Whatever happened to theory in teacher education?

As initial teacher education increasingly takes place in schools, what becomes of the activities that remain in the university? Studies on this theme have been carried out over the last three years by a team comprising Tony BrownKim Smith and Elaine Hodson, working within the Education Faculty at Manchester Metropolitan University for the Graduate Teacher Programme. This work had led to a recent publication in the Journal of Education for Teaching and one in Teachers and Teaching (read here), which focused on how trainee teachers experience and conceptualise their employment-based course. This month, a paper for the Educational Action Research Journal pursues the theme of theory, but from the point of view of how university tutors working with employment-based trainees reconceptualise their professional role.

Meanwhile two other papers for the Australian journal Mathematics Education Research Journal and the Canadian journal For the Learning of Mathematics have asked the question: what has happened to understandings of school mathematics in employment-based initial teacher education arrangements? These papers were recently discussed by Tony Brown at his recent professorial lecture,

Last month saw the commencement of a larger scale project at MMU and in the north-west region on theory and practice in initial teacher education. This will evaluate most recent changes in teacher education in light of the introduction by the UK Government of School Direct. We are delighted to welcome Dr Harriet Rowley into the team, who will be carrying out much of the research over the coming academic year.  Our best wishes and thanks are sent to Elaine Hodson for a very happy retirement and for her inspiration in getting the project started.

Tony Brown and Kim Smith

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