• The not so ‘secret’ lives of further education’s teacher educators…

    The not so ‘secret’ lives of further education’s teacher educators…

    Posted by Huddersfield Press on 2023-07-19

by Roy Fisher and David Powell. 

Anja Swennen, a Dutch teacher educator and one of the editors of the European Journal of Teacher Education, told the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers (UCET) conference in 2015 that ‘good teachers need good teacher educators.’ Who are these teachers of teachers? What constitutes a primary school teacher or a secondary school teacher is something that the average person can easily conceptualise, however stereotypically  – everyone has direct experience of several schoolteachers through virtue of their own schooling. Then there are the numerous depictions throughout both high literature and popular culture. Further Education (FE) lecturers/tutors are further somewhat further removed from direct experience than are schoolteachers, and nowadays, than university based academics. Teacher educators remain relatively ‘invisible educators’ (Crawley, 2016, p.1) to many people, precisely through lack of direct experience. FE teacher educators are, for the vast majority of the population, far removed from everyday experience. 
The academic literature focusing on teacher educators is, despite some notable recent studies, relatively lacking in abundance. The literature on FE based teacher educators is scarce, leading Dennis et al. (2016, p.9) to claim there is a ‘scholarly silence’ around them and their work. It is in the presence of these absences that The lives and work of 12 further education based teacher educators in England has been published by University of Huddersfield Press. Building on Noel’s (2006) research into the ‘secret life’ of the FE based teacher educator, this text incorporates the directly told stories of FE based teacher educators together with discussion and analysis which explores how they became teachers and then teacher educators, the context of their work and explicates some common themes. Petrie (2015, p.7) asserted that ‘writing about FE is…to draw a map’ of it. As such, this text adds new detail to the largely underdeveloped ‘map’ of FE initial teacher education. It is both an invitation to researchers to identify ‘areas of the map for exploration’ and a resource for teacher educators, particularly, those inducting and working with FE’s new teacher educators.

The book is available to download from here

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