Case studies of trainee teachers on a primary Graduate Teacher Programme

Griffiths, Vivienne (2003) Case studies of trainee teachers on a primary Graduate Teacher Programme. In: BERA Annual Conference, 3-6 September 2008, Edinburgh.

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In this paper, case studies of trainee teachers on a primary Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP) will be presented. The recently established GTP provides access to teaching for mature entrants through an employment-based route. A university in the south of England developed a primary GTP partnership with a local education authority in order to provide high quality training as well as meeting recruitment shortages in a deprived area. This programme is unusual in providing a taught course component and university-based assessment; it is highly regarded by national teacher training and assessment agencies in the UK. The trainees' experiences on the first three years of the programme will be explored, drawing on questionnaires and interviews. Most of the trainee teachers on the programme are women with family responsibilities who are already employed by local schools as teaching assistants; they are therefore not in a financial or geographical position to enter a more traditional teacher training route. The trainee often have to balance heavy personal responsibilities with studying and teaching; their commitment is generally high and peer and family support are important in helping to maintain this. Factors affecting the progress of trainees on the programme will be explored, including prior work experience, expectations of the participants and levels of support offered by the schools. In particular, the previous school experience of the trainees is vital in proving them with a familiar context for training and enabling them to extend skills already developed in the classroom. For those trainees entering the programme without prior school experience, the transition into an intensive school-based route can be very problematic. Another key factor is the support and training provided by the schools, which has been quite variable. For example, in the first year of the programme, some schools expected the trainees to fulfil a teaching role straight away even though the trainees themselves felt unready and had not been trained. This was compounded by the fact that government funding was not always available to employ the trainees as additional members of staff. In spite of these difficulties, most trainees made a positive transition into a teaching role. By the second and third years of the programme, school expectations of trainees had modified and funding was more widely available, making the trainees' experiences more positive and enabling a smoother transition into the teaching role. In spite of the challenges involved, for most trainees, the programme offers a positive way into teaching that would otherwise have been unavailable.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Education
Depositing User: Vivienne Griffiths
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:29
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2012 15:30
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