Ethnic minority students in part-time, distance-learning initial teacher training

Bird, Elizabeth and Eyres, Ian (2000). Ethnic minority students in part-time, distance-learning initial teacher training. In: BERA Annual Conference, 7-10 Sep 2000, Cardiff University.



It is widely acknowledged that there is a need to increase the number of ethnic minority students who are recruited into initial teacher training, and who enter and remain in the teaching profession. At the same time, the government is encouraging diversity in routes to qualified teacher status. Although certain elements of government policy may appear to be creating barriers to potential ethnic minority entrants, the establishment of new forms of initial teacher training may serve to attract ethnic minority students who found traditional training routes inappropriate.
This study examines the case of the Open University’s part-time, distance learning PGCE course, and assesses its success in attracting and retaining ethnic minority students. It addresses three questions: Who are the Open University’s ethnic minority students and why do they choose this course? How do these students fare in training and in entry to teaching employment? How do the experiences of these students in schools compare with their expectations, and what support do they need and receive?
The issues raised for training and placement are discussed, together with implications for future approaches to recruitment.

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