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Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland. Professor Ken Houston University of Ulster and Dr David Carruthers Royal Belfast Academical Institution. Outline of Presentation. Pre-service teacher education [KH] School based teacher education [DC] induction (year 1) early professional development (years 2 & 3).

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Northern Ireland

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  1. Northern Ireland Professor Ken Houston University of Ulster and Dr David Carruthers Royal Belfast Academical Institution

  2. Outline of Presentation • Pre-service teacher education [KH] • School based teacher education [DC] • induction • (year 1) • early professional development • (years 2 & 3)

  3. Pre-service Teacher Education in Northern Ireland Professor Ken Houston University of Ulster

  4. Providing Institutions - 1 • Queen’s University of Belfast (QUB) • an “old” university • offers degrees in Mathematics with many pathways • only provider of the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)

  5. Providing Institutions - 2 • University of Ulster • a “new” university • offers one pathway to a degree in mathematics, statistics and computing • this course includes a “sandwich” year • does not offer the PGCE for mathematics teachers

  6. Providing Institutions - 3 • Stranmillis University College, Belfast • a college of QUB • offers BEd in mathematics • students take some mathematics courses at QUB • offers BA and BSc for non teachers • predominantly Protestant

  7. Providing Institutions - 4 • St Mary’s University College • also a college of QUB • similar course provision as Stranmillis • students also take some mathematics courses at QUB • predominantly Catholic

  8. Two routes for mathematics • BSc (3 or 4 years) + PGCE [usually Secondary focus] • BSc from QUB or UU or some other university outside NI • PGCE from QUB or some other university outside NI • BEd (4 years) [usually Primary focus] • Stranmillis University College • St Mary’s University College

  9. School Based Teacher Education in Northern Ireland Dr David Carruthers Royal Belfast Academical Institution

  10. Introduction • “Beginning Teachers” • Assessments • Ensuring sufficient knowledge • Good practice • Teacher Progression • Induction year • Early professional development • Further professional development • Problems with programme • Possible way forward

  11. “Beginning Teachers” • Each given a Career Entry Profile • Career Entry Profile includes – • Qualifications • Subject Specialisms • Assessment of Professional Competences

  12. Five Assessments • Understanding of the Curriculum and Professional Knowledge • Subject Knowledge & Subject Application • Teaching Strategies & Techniques and Classroom Management • Assessment and Recording of Pupils’ Progress • Foundation for Further Professional Development

  13. Example - Assessment 2 • “Subject knowledge & Subject Application” • Example of good practice • Addresses the two core questions, ie – • How do they come to learn that mathematics? • What is it that mathematics teachers must know to teach well?

  14. Ensuring Sufficient Knowledge • How does the NI Teacher Training Programme ensure sufficient knowledge? • Completion of Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) • PGCE includes assessments to test Subject Knowledge & Subject Application (however, only mathematics) • All entrants must be graduates in mathematics

  15. 11-16 year old topics Variation Indices Probability Completing the square Trigonometry Circles Similarity Quadratics Inequalities Sequences Trial & Improvement Ratio Pythagoras’ Theorem Dimensions Polygons Simultaneous Equaltions Change of Subject Enlargement Equation of a Straight Line 16-18 year old topics (Pure) Law of logarithms Remainder Theorem Trigonometric Equations Calculus – Basic differentiation plus Basic integration plus APs and GPs Modular Inequalities Partial Fractions Tangents & Normals Maxima & Minima 1st Order Differential Equations PGCE Subject Assessments

  16. PGCE Subject Assessments • However – what is not assessed from 16-18 year old syllabus? • Exponential function • Chain, product, quotient rules • Functions • Co-ordinate geometry • Graphs & transformations • Vectors including scalar product • Newton-Raphson & Trapezium Rule • Integration by substitution and parts • All Mechanics & Statistics • But – in theory, Programme policy means all BTs have good subject knowledge (graduate requirement) • ….and it has been tested!

  17. Post PGCE – “Beginning Teacher” • Now “eligible to teach” • 1st year teaching = “Induction Year” • Specific, identified roles for – • Board of Governors • Principal • Teacher Tutor • Head of Department • The Beginning Teacher • Education & Library Board • Higher Education Institutions

  18. Induction Year • “The aim of induction is to continue to address the B competences in section 2.2”(of the teacher education handbook) • Beginning of the problem of policy into practice! • 92 (!) worthy but wordy competences – induction attempts to address 37 • Example of a competence – “Demonstrates understanding of social, psychological, developmental and cultural influences on children’s attainment.” • Only 2 competences relate to subject knowledge

  19. Next Two Years • Early Professional Development (EPD) years • Continues to address competences • Must undertake 2 Professional Development Activities (PDAs) • Must produce portfolio of evidence to demonstrate how they bridge policy & practice • After 3 years – “fully qualified” • Move into further professional development

  20. Problemswith the Programme • Takes too long? (3 years degree, 1 year PGCE, 3 years Beginning Teacher = 7 years) • No fast track • Not nearly enough subject emphasis • Far too bureaucratic • PGCE tests identify subject knowledge problems – should not be happening! • Not enough scope to fix problems

  21. Possible Ways Forward • Subject • Spend more time on mathematics taught at PGCE, offering opportunity to improve • Make PGCE harder to pass OR grade outcome (re: ability in mathematics to be taught) • Be open with assessment on Career Entry Profile • HoDs to plug remaining gaps as necessary • More communication between schools & Higher Education Institutions – mathematics to be taught is a changing body of knowledge • General • Reduce bureaucracy • Replace the 92 competences by …….

  22. The Way Forward • Teachers in induction to satisfy HoD & Principal that they are performing sufficiently well in – • Knowledge of subject & developments • Relationships & rapport with pupils • Relationships with staff • Good classroom management & range of classroom techniques • Assessment & recording of pupils’ progress • Professional development

  23. Conclusion • Some examples of good practice • Lots of scope for improvement, especially • Subject knowledge • Bureaucracy • Communication • Acronyms! • Is teacher training cyclical? Have we been here before?

  24. Thank you Any questions?

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