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Theorising practice in initial teacher education

Smith, Kim and Hodson, Elaine (2010) Theorising practice in initial teacher education. Journal of Education for Teaching, 36 (3). pp. 259-275. ISSN 0260-7476

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Abstract

Drawing on a series of semi‐structured interviews, this small case study examines the perceptions of a group of trainees on the employment‐based graduate teacher programme (GTP) towards the close of their initial teacher education. Building on earlier work on the experience of secondary GTP trainees that had revealed trainees’ ambivalence to ‘theory’, this paper examines what these trainees understood theory to be, and what they saw as the benefits from ‘learning from experience’ and more generally how they acquire professional knowledge. Findings suggest that GTP trainees were able to identify ways in which ‘theory’ had positively influenced their practice. However, we concur with Eraut’s claim that most workplace learning occurs on the job and that this masks an uncertain interplay between formal and less formal elements of how trainee teachers learn on the employment‐based GTP route studied here.

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