Access or exploitation? A case study of an employment-based route into teaching
AbstractIn this paper, an innovative teacher education programme in the UK is presented and evaluated. The recently established Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP) provides access to teaching for mature entrants through an employment-based route. A university in the south of England developed a primary GTP in partnership with a local education authority in order to provide high quality training as well as meeting recruitment shortages in a deprived area. This programme is unusual in providing a taught course component and university-based assessment; it is highly regarded by national teacher training and assessment agencies in the UK. The trainees' experiences on the first three years of the programme were explored, using questionnaires and interviews. Most of the trainee teachers on the programme were women with family responsibilities who were already employed by local schools as teaching assistants; they were therefore not in a financial or geographical position to enter a more traditional teacher training route. The trainees often had to balance heavy personal responsibilities with studying and teaching; their commitment was generally high and peer and family support were important in helping to maintain this. In the first year of the programme, some schools expected the trainees to fulfil a teaching role straight away even though the trainees themselves felt unready and had not been trained. This was compounded by the fact that government funding was not always available to employ the trainees as additional members of staff. In spite of these difficulties, those trainees who had prior work experience in schools found that they could draw on already developed skills in order to make a positive transition into a teaching role. By the second and third years of the programme, school expectations of trainees had modified and funding was more widely available, making the trainees' experiences more positive and enabling a smoother transition into the teaching role. Levels of support and training offered by the schools were also crucial in this transition process. In spite of the challenges involved, it is argued that, for most trainees, the programme offers a positive way into teaching that would otherwise have been unavailable.
TypeConference or Workshop Item
Griffiths, Vivienne (2003) Access or exploitation? A case study of an employment-based route into teaching. In: Teachers as Leaders: teacher education for a Global profession, July 20-25, 2003, Melbourne, Australia.