Author(s):Michael Green, Margaret Sangster

Conference:ECER 2010

Network:10. Teacher Education Research

Format:Paper

Session Information

10 SES 02 C, Research on Programmes and Pedagogical Approaches in Teacher Education

Paper Session

Time:2010-08-25
11:15-12:45

Room:AUDITORIUM XI, Päärakennus / Main Building

Chair:Isabel Rots

Contribution

The Value of an Alternative Placement Experience for Primary Initial Teacher Training Students


This paper is an analysis of the impact on student teachers of a module enabling them to experience an ‘alternative’ placement to those settings for which they were training.  The introduction of an alternative placement in Initial Teacher Training (ITT) is innovative and has implications for ITT, both within the United Kingdom and abroad.

The module was run with Year 2 students on a three year undergraduate Primary School (3-11) initial teacher training degree programme in the United Kingdom. As part of the module the student teachers were able to organise their own ‘alternative’ placement. The only requirement made by the University was that the placement was to be in a setting where learning takes place.  The intention was to enable students to have the opportunity to broaden their experience and provide them with the opportunity to explore education in a wider context, in theory and in practice. By opening the range of opportunities, it enabled students to be adventurous in their choice of setting. It was hoped to expand the student’s view of the world, particularly those who moved straight from school onto the University programme. From a cohort of 265 Year Two students, 87 students elected to undertake their placement within an international context; examples of which included, working in an underprivileged camp for children in Ghana, working in schools in Malaysia, visiting a school for gifted and talented children in Barbados. Other students organised their placements in a range of settings in the United Kingdom; examples of which included, working in museums, libraries, special schools, pre-schools, outdoor adventure centres, heritage sites, zoos and working with healthcare professionals.

The following areas were the focus of the research:

1. How such a placement can develop a student teacher’s knowledge and understanding mapped against the Standards for the Award for Qualified Teacher Status;

2. The impact of the placement on the student teacher’s professional identity (personal growth / confidence / challenge / independence);

3. How such a placement contributed to students’ awareness of alternative approaches to teaching and learning in a range of different settings and contexts;

4. Transfer this experience into their classroom practice.


Method

A grounded theory approach was taken to explore the areas noted above. There was a range of data collection methods used including; general whole cohort evaluation to gain information about personal and professional development(questionnaire), Evaluation against the standards for Qualified Teacher Status to gain information on frequency and professional development(Survey); three case studies to gain depth of response (case studies) and proposed interviews of students on placement to establish a sample of impact (interview). The data collected was qualitative and quantitative in an attempt to establish as complete a picture as possible of the impact of the study.


Expected Outcomes

Expected outcomes:
To establish the value of an alternative placement to students' personal and professional development and consider the impact on their classroom practice. This will be done by focussing on the following four areas:

1. How such a placement can develop a student teacher’s knowledge and understanding mapped against the Standards for the Award for Qualified Teacher Status;

2. The impact of the placement on the student teacher’s professional identity (personal growth / confidence / challenge / independence);

3. How such a placement contributed to students’ awareness of alternative approaches to teaching and learning in a range of different settings and contexts;

4. Transfer this experience into their classroom practice.


References

Barnes, J. & Scoffham, S. (2007) Teacher Education Outside the Classroom: Why ITT students’ experience needs to be broadened and extended Canterbury Christ Church University

Dewey, J. (1933). How we think: A restatement of the relation of reflective thinking to the educative process. Boston: DC Heath and Company

Department for Education and Skills (2006) Learning Outside the Classroom Manifesto DfES

Gould, H. (2003) Settings Other than Schools: Initial Teacher Training Placements in Museums, Libraries and Archives YMLAC

Grainger, T., Barnes, J. & Scoffham, S. (2004) ‘A Creative Cocktail: Creative Teaching in Initial Teacher education’ in Journal of Education for Teaching Vol 30. No.3

House of Commons Education and Skills Committee (2005) Education Outside the Classroom London: The Stationery Office Ltd

Kolb, D. (1984) Experiential Learning: experience as the source of learning and development Prentice-Hall

Malone, K. (2008) Every Experience Matters Farming and Countryside Education

NACCCE (1999) All Our Futures: Creativity, Culture and Education DfEE

NfER (2006) Education Outside the Classroom: Research to Identify What Training is Offered by Initial Teacher Training Institutions DfES

Osterman, K. & Kottkamp, R. (2004) Reflective Practice for Educators Corwin Press

Rea, T. & Waite, S. (2009) ‘International Perspectives on outdoor and experiential learning’ in Education 3-13 vol 37 No. 1 pp1-4

Roberts, P. (2006) Nurturing Creativity in Young People: A report to Government to inform policy DCMS

Schon, D. (1987) cited in Osterman, K. & Kottkamp, R. (2004) Reflective Practice for Educators Corwin Press

Scoffham, S. (2003) ‘Teaching, learning and the brain’ in Education 3-13 October 2003 pp9-18

Scoffham, S. & Barnes , J. (2009) ‘Transformational experiences and deep learning: the impact of an intercultural study visit to India on UK initial teacher education students’ in Journal of Education for Teaching, Vol35 No.3 pp257 - 270

TDA (2008) Professional Standards for Qualified Teacher Status and Requirements for Initial Teacher Training (Revised 2008) TDA

Yin, R. (Ed) (2005) Introducing the World of Education: A Case Study Reader Sage


Author Information

Michael Green
Canterbury Christ Church University
Department for Primary Education
Chatham
Margaret Sangster
Canterbury Christ Church University
Education
Canterbury