Early professional learning is a critical stage in teacher formation. Early experiences of teaching shape practitioners’ commitment to reflective practice, collegiality and lifelong learning. Policies to support professional learning in the early years of practice have an important contribution to make in improving teaching quality and learning outcomes in schools, as well as improving retention and professional well-being.
In the face of increased possibilities for divergence post-devolution, this work provides a scoping study of the structures and processes in place to support Initial Teacher Education (ITE), induction and early professional development in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The study is supported by a cross-national team of researchers in each of the four parts of the UK.
The objectives of the scoping study are:
- To provide a descriptive map of current policy and practice in each context in relation to:
To identify trans-national policy trends by close mapping of similarities and differences in policy and practice in each national context; to produce a diagram of early professional formation in the four countries of the United Kingdom.
To interrogate teaching and learning policy in each context to consider what this tells us about becoming a teacher in the four parts of the United Kingdom today and how this might inform the development of models of early professional learning.
- The performance-based ‘standards’ or ‘benchmarks’ that map the underpinning knowledge required by beginning teachers.
- Policies for the assessment of professional learning.
- Partnership arrangements in initial teacher preparation.
- Form and focus of induction arrangements for Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs)
- Pathways for continuing professional development in the early career phase.
The study will be supported by a series of seminars in the four countries of the UK. Each seminar will provide an in-country analysis of the current system for early professional development.
The seminars will be held at:
- The Department of Curriculum Studies, Glasgow University, October 2006
- The School of Education, University of Ulster, January 2007
- The School of Education, Roehampton University, March 2007
- Cardiff University School of Social Sciences May 2007.