What the resource is:
This report was undertaken by CCCU, following their work on an EPPI review of the National Partnership Projects (NPP). It provides a review of research reports of those projects which can be accessed on the TTRB. A list of the projects included in the review is provided, and include perspectives from teachers, trainers and mentors working within higher education institutes (HEIs), schools, museums, art galleries, libraries and archives.
The introductory sections in part 1 provide an historical account of the development of ITE, including, amongst other policy and literature, some factual commentary from the McNair (1944), James (1972), Dearing (1997) and Ofsted (1993, 2003) reports; all of which have influenced change within schools, HEIs and ITE. It provides a comprehensive overview of the concept of 'partnership', and how this has developed, partly through the NPP. This could be exceptionally useful for trainees and new teacher educators/trainers.
The aims of the resource:
Its aim is to ascertain what knowledge and understanding of the management and provision of professional experience for trainee teachers is provided by the partnership projects.
A further aim is to "draw together the experiences and findings of the schools, training providers, (HEIs) and trainee teachers who were involved in the research to provide a resource for others involved within ITE" (p4).
Furthermore, research noted within the report promotes school-based teacher training by seeking out examples of effective practice within the partnerships, yet also highlights areas of support necessary within school-based teacher training.
Key findings or focus:
The focus of the report is firmly placed with ITE partnerships, i.e. HEIs, schools, museums, art galleries, libraries and archives. The projects referred to within the report are small-scale, and focus on specific issues and experiences within particular regions of ITE partnerships. This should be taken into account when considering the value and impact of the findings, i.e. other partnerships may not have the same issues and experiences.
A key finding within the report is that those involved in the research projects believe that they have gained from working in partnership collaboration, although note that the majority of those questioned within the partnerships considered the bureaucracy driven by HEIs too onerous.
The report also notes that teachers who have been trained overseas and ethnic minority groups do not want to feel singled out when undertaking ITT, and for this reason many of those interviewed are reluctant to engage in celebrating diversity during their placements within schools.
The report draws attention to further findings within the research that suggest that trainee teachers consider that there is insufficient training and/or support relating to managing behaviour within the classroom. Moreover, paired or high capacity placements provide opportunities for trainees and school staff to share experiences with others within the same school setting.
The quality, authority and credibility of the resource from your subject perspective in relation to ITE:
The quality in terms of the content of the report is very good. It is authoritive, factual and informative. It is generic to ITT/ITE, rather than being subject specific. Specifically, the report is concerned with ITT/ITE and CPD with an audience of trainee teachers, teachers, head teachers and mentors.
It is a credible report that has been undertaken by CCCU, following their work on a systematic literature review of projects in conjunction with the EPPI-centre. Furthermore, the research reviewed within the report was initiated under an NPP agreement, and seeks to inform policy change through the TDA. Surveys were conducted with 22 staff from HEIs, 53 staff from museums, libraries and archived and focus groups were held with student teachers from two institutions.
The implications for ITE tutors/mentors - when and how it could have best impact:
The report is very useful for informing ITE tutors of effective practice and areas of support as suggested by those interviewed within the various partnership projects. It is insightful about practice within a selection of partnerships. It also provides a backdrop of information relating to the views of mentors and heads of schools, therefore enabling ITE tutors to view ITE through differing lenses.
Specifically, it provides a forum for discussion and debate relating to the experiences of partnerships, mentors and trainees. It provides some perceptive information relating to trainees' experience within schools, art galleries, museums, libraries and archives. Although somewhat lengthy, another benefit of the review is that the projects are grouped and discussed thematically, in order to analyse the findings, and to reach (albeit rather tentative) conclusions.
In terms of methodology, the statement on p11 that the decision was taken not to undertake a "systematic assessment of the quality of research and evidence base for each of the projects", and the reasons for this, could be usefully explored
The relevance to ITE students. - how and why it has importance:
The report provides some historical background of the origin of ITE and relevant key policy change. It has grouped the projects together thematically to enable some analysis of the findings. It is important to ITE students as it provides them with an holistic view of other trainees' experiences whilst on placement. It therefore gives ITE trainees an opportunity to compare and to contrast other trainees' experiences with their own.