Welcome to this, our third, issue of Research in Secondary Teacher Education. The periodical continues to grow in terms of readership. Since the launch of the last issue, we have been working hard to develop the profile of the online version of the periodical. Subject associations and professional networks are beginning to take notice and show a keen interest in our publication. The journal can now be found linked to the Teacher Education Advancement Network (TEAN) website, and others are looking carefully, and favourably, into hosting a link to future editions too. Journal authors, articles and book reviews are fully searchable through both Google and Google Scholar; and those who like to be kept automatically up to date with latest issues and articles can track this through an RSS feed.
Policy ‘busyness’ characterises this intense period of uncertainty and change experienced by schools and teacher education institutions in England. New leadership of Ofqual and Ofsted, the intensity and speed of academisation, the revision of league tables, structural reform of the school system and what initially appears to be the indiscriminate transformation of teacher education are hardly ideal circumstances in which to nurture those entering the teaching profession. Only time will tell how this new educational environment will affect the quality of teacher education experienced by future cohorts of trainee teachers. With the predicted decrease in numbers of pupils attending secondary schools it is likely, in this political climate, that teacher education will be driven more and more into schools, with inevitable consequences for Schools of Education. It does not seem that long ago that Ofsted announced that we had the ‘best generation of teachers ever’. It is perhaps worth reflecting that it is those same teachers, the ones currently responsible for much of the school-based training that already takes place, who received their training at the hands of successful university/school partnerships. The words ‘baby’ and ‘bathwater’ immediately spring to mind if we sacrifice the roles that universities play in the education, training and research-informed practice responsible for that successful generation of teachers.
We begin this third issue with an article by Warren Kidd exploring the ambiguities and ontological insecurities of pre-service trainee teachers as they prepare to enter training for work. Warren examines the anxieties of trainee teachers as they begin to boundary-shift professional identities at the very start of a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) programme. David Wells considers, in his article, the relative virtues of ICT and/or computing in schools and presents findings from research conducted on PGCE and Graduate Teacher Programme (GT) ICT students and their teacher colleagues. His research aimed to discover what subject knowledge capacity east London ICT teacher contemporaries had to develop to deliver a more computing-based curriculum and thus perhaps move their pupils beyond a more traditional ICT curriculum. Gerry Czerniawski examines research on a case study of Student Voice brought about through collaboration between a secondary school (for pupils aged 11–16) and a university located in a large conurbation in southern England. While the original focus of this longitudinal study was to look at students as informants/respondents and their journey in becoming student researchers, this article examines the impact on the values of six pupils after their visit to carry out research on a school in Finland. In an article considering how the design and technology curriculum in secondary schools addresses the issue of Global Dimensions, Kate Jones looks at how effectively the key concepts related to the Global Dimension are delivered and suggests ways of developing a more creative approach to meet the needs of a variety of learners. Finally, Tony Pye summarises, in his article, a key aspect of how children learn effectively and how this is (or is not) supported by teaching methodology. This summary is put into the context of some unpublished research carried out with another colleague some years ago and observations of secondary trainee mathematics teachers.
Our guest writer for this third issue is Stephen J. Ball, Karl Mannheim Professor of the Sociology of Education at the Institute of Education, University of London and Editor of the Journal of Education Policy. His work is in ‘policy sociology’ and he has conducted a series of Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)-funded studies which focus on issues of social class and policy. Recent books include Global Education Inc. (Routledge, 2012), How schools do policy (with Meg Maguire and Annette Braun) (Routledge, 2012), The education debate (Policy Press, 2008), Education Plc (Routledge, 2007) and, with Carol Vincent, Childcare choice and class practices (Routledge, 2005). He has an honorary doctorate from Turku University, is visiting professor at the University of San Andrés and is a Fellow of the British Academy. Drawing on his earlier work on performativity, Stephen in this article critically reflects on what it means today to be an academic in higher education.
This number’s book reviews from the secondary team are provided by Kate Jones and Tony Pye. Our guest book reviewer is John Wilks who is General Secretary of the London Association for the Teaching of English and an Examiner for the English Speaking Board. John was a Head of English in Tower Hamlets for over 22 years. He has worked as a tutor on PCET and PGCE English programmes at the University of East London (UEL) and London Metropolitan University.
As always we hope that you enjoy the collection of articles in this issue of the periodical. The next edition will be published under the new name of Research in Teacher Education. The success of the publication to date, coupled with significant changes taking place in teacher education, means that we feel the time has come to draw on the wider expertise on offer from the School of Education and Communities. In future editions, we will draw on colleagues from within the primary, secondary and post-compulsory sectors of teacher education and continue to provoke, stimulate and extend discussions related to the training and education of teachers. It is with great pleasure then that we announce Professor Jim O’Brien as our guest writer for the next (October 2012) edition of RiTE.
Gerry Czerniawski and David Wells (2012) ‘Editorial’ Research in Teacher Education, Vol 2(No.1), 1–2. Available here.