• Exploring Inclusion and Diversity within Undergraduate Teacher Training Programmes in England

      Devarakonda, Chandrika; McGrath, Sarah; Chaudhary, Diksha; University of Chester (Routledge, 2019-07-31)
      This research has been triggered by the consistent references to the increase in the number of children from ethnically diverse population in schools in England and lack of confidence and preparedness of teachers to teach children from diverse backgrounds. A government commissioned Newly Qualified Teachers (NQT) survey encouraged them to respond to questions related to their preparedness and confidence to teach children from all ethnic backgrounds and who have English as additional language, one year after gaining their Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). The aim of this research is to explore the perspectives and challenges of students (referred to as Associate teachers (ATs)) on teacher training programmes related to their knowledge and understanding of inclusion and diversity from the teacher training programmes. This research examined the perceptions of ATs on their final year of the three-year degree on initial teacher education programme and some teacher educators teaching this cohort of students who are programme leaders, year leaders, and other staff, who provide enriching experiences related to diversity. Data was collected through a survey consisting of open questionnaires for teacher educators and ATs were requested to volunteer to respond to questions on an online forum. The online survey was kept open for a short window of four weeks to enable ATs to respond in their own time and ensure anonymity. The responses provided by ATs and Teacher Educators (TEs) have been analysed using qualitative data analysis applying the three steps - Developing and Applying Codes, identifying themes, patterns and relationships and summarizing the data. The data resulted in four themes : concepts and contexts of diversity, experiences on the programme, preparedness to teach and challenges. The ATs and TEs articulate that there was significant impact of the teacher training programme on preparing them to teach children from diverse ethnic backgrounds. They acknowledged the lack of diversity in the placements to teach children from diverse backgrounds as one of the key challenges and barriers faced.
    • Process Drama as a tool for teaching modern languages:supporting the development of creativity and innovation in early professional practice

      Hulse, Bethan; Owens, Allan; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2017-02-10)
      This paper reflects on issues arising from a research-informed learning and teaching project intended to enable student teachers of Modern Languages (MLs) to experiment with the use of unscripted ‘process drama’ in their classroom practice. The idea that process drama could become part of the language teacher’s repertoire has been in circulation for some time (Kao and O’Neill, 1998; Bräuer, 2002; Fleming, 2006; Stinson and Freebody, 2006; Giebert, 2014) yet there is little evidence to suggest that its use has become widespread in schools in England. The aim of the project was to enable student teachers to acquire drama teaching techniques which they could incorporate into their own practice in order to enrich the learning experiences their students through creative and imaginative use of the foreign language in the classroom. The research was undertaken over a period of three years by two teacher educators on a secondary initial teacher education programme in a university in England. The paper concludes that it is both possible and desirable for student teachers to encounter alternative approaches which challenge the norm and that with support they may develop innovative practices which can survive the ‘the ‘crucible of classroom experience’ (Stronach et al. 2002, p.124).
    • Understandings of creative practice and pedagogy by teacher education communities in West Bank, Palestine, and North West England

      Adams, Jeff; Al-Yamani, Hala; Arya-Manesh, Emma; Mizel, Omar; Owens, Allan; Qurie, Dua’a; Unveristy of Chester; University of Bethlehem; University of Chester; University of Bethlehem; Unveristy of Chester; University of Bethlehem.
      This paper discusses a collaborative research project that aimed to explore approaches to creative practices and pedagogies by teacher education communities in the West Bank, Palestine, and North West England (Bethlehem and Chester). The project explored the values, attitudes and perceptions of teacher educators and student teachers in relation to creative pedagogies and the conditions under which they flourished in each community. We found that creativity was understood to take many forms, according to the cultural values and conditions present in each community, and that creative pedagogical forms emerged from the specificities of their cultural and political contexts. Creativity in education is a contentious issue in both cultures, but an area that both education communities wished to explore further. Despite the differences, there were surprising commonalities between the two communities about the value of creative practices and the relation of creativity to democratic and critical practices in the classroom.