10 SES 08 C, Programmes and Approaches: (Re)View on programmes and measurements
This paper presents the first phase of a Scotland-wide project designed to develop and implement a context-appropriate framework for measuring quality in initial teacher education (ITE). The project involves all eight university ITE providers in Scotland and is sponsored and supported by the Scottish Government and the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS). The first phase of the project, presented in this paper, reports on a literature review and the initial stages of using that review to develop a framework for measuring quality in ITE. Thereafter, the project will go on to follow a cohort of new teachers over a period of five years, using the framework to identify aspects of quality that might be attributed to the ITE experience.
Scotland has seen a renewed emphasis on teacher education, with recent calls from the Cabinet Secretary for Education for ITE university providers to propose new routes into teaching. These new routes are expected to address a range of policy priorities, including:
- Increased numbers of teachers in shortage subjects such as STEM and Home Economics
- Teachers who can work between primary and secondary sectors to support the transition phase
- Increased opportunities for specialism within the primary workforce, e.g. STEM and modern languages
- PGDE and induction year combined more coherently, and potentially over a shorter timescale
- Opportunities for teachers to complete a full Masters degree during ITE or the induction year
- Increased availability of distance or work-based routes into teaching
- Increased numbers of black and minority ethnic teachers, and of male teachers in the primary sector
- Increased numbers of teachers able to teach through the medium of Gaelic
The response from university providers shows increasing diversity in provision, following a history of consistency and conservatism. The quality of initial teacher education programmes is a policy priority not only in Scotland, but throughout Europe and beyond, as Governments increasingly see teacher quality as central to improving pupil attainment, and hence national performance. However, while improving teacher (and teacher education) quality is increasingly being prioritised, there is a paucity of research on effective, reliable and appropriate ways to measure quality. The majority of current research is US-based wherein approaches focus on correlations between individual teachers and pupil performance in standardised tests; the ‘value-added’ approach (Chetty et al., 2011). This approach is not particularly well-suited to many other countries, and would certainly be neither feasible nor desirable in Scotland (Hulme & Kennedy, 2016). Such approaches result in a disproportionate negative impact on pupils from disadvantaged and minority backgrounds (Mangiante, 2011) and emphasise education that can be measured quantitatively, to the detriment of other aspects (Biesta, 2009). These concerns are shared by many other countries, and so in addition to supporting policy development in Scotland, research into measuring the quality of teacher education through other means would be a major contribution internationally.
For the purposes of this presentation, we address the following research questions:
- What does the literature say about the range of approaches to measuring quality in ITE?
- How might these approaches be understood and theorised in such a way as to match them appropriately to specific country contexts?
Biesta, G. (2009). Good education in an age of measurement: on the need to reconnect with the question of purpose in education. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability, 21(1), 33-46. Chetty, R., Friedman, J. & Rockoff, J. (2011). The long-term impacts of teachers: teacher value-added and student outcomes in adulthood. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research. Hulme, M. & Kennedy, A. (2016). Teacher education in Scotland: consensus politics and ‘the Scottish policy style’. In G. Beauchamp et al. (Eds.). Teacher education in times of change. Bristol: Policy Press. Jacob, B.A. & Welsh, E. (2011). What’s in a rating? Economics of Education Review, 30, 434-448. Kirabo Jackson, C., Rockoff, J.E. & Staiger, D.O. (2014). Teacher effects and teacher-related policies. Annual Review of Economics, 6, 801-825. Mangiante, E. (2011). Teachers matter: Measures of effectiveness in low-income minority schools. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability, 23(1), 41-63. Wiseman, D. (2012). The intersection of policy, reform and teacher education. Journal of Teacher Education. 63(2), 87-91.
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