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The beginnings of school led teacher training: New challenges for university teacher education.

Brown, T and Rowley, H and Smith, K (2015) The beginnings of school led teacher training: New challenges for university teacher education. Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

The School Direct Research Project began in May 2013 and was funded by Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU). Led by Professor Tony Brown with Dr Harriet Rowley and Kim Smith, the work builds on earlier practitioner research studies undertaken by the team members which were concerned with how conceptions of theory had changed for teacher educators and trainees as a result of participation in an earlier school-based model (Smith and Hodson, 2010; Hodson, Smith and Brown, 2012; Smith, Hodson and Brown, 2013). The present research project began with an original purpose to better understand the implications of School Direct (SD) for university teacher education, towards rethinking the distinctive role of universities in teacher education. The project is located within the activities of the Building Research in Teacher Education (BRiTE) group, at the Education and Social Research Institute (ESRI), MMU. The research group has a growing membership and comprises a group of around thirty researchers in the Faculty of Education whose work is centred on exploring the opportunities afforded by combining a world leading education research group with a substantial, ‘outstanding’ teacher education unit. In this sense, the School Direct Research Project is central to the Faculty’s efforts to maximise its position by using research to locate and drive forward improvement both in terms of the Initial Teacher Education provision at MMU and more broadly the higher education sector. This report cumulates the end of the School Direct Research Project and seeks to detail the knowledge we have gathered through undertaking this work. It begins with a brief review of the professional context, which gives an outline of recent policy changes and developments in teacher education together with key themes from the academic debate that is taking place within the field. The section following this outlines the methods that were used to gather data during this project. The analysis of the findings is presented through the use of six assertions; these statements have been formulated to describe what can be supported on the basis of the data we have collected and analysed. For each assertion, we provide a detailed discussion of the data relevant to each statement including supporting evidence. A conclusion summarising the main points and implications of the research project is offered at the end of this report.

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