Search results for: Ireland
Page 1/6 55 items
The closure of schools across the globe due to the Covid-19 pandemic had the potential to have a catastrophic impact on a fundamental pillar of initial teacher education: school placement. This paper maps a new “site” of professional practice for “school placement” called “Teacher Online Programme” (TOP) using Xu and Brown’s (2016) conceptual framework of teacher assessment literacy in practice. Its main focus lies in the integration of the assessment baseline knowledge into the programme under the seven elements proposed by the framework. A case study methodology informed the approach taken. Data was collected and analysed in three phases: the Teaching Online Programme Year 3 (TOP3) initiative; Student-teacher and Tutor Questionnaires and Student-teacher and Tutor focus group interviews. The findings highlight the complex and multifaceted process of building teacher assessment identity which nests in the larger purposes for education. They encourage an emergentist and collaborative approach to assessment knowledge and view working in communities of practice as a threshold for creativity and innovation.
Updated: Aug. 08, 2022
Balancing competing demands: Enhancing the mathematical problem posing skills of prospective teachers through a mathematical letter writing initiative
Responding to mathematical problems is a core activity in classrooms. The problems that teachers select determine the mathematical content, processes and nature of mathematical inquiry occurring in classrooms and thereby contribute to the development of mathematical skills and dispositions. Selecting, designing or reformulating mathematical problems is a critical skill, then, for prospective and practising teachers. This study explores the influence of a mathematical letter writing initiative in developing the problem posing skills of 28 prospective primary teachers. We examine the characteristics of mathematical problems designed by prospective teachers, and their understandings of what constitutes a good mathematical problem, prior to and following completion of a 12-week letter writing initiative with 10–11-year-old children. Analysis of the data reveals the benefits of engaging in the initiative as evidenced in improvements in several problem characteristics. There was an increase in the number of multiple approach and multiple solution problems and in the level of cognitive demand of problems posed. The challenge of posing non-traditional problems, alongside the competing demands of building in opportunities for success, may have diminished participants’ ability to evaluate and attend to the cognitive demand of problems.
Updated: Aug. 02, 2022
Who else is teaching the teachers? The subject discipline teacher educator in initial teacher education
In this study, the profile and practices of subject discipline teacher educators are examined, providing possibly the first investigation of this cadre of a teacher educator. The subject discipline teacher educator is a subject specialist involved in initial teacher education, for example, a physics lecturer teaching on an initial teacher education science course. The subject discipline teacher educators studied work in concurrent (post-primary) initial teacher education in Ireland. More than half of the teaching and learning experiences of student teachers on these courses happen within their subject discipline. Despite the considerable exposure of student teachers to subject discipline teacher educators, very little is known about this group. In a survey of 70 subject discipline teacher educators, several factors related to their profile and practices were analysed. The results indicate that subject discipline teacher educators are a distinctive group of teacher educators, committed to, and engaged in the practice of teacher education.
Updated: Jul. 11, 2022
"I worry about money every day": The financial stress of second-level initial teacher education in Ireland
In Ireland, the past ten years have seen the emergence of new policies and practices in initial teacher education (ITE) in response to national priorities and the professed aim of progressing standards. A key mechanism of this process was to universally extend the duration of postgraduate ITE programs from twelve to twenty-four months to broaden student teachers' professional development. While this has been a positive move in many aspects, it has also been rendered problematic due to the inability of policymakers to reconstruct financial mechanisms to support student teacher enrolment, retention and progression. This paper examines second-level student teachers' experiences (N = 391) regarding the costs, both financial and emotional, of becoming a teacher in Ireland. The results show that while enrolled on their ITE course, there is a mean deficit of €151 per week in student teacher spending. Over 40% of student teachers rely on their family and/or partner to fund their participation. The qualitative data reveals that this has a huge impact on their personal and family finances and leads to high levels of financial stress. Suggestions on how this financial pressure could be alleviated include paid teaching while on school placement and lowering the cost of the course.
Updated: Jun. 13, 2022
Supporting reflection and reflective practice in an initial teacher education programme: an exploratory study
The importance of promoting reflection and reflective practice in teacher education programmes is widely acknowledged. This exploratory study describes how a revised B.Ed initial primary teacher education programme created a renewed focus on reflection and reflective practice to support students in becoming reflective practitioners The work on developing the new programme was a collaborative effort of staff, both at the planning and implementation stages. This paper reports on an evaluation of Year 1 of the B.Ed programme in which 440 undergraduate students and 24 staff were involved. The results were mainly positive, indicating that the changes in the programme have been largely successful in their goals. However, the results also show that further work needs to be done in this area with more in-depth research and analysis of the ongoing work being needed.
Updated: Dec. 08, 2021
Teacher educators’ professional trajectories: evidence from Ireland, Israel, Norway and the Netherlands
This study describes higher education-based teacher educators’ professional trajectories, i.e. their professional activities and learning as developed throughout their career. Semi-structured interviews were held with 41 teacher educators from Ireland, Israel, Norway and the Netherlands. Findings show that teacher educators were recruited mainly from schools and universities. As novices, they received some, but no formal, support. Research and teaching are the main areas for on-the-job learning. Most teacher educators have positive attitudes towards research, are active researchers and contribute to teaching. However, they believe their respective institutes are not sufficiently appreciative of teaching, given that institutes do not prioritise practice-oriented research, nor align their policies with research findings. While socially coherent and idealistic attitudes are present among teacher educators, they are predominantly responsive to institutes’ perceived individualistic and pragmatic expectations. Such expectations include contribution to their institutes’ academic status through their academic publications.
Updated: Dec. 08, 2021
The use of virtual simulations in teacher education to develop pre-service teachers’ behaviour and classroom management skills: implications for reflective practice
The use of virtual simulations is increasingly seen as an opportunity to provide pre-service teachers with unique opportunities to experience examples of classroom life in a controlled and structured environment. With these benefits in mind, this paper explores the growing use of virtual simulations in pre-service teacher education and in particular their use in developing pre-service teachers’ behaviour and classroom management skills. It highlights issues that teacher educators need to be cognisant of in using them with student teachers, particularly the extent to which they cement existing stereotypes about pupil behaviour and the extent to which they subsequently limit rather than enhance opportunities for critical reflection.
Updated: Jan. 09, 2021
This article offers a first look at teacher educators’ (N = 336) perceptions of their technology competencies based on the Teacher Educator Technology Competencies (TETCs; Foulger, Graziano, Schmidt-Crawford, & Slykhuis, 2017). The participants generally rated their competence levels highly in relation to the TETCs. Although many participants reported that the TETCs adequately reflected the competencies required of them, they suggested various additions and changes to the TETCs. This mixed-method study advances understanding of teacher educators’ perceptions of the importance of various competences to their work and offers feedback from the field regarding which competencies might be missing from the TETCs.
Updated: Sep. 23, 2020
This research explores evidence-based teaching portfolios as authentic and continuous professional development involving cross-sectoral and cross-contextual teacher collaboration. Qualitative data analysed from teachers with experience teaching at post-primary, in a national teacher support service, in higher education and in teacher education are discussed. The original claim this paper makes is that many process and practice outcomes elicited during the process of portfolio development are useful for teachers working together across sectors, and therefore valuable for teachers and learners, along and across the education continuum. Key findings indicate that a cross-sectoral group can create knowledge, which is personalised and contextualised to each teacher’s teaching philosophy, yet informed by practitioners from different sectors. The merging of a research design through dual structuring of collaborative workshops with individualised mentoring and self-study inquiry enabled meaningful dialogue and reflection among the teachers’ from varied settings. Finally, the creation of a personalised and contextualised written teaching portfolio, afforded the teachers evidence of their own professional learning during and following the research process. This collective and individualised learning informed realisations and plans for relational and pedagogical change among the cross-sectoral group.
Updated: Aug. 05, 2020
The purpose of this study is to describe the professional development needs and activities of 61 teacher educators across six national jurisdictions (England, Ireland, Israel, Norway, Scotland and The Netherlands) and to reveal influencing factors and affordances conducive to professional development. Semi-structured interviews constituted questions on professional learning opportunities and teacher education and research. Results from the interviews convey themes around the areas of (i) self-initiated professional development, (ii) the importance of experiencing professional development through collaboration with peers and colleagues, (iii) accessing opportunities to improve teacher education teaching practices, and (iv) the inextricable link between teaching and research and, consequently, the need to upskill in research skills. Discussion points that arise include the induction period, frustration and tension in navigation, haphazard professional learning and learning with, and from, each other.
Updated: Jul. 28, 2020