense of historical change was palpable. London was viewed as a ‘great’ city at the heart of the largest empire in history. It was a financial hub; the centre of trade and a place where key political, cultural, economic and educational institutions coalesced.

It was also ravaged by inequality and poverty, which imperial adventures such as the Boer Wars had made a topic of public debate as had Charles Booth’s maps of London which provided a striking cartographic representation of poverty. Just a year after the death of Queen Victoria, the 1902 Education Act helped to foster the notion of an ‘educational ladder’ based upon scholarships for the lucky few who were able to progress from elementary schools to secondary education. The ‘scholarship boy’, and occasional girl, became an iconic figure in British life although in reality the ladder was thin and rickety and far from the proposed ‘educational highway’ for all that was favoured by the Workers Educational Association.

It was at this time that new ideas about teaching and teacher training came into their own. The London Day Training College – (more…)

To develop excellent secondary maths teachers we need space in the curriculum for critical reflection

Blog Editor, IOE Digital11 January 2022

Pete Wright.

Mathematics teacher educators face strikingly similar challenges to secondary maths teachers. Both groups face the seemingly impossible task of enabling students to achieve depth of understanding whilst being expected to cover an overly prescriptive core curriculum.

The Government’s plans for reforming initial teacher education look unlikely to have a positive impact on maths teaching. What would improve the situation?

I have highlighted elsewhere the growing consensus amongst mathematics educators that the school curriculum needs to focus more on developing conceptual understanding. Students need to progress beyond learning mathematical procedures without appreciating what they are used for. They need to develop confidence in applying these procedures to solve real life problems similar to those they will encounter in their lives. This means students need to be given opportunities to explore challenging (more…)

Top of the blogs: what topics made it into our readers’ 2021 hit parade?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital6 January 2022

Diane Hofkins.

2021 was not the year we were hoping for. Dominated by the pandemic, it was a year of disrupted education, work and recreation. Many people lost friends and family members, Physical and mental health suffered.

As with every aspect of life, the pandemic cast its shadow across every topic touched on by the IOE Blog last year: the challenges of school leadership, mental health, the arts, remote learning, relationships with parents, and especially inequality. In January, Melanie Ehren and colleagues wrote of the ‘Matthew Effect’: “For whoever has, to him shall be given […] but whoever has not, from him shall be taken away even that he has”. The Covid Generation, they said, will have educational winners and losers. And (more…)

Subject to change: by focusing on universal entitlement, the ITT Market Review makes it harder to build courses around disciplines and local needs

Blog Editor, IOE Digital20 December 2021

Alison Kitson

In a post this term, my colleague Mark Hardman wrote that a fundamental flaw of the Government’s ITT Market Review was its assumption that quality can be measured by adherence to the Core Content Framework (CCF). The problem, he explained, was that the CCF ‘does not refer to subjects in any meaningful way’. And how could it? Given that the intention of the CCF is to provide a minimum curricular entitlement for all student teachers regardless of phase or subject, by necessity it has to be generic.

The problem is that by attempting to make this entitlement applicable to everyone, it fails to satisfy anyone. Fortunately, the solution to this problem already exists. By ensuring that all student teachers receive training that has subject specificity at its core, university-led ITE supports subject-specific interpretations of this highly generic framework and provides programmes that include but also extend beyond the CCF. Unfortunately, the ITT Market Review, despite the recent government response, still threatens to restrict providers’ freedom to construct courses around the particular demands of subjects and local contexts.

Ever since national standards for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) were first introduced, university ITE (more…)