Turbulent times for teacher training

Too rapid an expansion of 'on the job' teacher training schemes could damage teacher supply, argues James Noble Rogers. Nonetheless, he says, universities are working to support school-led training partnerships and identify best practice.

Initial teacher training (ITT) has often been subject to radical reform. Until recently the most significant example of this was in the 1990s, when the Conservative government introduced new employment and school-based routes into teaching and laid down requirements about the content of training and the amount of time trainees had to spend in school. Programmes also became subject to regular inspection by Ofsted.

While these changes may have reflected the government’s determination to improve quality, they were also at least partly motivated by lingering suspicions that teacher education was dominated by out-of-touch academics hell-bent on brainwashing new teachers with irrelevant and damaging child-centred theories of education. Or, to put it in Michael Gove’s pejorative term, the “blob”.

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