What's next for Initial Teacher Education in Scotland? This is the question being explored by Graham Donaldson
in a Review of Teacher Education in Scotland (RTES)
. In an article recently in TES
, Mr Donaldson poses the question, "How can we support our teachers and the wider education community to engage with confidence in this agenda (CfE), and with an unknowable future agenda?
". He also outlines the process of the review and finishes by encouraging readers to engage via TESS forums and RTES Discussion Page (a feedback page
is available but not a discussion page).
As an interested party (GTCS registered teacher, University Teacher in Faculty of Education, Tutor on both PG & BEd teacher education courses) there are numerous ideas and questions that come to mind.
Firstly, should the profession accept a government lead review which does not include an executive member of the GTCS? Whilst there are teachers on the Review Team
there does not appear to be a representative of the GTCS. However in the report from the Council meeting, 20th January 2010 the Chief Executive in response to the RTES stated: "The Council would need to play a central role by offering advice and assistance throughout the process of the review.
Secondly, is there a place for Universities in the education of teachers? Prior to the Universities taking on teacher training in the 90's the responsibility lay with dedicated colleges of education. Are the demands being placed on faculties and schools of education in the universities undermining the quality of teacher education in Scotland?
Thirdly, there's a large number of approaches to teacher training in England. Would teacher education in Scotland benefit from adopting some of England's approaches? Would PGDE students be better prepared to teach if they were educated in schools full-time? The problem with this would be one of cost: you would have to salary the beginning teacher rather than the tuition fee cost of a student teacher.
Fourthly, should teaching in Scotland be a Masters Profession? This depends on how you define a Masters level qualification. Is it an academic qualification that is only based on reading and research or a postgraduate qualification that validates learning which is a balance between reading and practice.
Finally, if we keep debasing the knowledge and skills required to teach and elevate the knowledge of educational theories we will fail to educate teachers for the 21st Century.