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Supporting Initial Teacher Education

Created on 18 July 2012 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 28 January 2013 by ncetm_administrator

Supporting Initial Teacher Education

"We know that teachers learn best from other professionals and that an ‘open classroom’ culture is vital: observing teaching and being observed, having the opportunity to plan, prepare, reflect and teach with other teachers."
The Importance of Teaching: The Schools’ White Paper, Department for Education, 2010

Supporting ITE

The craft of teaching is a very practical one but it also has a rich background of theory. The best ITE provision combines the theoretical and the practical so that trainee teachers develop effective practice with a clear view of why it is effective and on what principles it is based.

This module offers ideas and resources to support SLEs in developing the alliance’s ITE provision.

What does effective practice look like?

A summary of key points designed to support SLEs new to working in this role or SLEs supporting other colleagues new to the role

Effective teaching:

  • is rooted in the development of all learners’ conceptual understanding;
  • enables learners to make connections between topics and see the ‘big picture’.
  • nurtures mathematical independence, allows time for thinking and encourages discussion.
  • promotes problem solving, discussion and investigation as integral to learning mathematics.

Effective teachers:

  • communicate high expectations, enthusiasm and passion about their subject to learners.
  • have a high level of confidence and expertise both in terms of their specialist knowledge and their understanding of effective learning in the subject.
  • use a very wide range of teaching strategies to stimulate all learners’ active participation in their learning
  • exploit links between mathematics and other subjects and with mathematics beyond the classroom.

Effective Initial Teacher Education consists of:

  • high-quality training and support that prepares trainees with the skills they need to:
    • critically evaluate their own teaching
    • meet the needs of those they teach
    • show through their teaching that they understand how learners learn
    • use a range of approaches to teaching and learning, including ICT where relevant
    • recognise the signs that may indicate disability or special educational needs and make the necessary preparation to help learners overcome any barriers to their learning, including those for whom English is an additional language (EAL)
    • make effective use of other adults, including teaching assistants, to improve learners’ progress
    • manage behaviour and discipline through effective teaching
  • high quality placements, in which trainees develop their teaching skills, in particular:
    • to work with the full range of learners, including those who are disabled or have special educational needs, those with EAL and those from different cultural backgrounds
    • to develop their skills in managing learners’ behaviour successfully
  • opportunities to encounter and learn from good and outstanding practice
  • subject and phase specific mentoring by experienced and expert mentors that:
    • responds to trainees’ specific training needs, including enhancing their subject and curriculum knowledge and phase expertise
    • models good practice in teaching
    • provides high-quality coaching and mentoring to enhance trainees’ professional development
  • an effective assessment system, including:
    • high-quality verbal and written feedback
    • precise developmental targets to improve trainees’ teaching and ensure agreed actions are implemented
    • accurate and rigorous final assessments for the award of QTS in relation to the Teachers’ Standards for primary and secondary trainees, or the relevant requirements for ITE in further education.

What do I need to consider?

A set of questions and prompts designed to help SLEs reflect on their planned support.
  • How does the alliance work in partnership with HE providers to enable high quality training to take place?
  • How do you monitor and evaluate the quality of this partnership?
  • What evaluation has been carried out on how school based programmes help trainees become good or better teachers?
  • How will you find out what knowledge and expertise your trainees already have and what their particular needs are?
  • What information does the alliance have about what trainees do once they are qualified?
  • What is the quality of training in mentoring and coaching for school based mentors?
  • What training is available for other teachers who are working with trainees?
  • What use are you making of excellent mathematics teachers in your Alliance to support your ITE provision?
  • How are the views of trainees about the quality and impact of their school experience sought and then taken into consideration in the review of course programmes?
  • Do learners have opportunities to give feedback?

What resources could I use?

NCETM Portal

Support for a vision of good ITE provision Findings from a national project (‘ITE Matters’) involving ITE providers looking at issues, challenges and opportunities within ITE. These materials include sections on:

A tool for trainees to evaluate their own subject and pedagogical knowledge

As well being ideal for self-evaluation, the content knowledge and pedagogy sections are very rich resources for reflection and development of knowledge and understanding.

Resources for trainees and for tutors

A wealth of information for teachers in training and those working with them in schools including:

Other Useful Links

The Department for Education Numeracy Skills test

  • Numeracy
    Details and examples of the numeracy skills test that all trainee teachers must pass before they can gain QTS.

Teachers’ Standards

Initial teacher education inspection handbook

NCETM Microsites for SLEs

Excellence in Mathematics LeadershipExcellence in Mathematics Leadership
Schools Working TogetherSchools Working Together
Department WorkshopsDepartment workshops
Self evaluationSelf-Evaluation Tool 
Essentials Essentials Collection

What does Ofsted say?

Ofsted reports in mathematics and materials for schools

Initial teacher education inspection handbook, Ofsted 2012

… on the requirements of effective ITE provision
ITE inspection is primarily about evaluating how well trainees are trained to be good or better teachers’

Inspectors must test the ITE partnership’s response to individual needs by observing how well it helps all trainees to become good or better teachers. Where inspection evidence reveals that variations in the quality of provision have an adverse impact on particular groups, inspectors will identify this as an area for improvement. (page 27)

When inspectors observe teaching they are also observing the learners’ responses. The key factor in judging the quality of teaching is the impact teaching has on the quality of learning. (page 29)

Inspectors must consider how effectively schools, colleges and/or other settings are strongly engaged in the ITE partnership, for example through their involvement in:

  • strategic leadership and management
  • recruitment and selection of trainees
  • the design and delivery of training and assessment (page 38)

Finnish learners’ success in mathematics, Ofsted 2010

… on the key contributory factors in Finnish ITE provision
  • The provision of all initial teacher education in universities, with the early placements of all trainees in a nearby practice school, enables very close collaboration between lecturers and teachers on training and observing trainees.
  • A focus on developing quality in teaching rather than expertise through quantity of practice is delivered through trainees teaching only a small number of lessons, for each of which supervising teachers discuss planning and evaluation at some length.
  • Teachers’ self-evaluation is gradually enhanced through the style of interaction with supervisors; required logs within portfolios; and evaluating each other’s lessons within the group of mathematics or primary trainees at the same practice school. (page 12)

[N.B. While direct replication of systems from other countries is rarely possible, such perspectives can prompt useful reflection on current practice]


NCETM Resources

Excellence in Mathematics Leadership
Excellence in Mathematics Leadership
Schools Working Together
Schools Working Together
Departmental Workshops
Department Workshops
Self-Evaluation Tool
Self evaluation
Essentials Collection

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