We welcome all our readers, new and old, to this tenth anniversary special issue of Research in Teacher Education (RiTE). We have, in this bumper edition, republished every guest writer article and included a 'postscript' from each author written in 2021 reflecting on their original article. This unique collection of work, from some of the most internationally acclaimed scholars in teacher education, focuses on developments in teacher education over the last decade.
We launched this UEL journal in 2011 to address a particular issue that existed at the time in many university-based teacher education departments. Staff working in Initial Teacher Education (ITE), like many of their social work and nursing colleagues, were (and still are) often recruited on the basis of being outstanding practitioners but not necessarily with experience of research or publication. As former teachers, novice university-based teacher educators frequently have vast expertise in schools and colleges in assessment, pedagogy, curriculum and leadership. But when they enter university employment, many find themselves standing side-by-side with colleagues working in other faculties with doctorates and long publication lists. RiTE was established as part of a mechanism to support new colleagues in their professional transition. Today, the journal is read in over 120 different countries (Google Analytics) with articles from our lecturers and students sitting side-by-side with those of Early Career Researchers (ECRs) and their more experienced colleagues in schools, colleges and higher education institutions from around the globe.
We are indebted to all of our guest writers who have helped raise the profile of RiTE and, in doing so, championing the contributions of all its authors. We start this special edition with an article from guest writer, Meg Maguire, (p. 7) that launched the first edition of RiTE in 2011. Meg's article, and the postscript that follows, raised questions and musings based on a consideration of what were (at the time) governmental proposals for reforming teacher education as outlined in the Schools White Paper (2010). Graham Welch's (p. 11) piece critically reflected on the review of the National Curriculum and the introduction of the so-called 'English Baccalaureate'. Stephen Ball, (p. 15) was published in our third edition in 2012, drawing on his earlier work on performativity and critically reflecting on what it means to be an academic in higher education. Jim O'Brien's (p. 18) article provided a critical reflection on, what were at the time, current developments in teacher education in Scotland. In his article, published in 2012, Ian Menter (p. 24) reflected on the future of educational research in light of (at the time) current policy developments related to teacher education in England.
Within the context of a powerful critique on the effects of transnational capitalism on education in 2013, Michael Fielding (p. 27) discussed the pioneering work of Alex Bloom and its implications for radical democratic education. In 2014, David Wray (p. 30) began new research programmes exploring the importance and teaching of handwriting, renewing the concept of readability and evaluating the educational use of mobile learning devices. In his article, David explored some of the background to this problem and reported an investigation into the self-perceived competence in writing of teachers in training. In the same year, Diane Mayer (p. 37) argued that professional standards for teaching and authentic assessment against those standards provide a framing for sustaining the professionalism of teacher education wherein teacher educators control the accountability agenda assuring the profession, governments and the general public of the quality of the graduates they prepare. In a significant shift in tone, Pat Sikes (p. 43) discussed how a commitment to follow C. Wright Mills's (1959) imperative to engage the sociological imagination ethically and critically could shape research agendas. Pat told two stories from her career about research that she, in her own words, didn't so much choose to do but which, rather, seemed to choose her to do it.
Writing from Norway in 2015, Kari Smith (p. 48) elaborated on the understanding of the concept 'research-based' teacher education, arguing that developing teacher educators' research competence was a neglected challenge, as was the need for protected time for teacher educators to engage in research. Simone White (p. 53) examined policy-research tensions and the critique of teacher education researchers before outlining some of the key findings from an Australian policy-maker study. Recommendations were offered as a way for teacher education researchers to begin to mobilise a new set of generative strategies to draw from. In a fascinating guest piece from a team of writers in Canada, Clare Kosnik, Lydia Menna and Pooja Dharamshi (p. 59) discussed their findings from a study on literacy/English teacher educators (LTEs) in four countries: Canada, the United States, England and Australia. In 2017, Louise Archer (p. 64) shared insights from an ongoing research project ('Enterprising Science') in which teachers and researchers had been working collaboratively to develop a pedagogical approach that aimed to meaningfully engage students from socially disadvantaged backgrounds with science in ways that went beyond performative concerns with the learning of science content. And in the same year,
Martin Fautley (p. 68) considered the ways in which school music education has been a topic of discussion in terms of what its purposes are, and how its content matters to a range of stakeholders.
Writing from Australia in 2018, Amanda Berry (p. 73) argued that, both individually and collectively, Teacher Educators need to recognise and take action to assert their professional position as empowered, active and legitimate knowledge-makers about teaching practice. In the same year, former President of the British Educational Research Association (BERA), Gary McCulloch (p. 77) (offered a scintillating analysis of the past, present and future of teacher education drawing on the work of Emile Durkheim. In a provocative thought piece, James Noble-Rogers (p. 80) acknowledged the ideological assaults and turbulence Initial Teacher Education (ITE) providers have experienced in recent years and offered suggestions for ways in which ITE could improve in the future. In 2019, guest writers from Germany, Helge Lobler, Markus Maier, and Daniel Markgraf (p. 83) focused on entrepreneurship education and its ability to foster student autonomy and self-reliance. Framed within the current Covid-19 pandemic, Ann MacPhail (p. 90) argued that this crisis has serious implications for all education systems and requires critical engagement from teachers and teacher educators. The author shared with the reader the extent to which the Covid-19 pandemic had already reinforced or challenged, and continued to do so, her notion of what it means to be an effective initial teacher educator. And finally, to wrap up this powerful collection, we offer the opening words from Jean Murray's (p. 95) final article in this collection:
as I write in March 2021, children in England have returned to bricks-and-mortar classrooms and student teachers have resumed their 'real world' placements. This, then, is a time of hope, although it is still too early to proclaim the end of this pandemic era, with all its profound and differentiated implications for our educational and personal lives. I am therefore writing here not about learning from the pandemic but about learning in and through its impact on Initial Teacher Education (ITE). I write from a personal viewpoint, but drawing on evidence from research and practice and from hearing the voices of teacher educators in recent webinars and meetings.
And there you have it! An incredible collection of articles for anyone with a passion and commitment to teacher education and the research that underpins it. We thank all our Guest Writers for not just contributing these original articles but for their wonderfully reflective postscripts written in 2021. To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the journal and this celebratory edition, an online event is to be held at 5.00pm on 16 June 2021 to mark this very special occasion. The event features many of the guest writers who have contributed to the journal. With a mixture of recorded presentations and live Q&A sessions, delegates can direct questions to some of the biggest names in teacher education. We welcome you to this event (live or in its recorded format) and thank you for supporting our journal.
Cite as: Gerry Czerniawski and David Wells (2021) 'Editorial' Research in Teacher Education, Vol 11(No.1).