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Teaching – a Masters profession? Dr Alison Jackson – University of Cumbria.

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Presentation on theme: "Teaching – a Masters profession? Dr Alison Jackson – University of Cumbria."— Presentation transcript:

1 Teaching – a Masters profession? Dr Alison Jackson – University of Cumbria

2 Perceptions of Masters level PGCE (published 2009) Data collection Student teachers School mentors of student teachers Headteachers Teacher educators

3 Participating HEIs University of Cumbria University of Southampton The Institute of Education, University of London Huddersfield University Liverpool John Moores University Bedfordshire University Wolverhampton University Edge Hill University Sheffield Hallam University Maryvale Institute University of Worcester

4 Some main findings

5 The full report, with executive summary, findings and recommendations is available on TEAN website in the Teacher Educators Storehouse Perceptions of Masters level

6 The perceptions of students at the beginning of their Masters level PGCE course in autumn 2007 were: 1. Masters level is important in addition to QTS; it will contribute to their teaching; 2. Theory will contribute positively to the practice of teaching; 3. Masters level credits will enhance their prospects of getting a job as a teacher. 4. But what is Masters?

7 The perceptions of students at the end of their Masters level PGCE course in summer 2008 were: 1. Masters was valued a little more at the end of the course than at the beginning. 2. As they started the course, students considered that the linking of theory and practice was beneficial, but by the time they reached the end of the course, there was a suggestion that the reality had not lived up to their expectations. 3. Only 30% of students at the end of the course thought that Masters was beneficial in the job market. 4. There is little clarity about what Masters is.

8 The perceptions of students at the end of their Masters level PGCE course in summer 2008 were: And … 5. The pressures on students of the short PGCE course are so great that it would be later in their career that teachers would return to Masters study once they were established in the profession. 6.. Interview participants in the research began gradually to give positive perceptions about Masters level despite initial negative feedback – they had found aspects of the work enjoyable and valuable.

9 The perceptions of headteachers in summer 2008 were: 1. Opinions were split as to whether Masters would be beneficial to the teaching profession and time would tell. However there was a strong negative response from interview participants regarding the value. 2. There was a split of opinion regarding what students who had studied at Masters level would bring to the classroom in terms of childrens learning, the application of theory, etc. However there was evidence to suggest that greater ability to reflect on practice was perceived as an advantage. 3. Masters level credits from the PGCE would not affect choice of candidates for jobs, but there was a hint that this may change in the future. 4. There was a limited idea of what Masters is. And … It is not necessary for all teachers to have a Masters.

10 The perceptions of teacher mentors in summer 2008 were: 1. Students had not changed significantly – it very much, as it always had, depended on the student. 2. The effect of Masters on students engagement with childrens learning, reflection, the application of theory etc. tended toward negative perceptions; there had been little positive effect. 3. With one exception no interview participants thought that their role had changed since the introduction of Masters level PGCE for students. 4. The push towards an all Masters profession may cause demoralisation. And …It is not necessary for all teachers to have a Masters.

11 The perceptions of teacher educators in autumn 2007 were: 1. In training there tended to be a focus on assessment of Masters rather than teaching of Masters. 2. Time will tell regarding the value of Masters for the teaching profession. 3. There have always been students more able to connect with Masters type work. 4. It is difficult, if not impossible, to measure the effect of Masters in the classroom or in the profession. And … Masters is not necessarily for all

12 Conclusions and recommendations

13 1. Prospective students of Masters level PGCE courses or other teacher education courses should be made more fully aware of what Masters study is and why it is presented to those intending to become teachers. This could be done through the prospectus and at base interview. 2. Attention should be paid at all levels to ensuring a link between Masters and classroom practice in order to dispel the perception that Masters is an unrelated adjunct. 3. In order for Masters to be meaningful in the job market, headteachers, school mentors and all teachers need to value it; this to be developed through closer working between trainers in schools and HEIs or other teacher education providers.

14 4. Realise that seed is sown which could bear fruit and explore the meaning of this for the future of Masters study in teacher training. 5. Be sure of why we are doing it and its value. 6. Measurement or evaluation of the success or otherwise of Masters, however difficult must be made at every level; be sure of what we are doing, why we are doing it and its value to the profession and children and young people. And …Continue the debate on Teaching – a Masters profession.

15 NQT follow-up

16 To what extent do you feel that your Masters level credits are having an impact on the development of your professional identity? None I am concentrating on planning and developing my classroom practice, I dont have the time to record and reflect like I did last year. Any good teacher continually assesses their teaching and how well something does or doesnt work.

17 None.. But maybe in my later career. I quite enjoyed the research that I did but I am not entirely sure which parts were M level specific and which were general. Its difficult – many of the current teachers have no idea about the credits and what you achieved.

18 Some I feel I have a more analytical approach to classroom activity. Quite a bit They are very important – increasingly so as I settle into my post and have time to further examine elements that I looked at last year.

19 Are you using any of the following features of Masters level work in your current practice? Criticality 43% Reflection 75% Analysis 37% Further reading 12% Evaluative skills 43% Applying theory to practice 50%

20 Leading from the last question (i.e. reflection etc)– how (if at all) did the Masters part of your course directly contribute to this? Not at all significant = 44% Some significance = 50% Very significant = 6%

21 Examples Not I dont think Masters did but I can anyway. I am using none of the features mentioned as I feel the practical parts of my course are the most useful in my career. My undergraduate degree did the same.

22 Some While I am quite reflective anyway, the Masters developed my ability to be reflective in a useful way, rather than just being very critical. It has also encouraged me to research theories relating to my work.

23 High significance I always do further reading as the Masters course has inspired me and would like to go on with it. Applying theory to practice – Masters has helped me with this.

24 Are you pleased that you studied at M level in your PGCE year? Did it add value to what you are doing now? Explain your answer, considering in particular its benefit or otherwise to the children or young people in your care. No value = 37% Enjoyed it but Masters irrelevant = 25% Value = 38% (Value/no value – some said no but maybe later in career)

25 No Maybe later I am indifferent to it. It has no bearing on my day to day teaching. I enjoyed the sense of achievement but it hasnt benefited my career or the pupils I teach.

26 Yes and maybe It has definitely benefited me as I think about things more widely. I am not sure the value or the link it has had to my teaching and care of the pupils. I think it has allowed me to be more reflective upon what I do in the classroom on a daily basis.

27 What is Masters level?

28 As hard as ever! Autonomy – agency, wisdom, political awareness, willingness to be ready to try out, make a stance … be ethically sound. The ability to synthesise and interpret theory and research evidence to a sufficient level to critically engage with self- reflection to enable meaningful development of teaching and learning through active engagement with research in ones context The ability to think critically, to reflect, to research and report with academic rigour, and have a capacity to select and undertake in- depth reading which deepens understanding and informs practice. Research – engaged professional study of the art of teaching and science of learning

29 What is Masters level? A riddle wrapped inside an enigma

30 What has Masters got to do with teaching? Full notes from the ESCalate colloquium are available on Teacher Educators Storehouse Teaching – a Masters profession

31 What does teaching have to do with Masters? Its upping the anti / raising the bar Its not just about being a job Synthesis is important – its more than analysis – its being original in taking their thinking forward.

32 Moves students away from and above the notion of just meeting the standards A way of thinking – part of professional self Masters is about the link to school improvement, performance management for the ultimate benefit of the pupils

33 TEAN events UWE - February 23 rd Sheffield Hallam – tbc Scotland – tbc Others?

34 Workshop What is Masters? How do you teach it? How do you assess it? Should teaching be an all Masters profession? What other thoughts does this provoke? A synthesis of ideas will be posted on the TEAN website

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