Innovation by design: transforming ITE workshops with TEAN

You could say that ITE providers in England (to use that horrible ‘p’ word) have generally been good at offering high quality provision and ensuring year-on-year improvements in measures of effectiveness. Ofsted says so and so do external examiners. But as a sector perhaps we have not been so good at coming up with new ideas and innovative designs for preparing new teachers for – and with – the profession. The PGCE has run on essentially the same lines (whether they are HEI or SD-branded) since 1992. And retention – well, that does seem to be a problem with the current system (and a problem much wider than ITE of course).

The recent White Paper, Educational Excellence Everywhere (DfE, 2016), although arguably mainly gestural in significance, nonetheless signals further deregulation of ITE and suggests a longer and more distributed system of initial and early career professional development leading to qualification. At the same time, all ITE providers – and higher education institutions in particular – will need to review their involvement in any proposed new system and consider the risks (financial, reputational and otherwise) of doing so. Internationally, however, innovations in teacher education continue to position HEIs in meaningful ways and rely on their significant involvement in new collaborative arrangements with schools, school districts, trusts, teacher unions, community organisations and charitable foundations. Our current government wouldn’t want you to accept that but, fortunately for us, they don’t entirely determine the reality of our situation.

With TEAN (the Teacher Education Advancement Network), colleagues and I will be helping to lead some workshops next term specifically focused on innovation in ITE and specifically for HEIs who are interested in working with the profession and with schools in different ways. These workshops will offer participants the opportunity to consider some of the questions below (and others!) in order to generate ideas with colleagues in a supportive environment. The aim of each workshop is that participants leave with at least the outline of an innovation they might develop within their institutions.

  • What future would you design for ITE and early career professional development within your own HEI, in partnership with current and new stakeholders?
  • What new designs for ITE, at postgraduate level, for example, might have a mutually beneficial relationship with the teaching profession as well as to the field of ITE and to the growth of REF-compliant research in teaching and teacher education?
  • At system-level, how can we create ITE and early career professional learning programmes that contribute to school improvement?
  • What possibilities are there for innovative undergraduate/integrated Master’s programmes, in STEM and other subjects?

We will be producing a pamphlet to read in advance of the workshops that will stimulate discussion and help to generate ideas and it will include position papers, case studies and references to the research.

The workshop will be presented on 3 different dates and at 3 different venues. They are:

Wednesday, November 23rd 2016 at King’s College London

Thursday, November 24th 2016 at the University of Southampton

Friday, December 2nd 2016 at the University of Manchester

Further details will be circulated by TEAN shortly