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Investigating Student Teacher Professional Development through Q-Methodology A presentation demonstrating how Q-methodology can be used as a tool to identify.

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Presentation on theme: "Investigating Student Teacher Professional Development through Q-Methodology A presentation demonstrating how Q-methodology can be used as a tool to identify."— Presentation transcript:

1 Investigating Student Teacher Professional Development through Q-Methodology A presentation demonstrating how Q-methodology can be used as a tool to identify the phase of professional development of student teachers, especially those of priority subjects. By Christopher Vincent & Liz Smith School Environment, Education and Development The University of Manchester

2 Contents Background Q-Methodology The study Findings Possible Uses

3 Background Priority subjects in England are: Physics Chemistry Mathematics Modern Foreign Languages (DfE, 2012) Most recent survey data indicates that teachers of shortage subjects have higher turnover rates (Allen et al., 2012) and significant levels of waste, especially from early professionals (Smithers and Robinson, 2003;2004;2008) How are these subjects different to the others?

4 Background Professional Development: In training, student teachers are said to transition through ‘Phases’ of professional development which are oriented to focus on: Survival Pedagogy Professionalism (Tann, 1994) Are certain people not able to transition through these phases effectively? Do particular subject specialists need tailored help to encourage these transitions?

5 Background The example of Physics: What draws people to physics is often the love of the impersonal and the quantitative. This is different from the desire to be with and help people that is a main motivation to teach. Smithers and Hill (1989) devised a psychological ‘people meter’ that enabled them to place students in different subjects along a spectrum. Physics came at the impersonal end along with maths; at the opposite pole were subjects like drama and English, with of the sciences biology the most people-oriented. Those with a higher verbal aptitude are more forward, confident and show more social dominance than those with more quantitative thought patterns (Goldman and Hudson, 1973).

6 Background Values: Are the values that experts in these subjects hold compatible with the organisational values of schools or the values necessary to teach children? “A value is an enduring belief that a specific mode of conduct or end-state of existence is personally or socially preferable to an opposite or converse mode of conduct or end- state of existence.” (Rokeach, 1973) Should the training of these subjects be modified to cater for these differences?

7 Q-Methodology

8 X Y W V Z

9 x y a b c z RESEARCH TOPIC RESEARCH QUESTION Generating the Concourse

10 Most AgreeMost Disagree DisagreeAgreeNeutral



13 The Study Research Topic: The Professional Development of Student Teachers. Research Question:Can student teachers be categorised in terms of their phase of professional development by Q-methodology? The concourse was generated from: Preliminary discussions with student teachers, mentors and university based tutors; Relevant literature in the field of teacher education. The Q-Statements covered four main areas: Preferred mentoring models of initial teacher training. Desired forms of feedback. Mentoring functions. Personal and professional interactions.

14 The Q-Statements 1.Feedback should be qualitative and practical from the opinion of the mentor. 2.Feedback should be mainly based upon QTS standards. 3.Students should begin their training with the expectation of acting as professionals. 4.Mentors should initiate discussions with students on issues relating to professional conduct. 5.Sessions with mentors specifically for the planning of lessons should be arranged frequently. 6.Mentors are there to provide moral support for student teachers. 7.Mentors are there to provide facilitative information to enhance classroom practice. 8.Mentors are there to provide information to enhance quality of teaching and learning.

15 The Q-Statements 9.Mentors are there to provide information to enhance students’ awareness of professional responsibilities. 10.Mentors are there to help students form a professional identity. 11.Mentors should take more responsibility in lesson planning. 12.A mentor should be a role model. 13.A mentor should be an instructor. 14.A mentor should be a co-enquirer. 15.The personal relationship that a student has with his/her mentor does not affect their professional development. 16.The counselling aspect of mentoring is vital.

16 The Sample A total sample size of 16 who were split into two groups of 8 Sample groups A and B resembled each other Reflective of the population of the P.G.C.E. Secondary Science group at large Sample A: A132MaleChemistry A225MalePhysics A326FemaleChemistry A429MaleBiology A526FemalePhysics A625MaleChemistry A721FemaleBiology A824FemaleChemistry Sample B: B127MalePhysics B228MalePhysics B327FemaleChemistry B430FemaleChemistry B525FemaleBiology B626MaleBiology B722MaleChemistry B823FemaleChemistry

17 Findings Factor analysis of Sample Groups A and B resulted in four equivalent factors for each. Investigating the pen portraits generated showed these factors to be reflective of the views that may be representative of student teachers in three phases of professional development. Survival Oriented Pedagogically Oriented Professionally Oriented The fourth factor was determined to be reflective of student teachers transitioning from the pedagogically oriented phase to the professionally oriented phase.

18 Findings List of participants in best determined developmental phases mid-training Phase 1 Survival Phase 2 Pedagogical Phase 2 → 3 Pedagogical - Professional Phase 3 Professional A5A2B2A1 B7B1B4A4 A3B8B6 A6A7 A8B5 B3 Key Physics Chemistry Biology

19 Possible Uses Increased sample size could lead to worthwhile statistical tests for correlations between Phase of professional development and Subject specialism at various points in the training programme. In its current form, this tool could be used to formatively evaluate what phase student teachers are in at various points during training, informing both trainers and student teachers. This can lead to a more personalised approach to training where individual strengths or weaknesses identified in the Q-sorts can be targeted.

20 References Allen, R., Burgess, S. and Mayo, J. (2012). The teacher labour market, teacher turnover and disadvantaged schools: new evidence for England. Bristol: CMPO. Department for Education (2012). Your path to teaching shortage subjects. [online] Available at: [Accessed 28 January 2014]. Goldman, R. D., and Hudson, D. J. (1973). A multivariate analysis of academic abilities and strategies for successful and unsuccessful college students in different major fields. J. Educ. Psychol. 65: Leeds Metropolitan University. (2014). Leeds Metropolitan Quick-Q Animation - YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 10 May 2014]. Rokeach, M. (2008). Understanding Human Values: Individual and Societal. New York: Free Press. Smithers, A. and Hill, S. (1989). ‘Recruitment to physics and maths teaching: a personality problem?’ Research Papers in Education, 4, Smithers, A. and Robinson, P. (2003). Factors Affecting Teachers’ Decisions to Leave the Profession. London: Department for Education and Skills. Smithers, A. and Robinson, P. (2004). Teacher turnover, wastage and destinations. London: Department for Education and Skills. Smithers, A. and Robinson, P. (2008). Physics in Schools IV: Supply and Retention of Teachers. Buckingham: Carmichael Press. Tann, S., (1994). Supporting the Student Teacher in the Classroom. In: M. Wilkin and D. Sankey, eds. Collaboration and Transition in Initial Teacher Education. London: Kogan Page Limited. Ch 7.

21 Thank You Any Questions?

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