02 SES 05 A, VET Teachers Continuing Education and Training
Background and origin of study:
This research builds on an earlier project and case study carried out by the researcher that suggested there were potential links between lecturer training and ongoing engagement with continuing professional development in teaching and learning. Respondents from similarly sector located colleges, one in Scotland and the other in Wales, recounted their experiences of accessing continuing professional development post initial training and their motivation for engaging with lifelong learning. The case study highlighted some potential problems regarding the efficacy of training provided for lecturers in some further education colleges. The data suggested that model, delivery and content of teacher training for lecturers had influenced engagement with on-going lifelong learning and professional development. This research led to a number of questions arising for further exploration.
Specific research question addressed in this paper:
What impact does initial teacher training for lecturers in further education have on engagement with career long professional learning in pedagogic practice?
Study aims and conceptual framework
A purposive sample of twenty lecturers was selected from two separate but similarly sector located colleges of further education, one in Wales and the other in Scotland. The respondent lecturers were engaged in semi structured interviews utilizing the principles of phenomenological hermeneutics to interpret their recalled experiences of initial teacher training. The researcher aimed to develop an understanding of the perceived efficacy of training from the perspective of the respondents whilst assessing the potential impact on engagement with career long professional learning. The variations in models of training provision, course content and duration, and organisational and cultural support for learning were assessed for impact on developing individual lecturer professionalism and agency. Respondents were asked to recall experiences during training and assess the efficacy of the provided course/s in preparing them not only for teaching practice but also engaging them with career long professional learning and development.
Impact of the research:
The research has produced findings of potentially international importance and interest. The study included a comparative analysis of two important and separate devolved further education sectors operating within the European context. The findings related to the potential impacts of initial teacher training and cultural support for career long professional learning have significance for all teacher trainers and educational leaders operating in the vocational and further education sector across Europe.
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