22 SES 05 A, Inclusion and Diversity in Higher Education Settings
Parallel Paper Session
The experiences of minority ethnic students (MES) on teacher training programmes has come into focus in more recent years (Carrington et al, 2000; Roberts et al, 2002; Basit et al 2002; Basit et al 2007: Gardner, 2008; Butt et al, 2010). Minority ethnic teacher trainees are under-represented in many Initial Teacher Training (ITT) courses in the United Kingdom (UK) (Gordon 2000) and we suspect this is the case across Europe. It has been recognised over a considerable period now that the education system in the UK needs more teachers from minority ethnic backgrounds (Swann Report, 1985; DfES Aiming High 2003; General Teaching Council 2003, Gardner, 2008). But despite an increase in research and policy directed at how MES students are supported in their teacher training, they are generally still underrepresented across many aspects of Initial Teacher Training. While there have been some increases in minority ethnic people on ITT courses, partly as a result of the TDA’s (Training and Development Agency) endeavours, these groups are still under-represented. Much of the research has been focussed on MES students already participating in teacher training programmes; on their progression, and their experience of racism for example. There has been less attention paid to the recruitment process and the experience and motivations of MES students when applying for ITT programmes.
This paper is based upon research that aimed to uncover the reasons behind patterns of recruitment and the motivation and experiences of (ME) students applying to or getting on ITT programmes at a University in the United Kingdom. The research derived data from students and staff teaching on a range of ITT courses by using small-scale qualitative methods. The results indicate that whilst staff members consistently raised structural issues relating to identifying role models, improving representation on literature, taster courses and open days, for example; the students were more likely to discuss the support of their family and altruistic reasons for their “passion” to teach. Understanding recruitment patterns and influences on Minority Ethnic Students on ITT courses is an important step in increasing the profile of such teachers and the research presented in this paper aims to illuminate the factors involved in pre-entry.
The European mainland data is as yet unclear and inconsistent, regarding recruitment patterns in other countries and the subsequent representation of Minority Ethnic students on teacher training programmes. This paper will therefore welcome a discussion with ECER colleagues regarding comparative factors in other countries and resultant initiatives that have been created in order to address underrepresentation.
Basit, T.N., Mcnamara, O., Roberts, L., Carrington, B., Maguire, M. & Woodrow, D (2007) The Bar is Slightly Higher: The Perception of Racism in Teacher Education, Cambridge Journal of Education. 37 (2): pp.279-298. Callender, C., Robinson, Y., & Robertson, A. (2006) The Impact of Ethnic Monitoring on the Achievement of Black and Minority Ethnic Students in ITE. Report for Multiverse: London. Carrington, B., Bonnett, A., Nayak, A., Skelton, C., Smith, F., Tomlin, R., Short, G and Demaine, J. (2000) The Recruitment of New teachers from Minority Ethnic Groups, International Studies in Sociology of Education. 10 (1) pp. 3-22. Cunningham, M. & Hargreave, L. (2007) Minority Ethnic Teachers’ Professional Experiences: Evidence from the Teacher Status Project. DfES. Research Report RR853. Gardner, P. (2005). The Recruitment of Minority Ethnic Students to Initial Teacher Education: A Study of De Montfort University (Bedford). Report for De Montfort University. Gardner, P. (2008) The Recruitment of Minority Ethnic Students to Initial Teacher Education. Paper Presented at the annual British Educational Research Association Annual Conference. Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh 3-6 September. Robbins, M.R. (1995) Black Students in Teacher Education Multi-Cultural Teaching 14 (1) pp.15-22. Roberts, L. Mcnamara, O., Basit, T.N. & Hatch G. (2002) It’s Like Black people are still Aliens: Retention of Minority Ethnic Student Teachers, Paper Presented at the Annual British Education Research Association Conference. University of Exeter. Ross (2001) Towards a Representative Profession: Teachers from the Ethnic Minorities. Paper Presented to the Seminar on the Future of the Teaching Profession. London Institute for Public Policy Resarch. December 11. Stuart, J. & Cole, M. with Birrell, G. Snow, D & Wilson, V. (2003) Minority Ethnic and Overseas Student Teachers in South-East England: An Exploratory Study. Report to the Teacher Training Agency.
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