Developing Socially-Just Teachers Through A Proposed Alternative Curriculum For Initial Teacher Education

Glazzard, Jonathan (2023) Developing Socially-Just Teachers Through A Proposed Alternative Curriculum For Initial Teacher Education. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Problems of teacher burnout, low job satisfaction and high rates of teacher attrition are not specific to England but are also global concerns and symptomatic of a profession in crisis. In England, teacher education is a highly regulated sector and, in recent years, has become increasingly complex, fragmented and marketised. Increased government control over what pre-service teachers learn during their initial training phase has resulted in a centralised teacher training curriculum which is both reductionist and situates teachers as technicians. Universities have always played a distinctive role in teacher education, but the marketisation of the sector in recent years has led to a de-professionalisation and re-professionalisation of university teacher educators. The disappearance of universities from teacher training policy discourse and the tightening of government control over what is taught to pre-service teachers reflects a lack of trust in the university teacher education sector.

Given this aggressive policy context, it is not surprising that some higher education institutions in England have withdrawn their teacher education courses. Courses which were once the ‘bread and butter’ of many institutions are now viewed as a reputational risk. Inspection regimes seek to enforce the government prescribed curriculum and there are heavy penalties that are imposed on institutions where the prescribed curriculum is not being delivered in its entirety or where it is not being taught in sufficient depth. The government curriculum is reductionist and produces teachers as technicians who believe in and can implement the prescribed approaches.

This thesis presents 13 published papers. Implications to support the development of an alternative teacher education curriculum are drawn from the findings. The findings of the papers demonstrate that matters of inclusion and social justice need to be given greater emphasis in teacher education to enable pre-service teachers to respond to the professional challenges that they will face in classrooms. Key broad themes drawn from the papers include teacher identity, social justice and inclusion as critical components of a teacher education curriculum. These themes are used to develop a proposed curriculum framework for initial teacher education, which aims to situate teachers as critical thinkers who can challenge government policy, advance equality and prioritise both their own mental health and the mental health of their students. In addition, a framework for a mentor curriculum is also proposed to support the implementation of the teacher education curriculum in schools.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Publication
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education and Lifelong Learning
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2023 11:22
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2023 11:22

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