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The Work of Teacher Education: Policy, Practice and Institutional Conditions in England and Scotland. Viv Ellis & Jane McNicholl University of Oxford Allan Blake University of Strathclyde Discussant: John Furlong University of Oxford.

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the work of teacher education policy practice and institutional conditions in england and scotland

The Work of Teacher Education:Policy, Practice and Institutional Conditions in England and Scotland

Viv Ellis & Jane McNicholl

University of Oxford

Allan Blake

University of Strathclyde

Discussant: John Furlong

University of Oxford

the work of teacher education policy practice and institutional conditions in england and scotland1

The Work of Teacher Education:Policy, Practice and Institutional Conditions in England and Scotland

Viv Ellis & Jane McNicholl

University of Oxford

Allan Blake

University of Strathclyde

Discussant: John Furlong

University of Oxford

the work of teacher education policy practice and institutional conditions in england and scotland2

The Work of Teacher Education:Policy, Practice and Institutional Conditions in England and Scotland

Relationship between social structure and human agency

Mixed method study

Academic work – intellectual labour within the exchange relations of academic capitalism

the background
The background
  • Historical interest in teacher education as a form of higher education (one that traditionally has had a strong moral purpose).
  • More recent empirical and theoretical interests in studying academic work as labour within specific social, material conditions.
  • Specialist theoretical interests in the socio-historic organisation of human activity – the ‘bottom line’, especially the division of labour – OSAT.
  • Personal and professional interest in what we as teacher educators do – and why.
an evolving project
An evolving project
  • Phase 1: study of advertisements and job descriptions for university-based teacher education positions in England using a variety of discourse/text analysis methods (2008 – 2009).
  • Phase 2: mixed-methods study of the practices of a sample of 13 HE-based teacher educators across England and Scotland as well as their accounts of their work – funded by HEA through ESCalate (2010 – 2011).
  • Phase 3: extended case studies of 5 of the sample (in England) to develop our analysis of the person-in-context.
slide6

Jane, Institutional conceptualisations of teacher education as academic work in England

  • Allan, The ten job dimensions of teacher educators’ work in England and Scotland
  • Viv, Artefact-mediation in the activity of pre-service teacher education
  • John, Response
  • Discussion
institutional conceptualisations of teacher education as academic work in england

Institutional Conceptualisations of Teacher Education as Academic Work in England

Jane McNicholl, Viv Ellis & Anna Pendry

University of Oxford

rationale and theoretical framework
Rationale and Theoretical Framework
  • To investigate the ways in which HEIs in England categorised teacher education as a form of academic work.

Informed by sociocultural perspectives on language-in-use

and ways in which categories are formed that allow

institutions, collectively, to think and to reason

(e.g. Mäkitalo & Säljö 2002).

findings job advertisements
Findings: job advertisements
  • No differences in categorisation were observed between types of HEI.
  • Teacher education as a category of work was produced as a form of ‘super teacher’.
  • 45% of the vacancies in our sample did not require any form of research background.
conceptualising the work of teacher education
Conceptualising the work of teacher education:
  • The nouns... an experienced, highly skilled practitioner who is passionate about their subject (new university).
  • The verbs... training students on the BA courses (new university);

... delivering secondary ITT programmes (old university).

  • The adjectives... an enthusiastic and dedicated person (new university).
findings interviews with hods
Findings: interviews with HoDs
  • In the old (research-intensive) universities the teacher educator was produced as a troublesome category – a hybrid category.
  • … and in the new (teaching-intensive) universities the teacher educator was different to any other kind of academic worker due to links with professional settings – an exceptional category.
conclusions
Conclusions
  • Expectations of teacher educators’ work varies according to institutional settings - but to such an extent that the category teacher educator is no longer coherent or meaningful?
  • Variation is within as well as between institutions; variation is not related to sectors ('old' or 'new' universities)
  • Universities did not specify research activity in nearly half of the job descriptions.
  • Strong emphasis on 'super teacher' characteristics and personal attributes such as dedication, enthusiasm and resilience.
  • Leadership producing teacher educator as a hybrid or exceptional category of academic worker.

Ellis, V., McNicholl, J. & Pendry, A. (2012) Institutional conceptualisations of teacher education as academic work in England, Teaching and Teacher Education, 28, 685-693.

coda insights from australia
Coda: Insights from Australia
  • The invisible teacher educator?

- NuttallJ. et al (in press) Journal of Education for Teaching

the ten job dimensions of teacher educators work in england and scotland

The Ten Job Dimensions of Teacher Educators’ Work in England and Scotland

Allan Blake1, Jane McNicholl2, Viv Ellis2, Jim McNally1

1 University of Strathclyde; 2 University of Oxford

job dimensions
Job Dimensions
  • Course management
  • Personnel activities
  • External examination at another institution
  • Examination at own institution
  • Marking
  • Professional development
  • Research
  • Relationship maintenance
  • Working with a group of students (teaching)
  • Tutoring an individual student (academic supervision, lesson observation/de-briefing)
findings
Findings
  • The work of teacher educators in this sample appears to be high in time to relationship maintenance, which (according to these statistics) appears to be the consistent, defining characteristic of the work.
what is relationship maintenance
What is relationship maintenance?

Some examples:

  • Email – from early in the morning to late at night and across the weekend; on the move (in cars using Bluetooth); hyper-responsive (audible signals); very carefully-worded.
  • Home visit to student teacher off with stress.
  • A whole day structured around interaction with schools and student teachers about sustaining the relationships within and between them.
  • School placement meetings that take into account personal and perhaps idiosyncratic preferences by individual mentors.
what is relationship maintenance1
What is relationship maintenance?

Communicative activity directed at maintaining and repairing relationships with schools and between schools and student teachers under the heading of ‘partnership’.

the engine room
‘The engine room’

“I’m still trying to make sense of my own institution […] there seem to be two sorts of people: there seem to be the people, they’re called the ‘engine room’, the people who teach the students […] And then there is another set of people who do research [...] and they’re sort of these two separate pots of people. Now there is some overlap between them, there are some links between them, so I’m one of the engine room people, and certainly I’m encouraged to do research... not insisted upon, but I’m encouraged. And indeed I want to and I’ve already started some […] You know there are sessions which are run by various people on you know writing, on researching, and they’re just open and you just go along if you want to. So there’s a sort of really lovely atmosphere that you can embark on this.”

slide25

Artefact Mediation in the Activity of Pre-Service Teacher Education: Tools for Learning or Rules for Compliance

Viv Ellis

University of Oxford

slide28

The only way to get an insight into the nature of the object-related activity is to understand the material production of tools, the social exchanges among people, and the individual subjective processes that participate in regulating the production of tools and social exchanges.

(Kaptelinin & Miettinen 2005, 3)

what s going on
What’s going on?

A random name generator projected onto an Interactive White Board intended to serve as a concrete tool for stimulating change in classroom interaction patterns in order to facilitate better assessment for learning

AND/OR

A fun thing to do in a classroom to get children interested in participating in the lesson

what s going on1
What’s going on?

Artefact used to mediate student teachers’ learning about the concepts of AfL

Vs

Something you can do

A ‘rule’ or norm of behaviour

some insights into the expertise of the he based teacher educator
Some insights into the expertise of the HE-based teacher educator?

Unlocking the meaning of artefacts derived from situations of practice:

- accessing abstract knowledge in the course of an intense focus on practice

- a tool for learning (ideal as well as material)

- but within constraints

concluding comments

Concluding comments

Viv Ellis

University of Oxford

slide35

HEI expectations of teacher education as academic work are fairly narrow;

  • Relationship maintenance is necessary work – it is the ‘glue’ of partnership, the ‘domestic labour’ of Education departments;
  • Within the structures and social relationships of academic capitalism, teacher educators are subject to proletarianisation;
  • More generally, a lack of a view of the future of teacher education as professional education within the university.
discussant

Discussant

John Furlong

University of Oxford