Rethinking Initial Teacher Education for Further Education Teachers: From a standards-led to a knowledge-based approach

Jun. 17, 2007

Source: Teaching Education, Volume 18, Issue 2 June 2007 , pages 93 – 106

This paper is a critique of the initial teacher education (ITE) of further and adult education teachers in the UK. It argues that the employer-led, national standards model in the UK is not the basis for ITE and professional development because it takes no account of learning in the workplace, disregards the multi-specialist and professional dimensions of professional practice and marginalizes the importance of knowledge. In the critique of the "standards-led model" the paper draws upon research and ideas on work-based learning, seeing the learning of teachers in the workplace as a complex relationship with many "experts" in multiple, often conflicting learning contexts.

The paper stresses the importance of seeing work-based learning as more than just "learning by doing" to one that sees it as an intentional structuring of participatory activity. In other words, a "pedagogy of the workplace". Finally the paper suggests that learning is not just a process of "participation", but a learning zone where different types of knowledge and pedagogy are learnt and transformed. In highlighting the importance of knowledge the paper draws upon theories of professional knowledge that suggests that certain types of knowledge cannot be gained in the workplace alone, therefore focusing on the issues of the different types of knowledge, their acquisition and their transformation or recontextualisation.

Updated: Feb. 26, 2008