Welcome to this first edition of Research in Secondary Teacher Education. This bi-annual periodical offers a forum for informed debate and discussion on all aspects of secondary teacher education. The periodical, primarily, is a vehicle for members of the secondary team at the Cass School of Education to promote and publish their research. The definition of ‘research’, in its broadest sense has been used to refer to any gathering of data, information and ‘facts’ designed to advance knowledge in secondary education. While nurturing and publicising the creative talent within this group of secondary teacher educators the periodical seeks to stimulate, provoke and extend discussion and debate to other professionals within this sector of teacher education. In addition to the articles and book reviews from the secondary team, each edition of Research in Secondary Teacher Education will publish research findings, book reviews and/or opinion pieces from guest writers from other institutions associated with the Cass School of Education.
The Secondary Initial Teacher Training Research Group is a recent addition to the research profile of the Cass School of Education and was founded in 2006. Research activity is ongoing with conference papers, journal articles and books forming a significant part of the work of this dynamic body of teacher educators. Members of the group have had papers presented at conferences both nationally and internationally including: The British Education Research Association (BERA); The American Educational Research Association (AERA) and The European Educational Research Association (EERA). In addition to acting as a conduit for these research interests a further aim for this group has been to provide a strong developmental focus in supporting early career researchers in their particular research areas.
We begin this first edition with John Clarke article Changes in the 'beliefs' of pre-ITE maths students on a 24-week Subject Knowledge Enhancement Course. John presents findings from a small-scale mixed methods study funded, in part, by a Learning Enhancement Opportunities (LEO) grand and forms part of his PhD pilot study. John examines evidence indicating complex relationships between how students understand mathematics as a subject, their own experience of learning the subject at school and in Higher Education and the sort of teacher they want to become. A lack of understanding (highlighted by Ofsted: 2009) that many musical teachers have about what it takes to make musical progress is explored by Chris Dalladay in work taken from research for his PhD. In The Biography of Music Teachers and their understanding of musicality, Chris explores the formation of music teacher identities and asks ‘what does it mean to be musical’. Caroline Brennan tackles the ethically complex area of morality and the internet. Young people are more socially connected than ever before through online social networks such as Facebook and Myspace, In her article Caroline explores the moral development issues that are raised when young people interact in cyberspace. Gerry Czerniawski, Kathy Wright and Neil Herrington report on the progress of an action research project designed to embed the Global Dimension into secondary Initial Teacher Education at the Cass School of Education. Their article reports on the progress the project has made in its second year informed by an analysis of school-based partnership staff and trainee evaluations. Secondary English trainee teachers at the University of East London were asked by Richard Quarshie in October 2009 to represent their ‘culture’ in some way using four PowerPoint slides. In his article Richard describes some of the presentations and discusses what is involved in the process of working out a personal cultural identity relating this to the work that teachers do.
Our guest writer for this first edition is Professor Meg Maguire from King’s College London.
Meg’s research is in the sociology of education, urban education and policy. She has a long-standing interest in the lives of teachers and has explored issues of class, race, gender and age in teachers' social and professional worlds. She is the lead editor of the Journal of Education Policy and has been a guest speaker at the Secondary Research Group’s seminars held at the Cass School of Education. In her article Meg raises some questions and engages in some musings based on a consideration of the current proposals for reforming teacher education as outlined in the School’s White Paper (2010) entitled, ‘The Importance of Teaching’.
This month’s book reviews have been provided by Caroline Brennan, Sarah Meredith and David Wells. Our guest book reviewer is Dilly McDermott, an Education Consultant currently working with universities, hospitals and the Cass Business School. She is an external examiner for two employment based ITT providers and a Professional Coordinating Mentor in a partner school in Tower Hamlets. Dilly was previously Head of Programme at Goldsmiths College. She has been teaching for 44 years and is still learning all the time.
The first edition of this periodical introduces readers to some of the work carried out by our secondary teacher educators at a time of uncertainty and complexity in teacher education. The articles you are about to read provide instructive and stimulating insight into the research carried out at the Cass School of Education. In the coming editions we hope this periodical will raise questions and evoke critical engagement in further research and debate.
Gerry Czerniawski (2011) ‘Editorial’ Research in Teacher Education, Vol 1(No.1), 1–2. Available at: www.uel.ac.uk/Schools/Cass/Research/Research in Teacher Education/Volume 1 No 1 April 2011
In this paper I will present the work from a small-scale mixed methods research project undertaken with participants from a pre-Initial Teacher Education (ITE) Mathematics Enhancement Course (MEC) at the University of East London (UEL) between January 2008 and July 2009. The study was part funded by a Learning Enhancement Opportunities (LEO) grant and is being used as the pilot stage for a continuing long-term project. Data analysis is in the early stages; however evidence indicates that there are complex relationships between how students understand mathematics as a subject, their own experiences of learning the subject at school and in Higher Education, their constructions of what kind of mathematics teacher they wish to be and their experiences of learning on the MEC. Findings indicated that the ‘apprenticeship of observation' (Lortie 1975, 63) which students have undergone through their own learning in schools may be a key factor.
Keywords: Mathematics; Teacher Education; Subject Knowledge; Beliefs.
John Clarke (2011) ‘Changes in the ‘beliefs’ of pre-ITE maths students on a 24-week Subject Knowledge Enhancement Course’ Research in Teacher Education, Vol 1(No.1), 3–8. Available at: www.uel.ac.uk/Schools/Cass/Research/Research in Teacher Education/Volume 1 No 1 April 2011
University of East London
This article describes an on-going research project with secondary music teachers and teacher trainees in England which forms part of studies for a PhD. The hypothesis on which it is founded is that the educational, environmental, experiential and musical background of secondary music teachers has a significant part to play in the curriculum they present and the manner in which they assess the musicality of their pupils. A ‘classically’ trained musician, for example, may view the development of musicianship in the young people they may teach in a more traditional manner (e.g. using notation, developing strict performance technique) than the musician who has developed more informally (e.g. through improvisation and performance by ear). This paper seeks to explore research into the formation of secondary music teacher and musician identity along with the notion of what it is to be musical.Keywords: biography; identity; musicality; musicianship; teachers.
Christopher Dalladay (2011) ‘The biography of music teachers and their understanding of musicality’ Research in Teacher Education, Vol 1(No.1), 9–15. Available at: www.uel.ac.uk/Schools/Cass/Research/Research in Teacher Education/Volume 1 No 1 April 2011
University of East London
Young people are more socially connected than ever before through online social networks such as Facebook and Myspace, yet in some ways their solitary participation in the world online leaves young people more isolated. By missing out on more traditional face-to-face social encounters and away from the watchful eyes of their parents, young people face moral dilemmas which impact on their personal development as they mature into adulthood. This article explores the moral development issues that are raised when young people interact in cyberspace. As the school curriculum is increasingly supported by new technologies, particularly in recent years to support the personalization agenda, these ethical issues have become the concern of both parents and educators. To prepare young people for success they must be taught ethical online behaviour in additional to traditional academic skills.
Keywords: Adolescent; Cyberspace; Ethics; Social Networking; Moral Development
Caroline Brennan (2011) ‘You got pwned 1! The behaviour of young people online and the issues raised for teachers’ Research in Teacher Education, Vol 1(No.1), 16–20. Available at: www.uel.ac.uk/Schools/Cass/Research/Research in Teacher Education/Volume 1 No 1 April 2011
University of East London
This article reports on the progress of an action research project designed to embed the Global Dimension into secondary Initial Teacher Education at the Cass School of Education, University of East London. Conceived in 2007, the project built on the recognised strengths of our provision – the ‘virtual schools’ initiative and our relations with our Partnership schools, both of which were recognised by Ofsted in their 2008 and 2010 inspections of the work of the Secondary Initial Teacher Education at UEL. The project sought to weave the Global Dimension around the framework of ‘virtual’ schools using our strong partnership with school-based colleagues to support this initiative. This article reports on the progress the project has made in its second year informed by an analysis of school-based partnership staff and trainee evaluations examining the outcomes of the project in its first year.
Keywords: The Global Dimension; Partnership; Virtual Schools; Blended Learning; Cross Curricular; Global Citizenship; Action Research.
Gerry Czerniawski, Kathy Wright and Neil Herrington (2011) ‘Embedding the Global Dimension into Secondary Initial Teacher Training through the use of virtual schools’ Research in Teacher Education, Vol 1(No.1), 21–26. Available at: www.uel.ac.uk/Schools/Cass/Research/Research in Teacher Education/Volume 1 No 1 April 2011
Gerry Czerniawski, Kathy Wright and Neil Herrington
University of East London
Secondary English trainee teachers at the University of East London were asked in October 2009 to represent their ‘culture’ in some way using four PowerPoint slides. This article describes some of the presentations and discusses what is involved in the process of working out a personal cultural identity. It refers to the notion that ‘culture is ordinary’ and suggests that managing the tension between inducting students into established ‘traditional’ culture, on the one hand, and enabling them to make their own individual meanings, on the other, is at the heart of every teacher’s work.
Keywords: Cultural Identity; Difference; Inclusivity; Self-Definition; Trainee Teachers.
Richard Quarshie (2011) ‘OurSpace: exploring our cultures’ Research in Teacher Education, Vol 1(No.1), 27–29. Available at: www.uel.ac.uk/Schools/Cass/Research/Research in Teacher Education/Volume 1 No 1 April 2011
University of East London
In every edition of RSTE we publish a contribution from a guest writer who has links with the Cass School of Education. Professor Meg Maguire from King’s College London has been a guest speaker at one of the seminars run by the Secondary Research Group at the Cass School of Education. Her research is in the sociology of education, urban education and policy. She has a long-standing interest in the lives of teachers and has explored issues of class, race, gender and age in teachers' social and professional worlds. Meg has conducted ESRC-funded research into the experiences of minority ethnic trainee teachers, post-compulsory transitions and multi-agency policy in challenging school exclusion in urban primary schools. In this article she offers some thoughts on the School’s White Paper (2010) and its potential impact on teacher education.
Keywords: Teacher Education; Education Policy; Reform; The Schools White Paper (2010).
Meg Maguire (2011) ‘Where next for English teacher education?’ Research in Teacher Education, Vol 1(No.1), 30–34. Available at: www.uel.ac.uk/Schools/Cass/Research/Research in Teacher Education/Volume 1 No 1 April 2011
King’s College London
This book is a useful companion to more formal guides to the academic process of postgraduate research and aims to answer the refrain “why didn’t someone tell me that earlier?’. Authors Gordon Rugg and Marian Petre claim that their advice includes all the things that nobody ever tells you and promise to fill in the gaps of the things you won’t find in other guidebooks by introducing you to what they call the ‘tacit knowledge’ of the research community – the things that experienced researchers know, but doesn’t bother to tell you because they seem so basic as to not be worth mentioning (the importance of the ‘cup of coffee’ or building networks of the right people to give you support and advice).
Becoming an independent researcher is likened to becoming a master cabinet-maker and a collection of ‘basic craft skills’ are covered together with the ground rules of the academic world. This book covers the range of topics you would expect to find; from working with your supervisor to facing the viva. This edition includes new material on critical thinking, research skills, becoming an independent researcher and different models of doctoral study including professional doctorates. The ‘big picture’ of the academic system is demystified through tackling issues such as how to build networks of support across the research community down to short practical pointers on research design, critical reading and writing. The authors work through the PhD process in a structure which is designed around themes rather than in strict chronological order. In this way the book serves as a guide not just to doing doctoral research but as a way of approaching research and how to integrate it into other aspects of your working and home life.
There is much in the chapter on ‘Sabotage and Salvation’ that will resonate with the lives of busy people who are trying to juggle competing priorities and perhaps losing themselves somewhere along the way (are you engaging in instrumental behaviour such as steadily working through the references in six key texts or expressive behaviour such as carrying round a clutch of articles that you never read?). Some of the pitfalls of becoming an independent researcher will be instantly recognisable with sound advice on developing constructive habits such as ‘putting your research out there’ by articulating your ideas with others in your community and engaging with criticism. Older is not necessarily wiser and presumably you’re thinking about this book because you need some advice on moving forward with your own research. The chapters on establishing good critical reading and writing habits right from the start of your study give valuable practical tips (how to maintain an annotated bibliography which works for you) and suggestions for managing your time for maximum productivity.
The text is very accessible, written in a light hearted style which is highly readable, although this can come across as somewhat patronising if you are not the probable target audience of fresh young graduates with less work or life experience. For example, networking at conferences and preparing presentations are probably the areas of doctoral study which teachers actually feel fairly confident about, but a read of these sections will remind you of what you know, and more importantly to make you realise that you may actually be more in control than you realised. The authors capture the key points of most chapters in summary tables which are a useful aide-memoire.
I would recommend this book particularly for those who are at the beginning of doctoral study, to help establish good habits from the start but the practical advice and reassuring tone make it a useful read for research students at any stage.
Review by (Caroline Brennan) (2011) ‘The unwritten rules of PhD research (2nd edition)’ Research in Teacher Education, Vol 1 (No.1), 35–38. Available at: www.uel.ac.uk/Schools/Cass/Research/Research in Teacher Education/Volume 1 No 1 April 2011
Mario Petre and Gordon Rugg
Milton Keynes: Open University Press, 2010
Reviewed by Caroline Brennan
Although this book initially appears to be aimed at Learning Mentors, it is a great resource for all in education and is specifically aimed at school leaders, class teachers and of course learning mentors. This book was written to encourage schools to take a more formal approach to mentoring and would suit those aspiring to take an active role in this process. Well laid out, the logical and clear structure to this book is definitely one of its strengths. Each chapter follows the same format, outlining the intentions and context of the material to follow, and possible activities. Each chapter ends with a synopsis of key points, further reading and a list of downloadable materials.
This book offers a wide range of topics that will guide any professional involved in a mentoring programme. Firstly the scene is set for mentors and the book then goes on to discuss the skills needed to be a successful mentor. Chapters on how to work with external agencies and sustaining successful mentoring provision are all covered.
The resources that this publication provides are undoubtedly its key feature. There are numerous photocopiable or downloadable resources. Alongside these are also lots of ‘thinking prompts’ which are encouraging reflective practice. These ‘thinking prompts’ and resources can be used by mentors as a tool for training other professionals or with pupils as part of a mentoring programme. Materials include those for tracking purposes, action plans and example of letters to send home to parents. The case studies that this book provides would also be invaluable when considering the ‘what ifs’ that one may encounter when just starting out a learning mentor, offering guidance on how to deal with a range of scenarios.
The Learning Mentor Manual is exactly that, an accessible, invaluable text for all those involved in this very important process.
Review by (Sarah Meredith) (2011) ‘The learning mentor manual’ Research in Teacher Education, Vol 1 (No.1), 36–36. Available at: www.uel.ac.uk/Schools/Cass/Research/Research in Teacher Education/Volume 1 No 1 April 2011
London: Sage, 2010
Reviewed by Sarah Meredith
The book being reviewed here is “Achieving QTS Meeting the Professional Standards Framework: Secondary Education Reflective Reader”. It is a first edition publication, published in August 2010. The book is aimed predominantly at beginning teachers. However, it is also of considerable use to practising teachers wishing to re explore useful pedagogy and advice for reflective guidance and success in their classroom. The authors are: Martin Fautley, a Professor of Education at Birmingham City University; and Jonathan Savage, a Reader in Education at the Institute of Education, Manchester Metropolitan University. Both have authored numerous books and publications designed to assist teachers with the diverse theoretical and practical approaches they can adopt to improve the learning within their classroom.
There is a logical flow to the content of this publication. The chapters are structured around three key themes identified by the authors. Theme 1 centres on starting teaching, developing a teacher identity and considering subject and pedagogy. Theme 2 is concerned with developing the teaching; and theme 3 concentrates on future teaching practice. Each theme contains three separate chapters allowing for a full and comprehensive development of the topics being considered.
Within each chapter, many challenges for the novice teacher in developing their practice are clearly presented. There is also considerable allowance for the more experienced teacher to either revisit theory and pedagogy, and place concepts they use in the classroom with the theorists who develop and write about them; or re galvanise their teaching and learning approach with theories and pedagogy that can be applied (with relative ease) in their lessons. There are wide ranging academic extracts used from many different educational writers and theorists, allowing for a balanced approach to reading and the development of reflective understanding. These readings are clearly and succinctly analysed and explained by the authors. This approach perhaps lends itself to an easier and smoother transition in applying understanding of the academic extracts to a teaching and learning approach in the classroom. Furthermore, the extracts provide the reader with a very clear direction into further investigation of the chapter topic areas should they wish. What has proved particularly significant to me from reading this publication is its consideration of the concept of professional knowledge for a teacher and the lack of pedagogy perhaps being a part of that.
This is an area that is clearly fundamental in the progression of effective teaching and learning, but is all too often overlooked by the practising teacher. There is plenty to be gained from this book to challenge, motivate and encourage the use of this pedagogy. Importantly, it also provides the tools to experiment and apply concepts (that will progress teaching and learning) in the classroom for the discerning educator. However, this book is not only useful for trainee or practising teachers. For those involved in the mentoring and training of teachers, there is much to assist in these processes, and the book would prove a very practical tool in encouraging reading and understanding of theory and pedagogy from students. It also perhaps provides a very clear framework for the development of initial teacher training courses.
In conclusion, this book covers many significant areas needed in developing (and reflecting on) a teacher’s expertise in their relevant learning space. It is easy to read and follow, but also challenges ways of thinking, and the impact of one’s approach to learning and teaching in the classroom. Thus perhaps making it ideal for the novice and beginning teacher. It provides some very useful and focused reflective exercises throughout each chapter. There is also a clear opportunity to further reading through the academic extracts used. The chapters are clearly laid out and I appreciate the way they are structured “as a lesson” with clear learning objectives, that are linked to the professional QTS standards. A teacher should be reflective in their approach and should encourage their pupils to be reflective in their learning.
This book provides an excellent opportunity in considering how and why, whilst also providing some ammunition to improve the teaching and learning that takes place in the classroom.
Review by (David Wells) (2011) ‘Achieving QTS: meeting the professional standards framework. Secondary education reflective reader’ Research in Teacher Education, Vol 1 (No.1), 36–37. Available at: www.uel.ac.uk/Schools/Cass/Research/Research in Teacher Education/Volume 1 No 1 April 2011
Martin Fautley and Jonathan Savage
Exeter: Learning Matters Ltd, 2010
Reviewed by David Wells
If you want to think outside the proverbial box about coaching and mentoring and are looking for a current, comprehensive text on the subject spiced with that all-important critical edge, then this is a must for your bookshelf. Described as providing ‘a detailed, critical and contemporary understanding of this burgeoning field’, this book is long overdue and presents an excellent, thoroughly up to date, critical and theoretical framework researched by scholars in the field. The authors all have extensive experience and research profiles in this area of expertise. Professor Robert Garvey, former editor of the International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching and Paul Stokes, Senior Lecturer are based at Sheffield Hallam University where David Meggison is a visiting Professor. A United States perspective is provided by Dr Dawn Chandler in chapter 14.
At first glance the title ‘Coaching and Mentoring, Theory and Practice’, falls short on the wow factor but the title belies the very positive thought provoking content that this book contains. Whether you are an initial teacher training student or trainee, a qualified teacher embarking on mentoring for the first time or a very experienced mentor, this book will lead you to the all-important bigger picture, answer some of the questions you have always wanted answered and provoke, as all good research should, the all important questioning of the issues. In particular it examines the continuing debate about the similarities and differences between coaching and mentoring practices and highlights new research into this area.
The content is clearly structured in to four parts made up of fifteen chapters. The first chapter beginning with a brief journey through the history of mentoring, showing how the meanings associated with the use of the words ‘coaching’ and ‘mentoring’ have subtly altered over time and frequently used interchangeably. It then moves on to a thorough critique and survey of coaching and mentoring practice in chapter 2 where a useful and current list of coaching articles is provided. The authors are honest in their appraisal of the research method used and very clear about the criteria for selection from a plethora of research articles available on coaching and mentoring research.
As well as challenging the reader to question some of the long held assumptions about the values embedded in the mentoring and coaching process, the most important and unique feature of this book is the extensive research carried out in the variety of contexts in both the private and public sector. This ranges from mentoring schemes within the police force, sports coaching and E-mentoring. The focus on a variety of case studies provides the opportunity for the reader to examine how the theoretical perspectives are translated into practical action in the different settings. In chapter 7 Garvey et al stress the importance of seeing coaching and mentoring schemes as human systems operating within organisations and societies, where the key concept and relevance of the power relationship needs to be considered. A set of questions are provided at the end of each chapter prompting the reader to raise plenty more of their own.
Although originally written for people on CPD courses and postgraduate students this book is useful for all teachers whether considering taking on the role of coaching and mentoring or not. It will give some insight into the complex and often difficult and challenging role of the coach and or mentor, but more important is the immensely positive and often overlooked professional and personal development that results from taking on such a role. This is thoroughly considered and critically analysed in this book. The outcomes of this research should prove useful as a the catalyst for examining the impact on coaching and mentoring in schools of imposing a competence -based model imported from industry to assess initial teacher education; as measured through a set of generic professional standards.
Contact Dilly McDermott
Review by (Dilly McDermott) (2011) ‘Coaching and mentoring: theory and practice’ Research in Teacher Education, Vol 1 (No.1), 37–38. Available at: www.uel.ac.uk/Schools/Cass/Research/Research in Teacher Education/Volume 1 No 1 April 2011
Bob Garvey, Paul Stokes and David Meggison
London: Sage, 2009
Reviewed by Dilly McDermott