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To educate or to train? Reflections on being a PGCE Tutor. Margaret Roberts.

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“All teachers are, at some time or other, faced with the personal dilemma of deciding whether to be committed to their educational values or whether they should simply play their role, advance their prospects and leave the commitment to somebody else. It is one thing to acquire a stock of sophisticated teaching competences and skills; it is quite another to have the educational value of teaching as an ultimate professional concern.
But teaching is only a genuine profession in so far as its members can make judgements about what is educationally valuable and worthwhile, free from external pressures and constraints. Resisting these pressures – not allowing them to subvert the commitment to an educational philosophy – is very difficult. But there is a world of difference between trying to do something that is very difficult and doing something that does not make any educational sense. (Carr, 1995)`
what is our role in he
What is our role in HE?

“trying to do something that is very difficult or doing

something that does not make any educational sense”

  • Context in which I started as PGCE tutor
  • Constraints and dilemmas
  • Is our ‘ultimate professional concern’ education or training?








constraints and dilemmas
National Curriculum

Competencies and standards







Constraints and dilemmas
q25 b enable learners to meet learning objectives
Q25 b: …enable learners to meet learning objectives’

“There are only ever choices…. When choices are made and accepted by a sufficient number of teachers they tend to become ‘common sense” (Castree, 2005)


Q25 Use a range of teaching strategies and resources

E3 Have a critical understanding of the most

effective …strategies..

supervision towards understanding and judgements
Supervision: towards understanding and judgements?

Q 7a

Reflect on and improve their practice,

and take responsibility for identifying

and meeting their developing

professional needs


Act upon advice and feedback and be

open to coaching and mentoring

  • Geake, J. (208) Neuromythologies in Education, Educational Research, 50, 2, pp. 123-133.
  • Coffield, F. et al, (2004) Learning Styles and pedagogy in post 16 learning: a systematic and critical review, Learning and Skills Research Centre.
why not sooner
Why not sooner?

E2 Research and evaluate innovative curricular practices and draw on research outcomes and other sources of external evidence to inform their own practice and that of colleagues.

“There are only ever choices about what to teach, how to teach and to what ends” (Castree, 2005)

“The principle goal of education is to create men (sic) who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done…” Piaget


Critical engagement

Challenging taken for granted

Being aware of different ‘frames’

Making judgements about choices

Making own judgements about practice in context

Having healthy scepticism


Acceptance of policy

Following accepted practices

‘Best Practice’

Using a variety of procedures

Accepting the judgements of others

Adopting the latest idea