The teacher educator experience: "Guardians of the pedagogy"?

Groll, Anne; Bates, Sandi; Saunders, Claire and Smith, Rob (2018). The teacher educator experience: "Guardians of the pedagogy"? In: Bennett, Pete and Smith, Rob eds. Identity and Resistance in Further Education. London: Routledge.



This chapter adopts an autoethnographic approach, focusing on teacher educators’ practice on in-service Initial Teacher Education (ITE) courses across a partnership based in the West Midlands of England. It explores some of the issues faced by these HE in FE teacher educators through the lens of ‘vocation’. After an initial section to contextualise ITE for college teachers, the chapter will contrast the current model with teacher preparation in the Community College, Technical Career sector and at senior high school level in the US. While there are some similarities in terms of the policy discourse (in both countries highly critical of teacher ‘quality’), there are major differences particularly in certification for teaching students aged 16+. The terrain of teacher education in England - strewn with the remnants of multiple ‘legacy’ qualifications is discussed, as are the implications of the Lingfield Review for the professional identities of teachers in further education. The chapter will draw on literature about the impact of market regulators in education and then focuses on a range of issues that are impacting on the work of FE teacher educators, not least the tensions experienced by them in upholding a set of pedagogical values that do not always harmonise with the culture of their workplaces. The chapter introduces the notion of the gulf that exists between the student teacher learning environment and the student teacher practice environment and explores the sectoral and policy pressures that this originates in. The work of these practitioners is discussed as they mediate their students’ early experiences as teachers, focusing on the steps they take to guard their students’ individuality and creativity against the negative experiences they encounter on teaching placement.

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