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The accidental experts: a study of FE teacher educators, their professional development needs and ways of supporting these

Eliahoo, Rebecca Elisabeth (2014) The accidental experts: a study of FE teacher educators, their professional development needs and ways of supporting these. PhD thesis, UCL Institute of Education.

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Abstract

The aim of the research was to investigate the professional development and support needs of new and experienced teacher educators in the FE system in the South of England. This thesis explored the ways in which teacher educators were recruited, inducted and supported, in order to gain insights into how these aspects of practice could be strengthened or improved in future. The first chapter introduces the purpose and themes of the thesis and subsequent chapters describe the culture, policy and context of the FE system; the identity and role of teacher educators; the methodology used in the research; followed by data analysis and discussion of findings. Ten experienced teacher educators were interviewed and their comments analysed. This was followed by an online survey to 270 teacher educators, 70 of whom responded. A focus group was held with 15 teacher educators in order to elicit further perspectives and to help triangulate the data. A further link between interviews and survey was made when some of the views, which the interviewees held in common, were used as statements in the survey. The survey participants were then asked to what extent they agreed or disagreed with the interviewees’ statements. This thesis argues that teacher educators in FE are a little known group whose professional needs are not considered systematically and for whom there are no substantive professional standards - despite teacher educators’ central role in the education of new teachers. Certain essential characteristics are required in order to become a ‘good’ teacher educator, as well as opportunities for professional development, including scholarship and research. However, the learning cultures and work contexts of the FE system, which shape the identity and role of teacher educators, also make their work more challenging due to the differing - or absent - support that teacher educators receive.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Controlled Keywords: Teacher educators
Subjects: Departments > Lifelong and Comparative Education
Depositing User: Mr Julian Zerfahs
Date Deposited: 14 May 2015 13:35
Last Modified: 14 May 2015 13:35
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