Guest Writer – Professor Dan Davies

Dan Davies, Sally Bethell, Sue Challenger, Sian Davies-Barnes, Susan Davis, Paul Herrington, Gina Morgan and Sharne Watkins are involved in a research project called ‘Routes into Teaching’. The project is led by Prof Peter Davies at the University of Birmingham, and also involves colleagues at Universities of Newcastle and South Wales. We are trying to find out about how student teachers on different types of programmes learn to teach, and how they understand the process of learning to teach. We interviewed twelve student teachers in February 2016, a mixture of primary and secondary on undergraduate and postgraduate routes.SONY DSCNine of these we followed up with second interviews in June to see whether their views about learning to teach had changed following their second school experience. The wider sample of 31 student teachers also included some on ‘school direct’ routes in England. From these interviews we identified six aspects of learning to teach: reflection, self-determination, gestation of learning, view of knowledge for teaching, contexts for learning and view of learning. Each aspect has two or more variations held by the student teachers in the sample, enabling us to produce ‘pen-portraits’ of typical categories of learner. This was explored in greater depth in our paper for the British Education Research Association (BERA) conference in Leeds last month and will be published next year. Our priority for 2016-17 is to design intervention activities for our student teachers that help them to understand their learning better and become better teachers as a result!

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