Teacher education refers to the policies and procedures designed to equip prospective teachers with the knowledge, attitudes, behaviours and skills they require to perform their tasks effectively in the classroom, school and wider community. The curriculum for these courses includes foundational knowledge in education-related topics, skills in assessing student learning, subject knowledge and teaching practice. Though this process should ideally be conceived of and organised as, a seamless continuum, teacher education is often divided into three separate stages in the UK.
Initial teacher education in many countries takes place largely in Higher Education Institutions. In Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) courses a teacher first obtains a qualification in one or more subjects at undergraduate level or equivalent, followed by a period of (usually) one year further study. An alternative to this ‘consecutive’ model is the ‘concurrent’ model whereby trainee teachers study an academic subject to Bachelor’s degree level, whilst simultaneously achieving a qualification to teach that subject, known as teacher qualified status (QTS).
Newly qualified teachers (NQTs) are asked to rate their training in relation to a number of factors including the curriculum, teaching skills, assessment and progression experienced on the training course. One element of this is how the course provides them with the knowledge, skills and understanding to use information and communications technology (ICT) in their subject teaching; (TDA, 2010). NQTs often decry the opportunity given to them on course to develop these skills owing to the crowded prescriptive curriculum and the constraints of placement, standards-led accountability, and issues around how courses are constructed (Ashby et al, 2008). Teacher education curricula are viewed as needing to reflect the changing needs of the school system including integrating technology effectively (Crocker and Dibbon, 2008; Finnish Institute for Educational Research, 2009; Calder and Grieve, 2004)
The recent development of school-based models of teacher education, such as Graduate Teacher Training Programme, Teach First, School Direct and Training Schools initiatives are proliferating, raising the concern in some quarters that trainees will be given the time and support to develop skills and awareness of digital technology in busy school environments.
This section includes:
For References see 4.2.3 References / Links to Further Information