10 SES 12 B, In Teacher Education, Age Matters and So Does Policy
As in many European nations, teacher education across the UK’s four nations (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales) is under active development. Statutory requirements for initial teacher education (ITE), together with the sometimes tacit discourses and practices of the field, increasingly reflect differing assumptions about teaching, teacher learning and approaches to governance. These changes have been facilitated by political devolution, as possibilities for greater cross-national divergence in education policy have increased (Raffe 2005).
Submitted in an earlier form as a commissioned article for the BERA RSA Review of research-informed teacher education across the UK, this conference paper (revised and updated for ECER) explores in more depth the arrangements for ITE in the four UK nations. Our focuses are largely on explicit policy and practices or what Popkewitz (1987) terms the ‘public discourses’ of ITE across the UK. But following Ball (1994: 16), we see these as decoded, mediated and instantiated in practice in markedly differing ways within a nation, shaped by and acting to shape the perspectives of multiple stakeholders.
The paper has two major focuses: first, the declared teacher Standards (competencies/ competences) and their relationships to research-informed teacher education in each jurisdiction; and second, policy documentation and declarations, which reflect the ‘turn or (re)turn to the practical’ (Furlong and Lawn, 2011) in teacher education.
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