Friday, January 30, 2009

Thinking about Initial Teacher Education

I am attending a conference where we are reviewing our courses of Initial Teacher Education, how we organise ourselves, and how we organise our courses at Jordanhill. There are a number of influences driving this review. For example, there is a desire to harmonise the different courses we offer. There is clearly overlap between the BEd and the Professional Graduate Diplomas in Secondary and Primary and questions therefore include how do we ensure best practice is shared across these programmes? External issues include Curriculum for Excellence

It was suggested that the various courses are already using inovative approaches to learning and teaching. For example, the use of Virtual Learning Environments {the plural is deliberate - a course can use more than one} and video streaming. {My observation: If we want to develop and support such innovation, there is a need to consider AV and IT support but I'm not sure we are making the links with these services that we should.} 

Other important developments include the drive nationally to develop integration of services and inter-professional learning. {Within the university are there parallel developments with discussions on the integration of Faculty of Education and Arts, Law & Social Sciences into a Humanities Faculty?} 

Other areas we will consider today include: 

  • Is there a case for recognising PGDE at Masters level? {It was implied our "rivals" are already doing this. I will need to do a bit of investigation here.} 
  • How do we ensure there is space for staff to develop their own research? Difficult when we know staffing levels will be reduced. This needs new and innovative approaches. “There are no sacred cows.” we were told.
Change is always tricky but when we are looking to bring radical changes to large (over a thousand students), well established courses, it will be even trickier. Even getting so many people together (about 70 members of staff from the University), from all the teacher education courses (and others), is unusual. 

Interesting times!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This has already happened at a university close to yours. It's been an amazing success. They have adopted the Nike slogan "Just do it".

No idea is a bad idea... just do it.

Less school tutor visits... just do it.

Less class contact with students... just do it.

Primary and secondary students get the same basic classes... just do it.

Less communication with schools... just do it.

Less staff more work for everyone... just do it.

Review assessments after students get them... just do it.

Write handbooks during the course... just do it.

Make decisions on the fly... just do it.

Tell students and staff of school placements at the last minute... just do it.

I want to be first against the wall come the revolution...