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Becoming an Early Years Teacher. Early Childhood Studies (ECS) Graduates and the PGCE in Early Years Ros Garrick, Janet Kay, Damien Fitzgerald Sheffield Hallam University. Research Context. Issue of recruitment and retention in teacher training (TDA funded study)

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becoming an early years teacher

Becoming an Early Years Teacher

Early Childhood Studies (ECS) Graduates and the PGCE in Early Years

Ros Garrick, Janet Kay, Damien Fitzgerald

Sheffield Hallam University

research context
Research Context
  • Issue of recruitment and retention in teacher training (TDA funded study)
  • An increase in trainees entering Early Years PGCEs with an Early Childhood Studies (ECS) degree
  • Changing policy and practice context
  • Quality issues
research questions
Research Questions
  • Do trainees with an ECS degree have a better retention rate during training?
  • Do trainees with an ECS degree complete their training with higher professional competency ratings?
  • Do trainees with an ECS degree evidence a higher level of early commitment to teaching?
  • Are there any other differences in outcomes between the two groups?
  • What factors contribute to any differences in outcomes at the end of the PGCE year?
methodology sample
Methodology: Sample
  • Four cohorts of PGCE trainees (34 with ECS degrees, 58 with non-ECS degrees) (2001-2004)
    • Data for 2001/02 cohorts drawn from student records
    • Data for 2003/04 provided by trainees
    • Comparison between trainees entering with ECS or Non-ECS degrees
methods
Methods
  • Questionnaire on pre-entry qualifications and experience
  • Semi-structured interview with two PGCE cohorts on motivation, preparedness and commitment to teaching
  • Analysis of competency ratings
  • Telephone interview with students who withdrew from training
do trainees with an ecs degree have a better retention rate during training
Do trainees with an ECS degree have a better retention rate during training?
  • 3 students with non-ECS degrees and 1 with an ECS degree withdrew
  • No significant difference based on whether trainees entered with an ECS or non-ECS degree
  • all withdrawn trainees interviewed continued to work with children
  • significant reasons for leaving were finding 'teaching as a system' too restrictive and finding the PGCE 'too hard'
do trainees with an ecs degree complete their training with higher professional competency ratings
Do trainees with an ECS degree complete their training with higher professional competency ratings?
  • There was no statistically significant difference between the 2 groups
do trainees with an ecs degree evidence a higher level of early commitment to teaching
Do trainees with an ECS degree evidence a higher level of early commitment to teaching?
  • All trainees demonstrated an immediate commitment to a career in teaching
  • All except one non-ECS trainee demonstrated a clear longer term commitment to teaching or a related area
  • Many trainees evidenced their longer term commitment through plans for professional development
are there any other differences in outcomes between the two groups
Are there any other differences in outcomes between the two groups?
  • There were differences in self-perception of strengths and weaknesses between the two cohorts (2003/4)
  • Trainees with non-ECS degrees had more areas where they identified a need for additional experience than trainees with ECS degrees
  • More ECS degree trainees were interested in a career in the Foundation Stage
  • Trainees expressing an interest in working with parents all came from the ECS degree groups
are there any other differences in outcomes between the two groups1
Are there any other differences in outcomes between the two groups?
  • Significant relevant experience prior to the PGCE impacts on self-perception of strengths (e.g. work experience with young children in educational settings and/or placement experience on an ECS degree)
  • ECS trainees are likely to feel more confident as FS teachers than non-ECS trainees.
  • Evidence that trainees from the ECS groups are more likely to identify interpersonal skills with adults as a strength
what factors contribute to any differences in outcomes at the end of the pgce year
What factors contribute to any differences in outcomes at the end of the PGCE year?
  • Significant work or placement experience
  • Parenting experience for non-ECS degree trainees
  • Prior experience in the FS
  • Having an ECS degree