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The challenges facing Postgraduate Trainees in Initial Teacher Education coming from practical or vocational degrees

McLain, MN (2013) The challenges facing Postgraduate Trainees in Initial Teacher Education coming from practical or vocational degrees. Teacher Education Advancement Network Journal, 5 (2). pp. 39-56. ISSN 2054-5266

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The challenges facing Applied (14 – 19) PGCE Routes in Initial Teacher Education reflections of a beginning teacher educator on the development of a professional narrative of beginning teachers.pdf - Accepted Version

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Abstract

This study focuses on the issues and challenges experienced by one year Initial Teacher Training (ITT) student on Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) courses from practical or vocational undergraduate degrees and their experience of postgraduate writing at Masters Level (M-Level). The research gathered data via a Grounded Theory perspective (Glaser & Strauss 1967; Charmaz 2006), methods including face-to-face and email conversations with students, an online survey and professional dialogue with colleagues regarding the receptivity of students on different subject routes on the PGCE at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) to teacher reflection and the development of a professional narrative. For example, students from disciplines which require linear, descriptive, and quantitative approaches to disciplinary writing appeared to be less responsive to M-Level demands for a more interpretive, provisional and qualitative approach. The diffuse and cyclic nature of reflection and self-evaluation, requiring the developing teacher to evaluate and reinvent themselves, also led to comments such as “I feel as if I am being asked to waffle” (PGCE Engineering ITT trainee, 2009/2010). The barriers to effective writing at Masters Level appeared to be different across PGCE routes, as reported by colleagues at LJMU and supported by Tas and Forsythe (2010:2). Typically, students from undergraduate disciplines that might be classed as more vocational or practical, such as Engineering (Jenkins, Jordan and Weiland 1993: 53) found the transition challenging. The argument of this paper is that ITT students’ prior experiences of academia and professional disciplines influences their performance in postgraduate writing. This creates a potentially uneven playing field, with trainees from some disciplines beginning their PGCE with an advantage: raising a number of practical questions, including ‘should different subject specialisms had different assessment requirements?’ and ‘what support can be given to enable all trainees to engage equally with the expected requirements for Masters Level?’

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1302 Curriculum And Pedagogy, 1203 Design Practice And Management
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: School of Education
Publisher: University of Cumbria
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2017 09:58
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2017 09:58
Editors: Norman, E and Spendlove, D and Benson, C
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6974

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