Authors: Dr. Lynn Machin
The aim of the research was to explore, identify and to gain an increased understanding of the factors that influenced the post compulsory education (post 16) sector who were enrolled onto a teacher training award. This award was accredited by a medium sized university located within an urban, high unemployment, Government regeneration area, in the UK. It was delivered at five of the university’s partnership colleges where trainees were required to attend formal classroom-based training sessions for four hours each week.
An interpretative, case study, multi-method approach was used to gather data from 327 trainees, twelve of whom volunteered to be interviewed.Four themes emerge from the data gathered; diversity, identity, conditions for learning and learner autonomy. It is the interpretation and illumination of the complexity, as well as the plurality, of relationships that exist within and across these themes, that adds to, as well as supports, the field of literature that is already available. The evidence presented within these four themes relates to the variations in trainees’ characteristics and backgrounds, support available for the trainees and an over-burdensome, regulated initial teacher education model.
Based upon the analysis of the findings, this study suggests that initial teacher education within the post compulsory sector should be modelled around a supportive framework that encourages trainees’ professional enquiry and building of own contextualised content. Additionally, (further) acknowledgement of trainees’ strong sense of different identities and diversities is required as is an increased focus on processes that support the development of trainees’ learning capacities
Keywords: trainee teachers, post compulsory education, models of teacher training, diversity, vocational education and training