Manchester Metropolitan University's Research Repository

    Teacher education in England undone: developing teacher educator agency through theory and practice

    Smith, Kim (2016) Teacher education in England undone: developing teacher educator agency through theory and practice. Doctoral thesis (PhD), Manchester Metropolitan University.


    Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

    Download (1MB) | Preview


    UK government rhetoric and action has progressively altered the landscape of teacher education in England and marginalised the role of the university. This has impacted the professional lives of university-based teacher educators in particular ways. Significantly, they have needed to adjust their practice in partnerships with schools in relation to a shifting professionalism within the field of teacher education. The thesis provides a critical application of various theoretical lenses to one university teacher educator’s professional journey through this landscape over a 20 year period. It researches the question of how she has developed agency to effect positive change in teacher education in the policy context. In so doing, articles first published by the author as university teacher educator are re-examined using readings in a contemporary setting to reflect upon thinking and practice during successive policy enactments. The discussion begins with a retrospective consideration of the use of principles of reflective practice in student teacher development and raises the question of social theorising and a psychoanalytical approach for players in teacher education. Particular focus is given to a critical discussion of the author’s earlier use of Bourdieu’s concept of cultural capital in social relations governing prescribed subject knowledge development of student teachers in the field; an apparent disconnect between use of the concept and explicit psychoanalytical approaches based on the work of Lacan is revealed. Significantly, the author’s later professional experience of tutoring and researching on the employment-based Graduate Teacher Programme is explored specifically in relation to Lacan’s four speech discourses. These are used to develop theoretical understanding about the positioning of student teachers and the university teacher educator in teacher education. It is argued that professional agency derives from the intersect of informed academic, analytical action and response between players engaged in the field. Furthermore, such professional agency is required to provide sustainable teacher education of quality able to serve schools and their wider communities in troubled times.

    Impact and Reach


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics for this dataset are available via IRStats2.

    Actions (login required)

    View Item View Item