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UCET Project Evaluating how the LLUK/SVUK assessment regime is shaping ITT curricula and the professional development of trainees Norman Lucas, Tony Nasta.

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Presentation on theme: "UCET Project Evaluating how the LLUK/SVUK assessment regime is shaping ITT curricula and the professional development of trainees Norman Lucas, Tony Nasta."— Presentation transcript:

1 UCET Project Evaluating how the LLUK/SVUK assessment regime is shaping ITT curricula and the professional development of trainees Norman Lucas, Tony Nasta and Lynne Rogers

2 Timescale June-July 2009 – Collection of selected course documentation, together with responses to a brief questionnaire from participating HEIs September – October 2009 – Identification of key themes arising from documentation November 2009 – April 2010 – UCET workshop and other focus groups, LLUK, SVUK, Institute for Learning to refine and extend analysis Spring 2010 – Presentation of initial findings to UCET PCET meeting September 2010 – Publication of report and recommendations

3 Questionnaire Returns Sent to all UCET HEIs in July Initial response was disappointing After autumn follow-up have received 18 responses One-third of the PCET sector (assuming 54 HEIs)

4 The Six Questions Please refer to the sheet Questions 1 to 3 – factual details of titles and levels of qualifications, the nature of the modules and the extent of option choice if any Questions 4, 5 and 6 open-ended – seeking perceptions about development of trainees specialist teaching skills, integration of theory and practice and overall view of LLUK/SVUK assessment regime

5 Overview of HEIs: generic provision Analysis derived from SVUK data – based on 52 institutions 171 different qualifications listed –PTLLS 20 listings: 15 standalone; 1 embedded; 3 plus introduction; 1 unit statement possible; 3 at Level 3 –CTLLS 25 listings: Level 4; 8 CTLLS plus - 1 at Level 5 - CTLLS + University Award in Teaching in Lifelong Learning Sector (Level 5) Service –DTLLS accounts for the rest but wide variation in the titles used and the levels – 5, 6 and 7

6 No. of centresFrequency 139 213 315 419 514 626 76 85 97 101 125 132 168 174 232 241 331 351 Number of delivery centres: Average 5.7

7 Structure PTLLS In most HEIs PTLLS was embedded in the course – often linked to HEI requirements The University will not accredit a discrete PTLLS programme as its credit rating is below the 60 minimum required. Some HEIs issued a transcript to students following successful completion of PTLLs within an embedded course Exit award only issued by department - University does not issue awards below 60 credits. Within this survey three HEIs ran separate PTLLs provision. E.g. 2-week PTLLS course that served as an access route into teacher training: validated by EdExcel.

8 Structure – credits Wide variation in credit structures Ten HEIs had a fixed number of credits for each module – these could be 15 (5); 20 (4) or 30 (1). Hence the number of modules that students take to gain the qualification also varies. Six HEIs had a mixture of different credits for each course. For instance: –10, 20 and 30 credit modules –6, 9, 10, 15, and 20 credit modules –1 at 10 credits, 4 at 20 credits and 1 at 30 credits

9 Titles and levels DTLLS (Diploma in teaching in the LLS) – level 5 Cert. Ed (Certificate in Education) – level 5; level 6 PGCE (Professional-Graduate Certificate in Education) – level 6 PGCE (Post-Graduate Certificate in Education) – level 7 but 40 M level credits; 60 M Level credits

10 Level of qualification offered 5 56 4 exit award only567 67 56 5 6 exit award7 4567 45 56 5 56 67 45 4567 4567 5 5 7 456

11 Option module choice Only two HEIs offered a module choice. In both this was in Year 2 of the programme. In one of the HEIs no-one had taken the module during 2008-09. The SVUK option modules were embedded within the modules offered – all modules were compulsory. Issues: costs; number of students; logistics. It would be too costly to run our programmes with options. We do not have the number of students or staffing resources either to offer options, nor to create blended learning options. As far as students are concerned, all modules are compulsory and no choice is offered as the logistics are too complex.

12 How the structure/assessment of the course supports the development of trainees skills in teaching their specialist area? Context: HMI Survey of 2003 The current system of FE teacher training does not provide a satisfactory foundation of professional development for FE teachers at the start of their careers. While the tuition that trainees receive on the taught elements of their courses is generally good, few opportunities are provided for trainees to learn how to teach their specialist subjects and there is a lack of systematic mentoring and support in the workplace. LLUK standards and assessment units Development by LLUK of bank of specialist options for inclusion on ITT courses

13 Playing the game? Assessment throughout the programme is based upon the acquisition, development and demonstration, by trainees, of achievement of the relevant learning outcomes and professional competences. Assessment therefore, involves the development of a range of types and methods of assessment, ensuring that all trainees meet all of the competences specified. Assessment is structured and progressive a well as academically and professionally challenging. Items of assessment based on their practical placement experiences and associated reading and research.

14 Overwhelming reliance on developing the trainees specialist skills through mentoring, observation of teaching, professional portfolio and workplace support. No examples of specialist options related to context (e.g. 14-19, prison education or subject/occupation) Some examples of subject clustering, VLE and subject networking Results from questionnaire

15 An honest and typical response The development of subject-specific teaching skills is over-dependent on trainees being able to apply generic issues to their own teaching and assessment, on specific support and observation by subject mentors and by the structuring of specific subject and action research projects into the course structure. There are not opportunities for trainees with common vocational/subject teaching to get together in sub-groups either at the college or at a wider partnership level. Creating subject networks across the partnership is an initiative that the University wishes to develop.

16 Subject specialist support Has anything really changed from ofsted report? Are subject clusters and networks working? Has mentoring and workplace support improved? The evidence suggests limited progress in developing specialist options or upon focussing upon trainees subject-specialist teaching skills. How would you explain this?

17 To what extent have the criteria for assessment helped trainees on ITT courses to see the links between theory and practice? All but one said LLUK criteria prescriptive and this narrowed opportunities. Some theory was introduced but through university criteria Elements of theory are developed in different assignments… however, the overall picture is of fragments of theory/knowledge rather than a sustained approach to the development of specific learning theories.

18 What is the understanding of theory? LLUK standard AP4.1. Tteachers in the lifelong learning sector use relevant theories of learning to support the development of practice in teaching and learning. Some university criteria want to see theory and research based evidence used From handbooks Is theory reflective practice, teacher knowledge, being critical, lesson planning? How can theory not be introduced at M level? What theory?

19 Question for discussion The findings suggest that at best educational theory plays a relatively marginal role in ITT courses. Is that the groups perception and if so, why?

20 Outward conformity or willing compliance? Examples of comments from HEI/FE teacher educators The LLUK framework provides domains that enable learners to hang their professional development strengths, weaknesses and action planning on. It encourages them to examine their own practice as professionals with nationally recognised codes of practice which give them status. However, the standards are so detailed and verbose that most students find them intimidating and difficult to pick through. The professional standards are fine. That would have been sufficient for HEIs to set up new, exciting and challenges programmes of study. The units of assessment are a step too far and imply a high level of prescription that I dont think is warranted. I think that we have been creative in the use of tasks and assignments across the programme so that trainees are not over burdened – otherwise there is a danger that the programme becomes a BTEC. We provide a more over and above the LLUK framework – naturally due to the level of qualification but also in experiential workshops that enable trainees to try things out and take risks. Not sure that the LLUK framework encourages risk taking. From a practical perspective the endorsement process and mapping of all assessment criteria was a nightmare.

21 Outward conformity or willing compliance? Examples of comments from teacher educators I would like to take this opportunity to focus on the structure of the ITE qualification route. It simply does not work. The Diploma is relevant however it does need to be reviewed. Some trainees complain that the pace changes from year 1 to year 2. The Certificate is essentially a redundant qualification. The PTLLS is very popular but essentially pointless. Whilst there are opportunities for CTLLS trainees to access the DTLLS it is time consuming and expensive. I advocate a PT programme which has recognisable exit and entry points. Overall I believe the course structure and progression from stages 1, 2 and 3 before these reforms all worked well in most ways. I cant think of anything which has got better as a result of the most recent changes at all. We modified the course last year, and are doing it again this year, and will hopefully be back to a more coherent and balanced course by the start of 2009/10. This is a huge indictment on the recent changes.

22 Focus group questions Groups 1 and 2 1.Is the degree of unevenness found by the survey too great for a national professional qualification? To what extent has it become easier for trainees to transfer between ITT courses in different parts of England? 2.The survey does not suggest clear distinctions between what is expected of trainees gaining qualifications at different levels (5, 6 and 7) Is this an accurate picture of your ITT courses? If so, why? 3.The responses so far suggest that the standards and assessment units have not led to greater consistency? How would you explain this?

23 Focus group questions Groups 3 and 4 1.Our findings suggest that the CTLLS qualification linked to associate lecturer status does not appear not to have become established? Does this tally with your experience? If so, why? 2.The evidence suggests limited progress in developing specialist options or upon focussing upon trainees subject- specialist teaching skills. How would you explain this? 3.The findings suggest that at best educational theory plays a relatively marginal role in ITT courses. Is that the groups perception and if so, why?

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