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Teacher Training: Plumber's Apprenticeship?

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#31 Dimitri


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Posted 09 February 2004 - 05:08 PM

I suspect that Blair, like Thatcher, is trying to reduce the influence that tutors at university have on what goes on in the classroom. From my experience, they tend to be more progressive in their views than most classroom teachers.

I fully share your remark -- even though my experience is from two environments different than yours: Switzerland and Greece...

#32 gerrywhite


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Posted 09 February 2004 - 10:08 PM

:ill: I have recently spent a year training a GTP and feel that many comments about this process are unjustified. Our student joined the school while we were in Special Measures and consequently the process followed in her training involved a great deal of pedagogy. At the same time she attended a range of seminars at the local university and produced two research assignments looking at teaching methodology. Her degree was in Psychology and History and she had also spent time working as a school liaison officer. I feel that more mature graduates with work experience can bring a great deal to the classroom. Her training programme within school was carefully planned covering a range of essential areas. I firmly believe the quality you get out of the process is dependent on the effort the school is prepared to make. The department benefited greatly from her input being forced to explain why you teach something in a particular way can make you rethink what you are doing rather than simply doing it the way you have always done. She is now gainfully employed in another LEA finding few of the problems NQT's seem to face as a result of her in school training.

Edited to remove the name of this GTP student

Edited by Carole Faithorn, 09 February 2004 - 10:30 PM.

#33 Guest_andy_walker_*

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Posted 09 February 2004 - 10:33 PM

All of which is very praiseworthy.

I firmly believe the quality you get out of the process is dependent on the effort the school is prepared to make.

I do believe student teachers should have a more secure entitlement than this, and also suspect that the experience GTP's enjoy in your school is probably unusual.

#34 John Edgar

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Posted 04 March 2004 - 06:03 PM

I have found reading the various contributions to this debate very interesting. Obviously this is something that many feel very strongly about. Maybe viewing it from the perspective of the learner rather than the teacher could shed some light. I would agree with colleagues that there must be a balance between practical training and theoretical understanding in order to enable teachers to respond flexibly and effectively to the learning needs of the young people in our classrooms.

To this end every teacher surely needs to be able to master a broad range of methods whether this be; classroom management, preferred learning styles, differentiation, subject knowledge etc. Just as when we teach our students history, this requires mastery of both skills and knowledge in order to develop understanding that can be applied to developing solutions (in our case classroom solutions, pedagogy).

I had, and still have many criticisms of the training I received, but it did provide me with the tools to reflect on my practice and thus continue to develop professionally. This has proved invaluable to me in my work as a history teacher, Head of Dept, mentor, senior manager and advisor.

#35 Darren



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Posted 05 March 2004 - 02:09 AM

An interesting debate.

The problem we are finding here with teacher trainees from Colleges, is that they are overloaded with theory, with very little preparation for the practicalities of teaching. The standard of trainees and graduates is abysmal. Nearly all bemoan a system in which they waste valuable time in endless irrelevant lectures on philiospohy they will never use.

My experience as a trainee came from a private provider where the focus came from learning through practical teaching experiences. I spend most of my time in a class with an associate teacher, but it was not their responsiblity to help me. We had highly qualified tutors who were on call at any time to come and watch us teach. Afterwards they would give us systematic one to one feedback.

The theoretical aspects were done in a co-opeartive learing environment with assignment based material. We were encouraged to think for ourselves and develop our own philosphies.

The whole course was standards based. I could not graduate until I demonstrated fluency in all the professional stadards provided by the National Qualifications authority. This included theories of learning and assessment. No one can qualify unless they show they can teach, however long that takes.

Personally I have never learned so much in one year (it took me five terms, or one and a bit years). It showed that university education lacks any real rigour at all. We all had to be graduates from university on entry to the course, so we certainly had the basis for comparison

My point is that this course was largely based on the practical aspects of teaching. I spent a lot of time in the classroom and with tutors and my peers in discussion and reflection on what had happened. This is how you learn to teach. I had enough on the theory to contiue this in my professional practice. I personally find educational theory fascinating and see it as a professional requirement to continue to develop my knolwedge in these areas.

As a new graduate though, it was more important that I could do more than survive in the classroom, I could actually teach as well.

I firmly believe a 70/30 approach is best. Largely practical, with some theory.

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