FLiTE helps teachers soar: improving School-based Teacher Education
Educational reforms in 2010 mean that 50% of initial teacher education now takes place in schools not universities. School-based teacher educators (SBTEs) are responsible for the continuing professional development of new teachers in their schools; a role they combine with teaching pupils. The rapid introduction of this system meant that policy, curriculum, and resources were not in place to support SBTEs.
Dr Elizabeth White and Dr Claire Dickerson used qualitative research with SBTEs and professional organisations to discover what SBTEs need and to create the resources to achieve those goals. They found that difficulties arise for SBTEs as they interact with new teachers, schools, education authorities and funding bodies, who all have different expectations. They also work in isolation without a community of practice (other SBTEs) for support and discussion which limits the development of a knowledge base for guiding new teachers.
The research findings were used to create evidence-based online resources For Learning in Teacher Education (FLiTE).
The FLiTE platform provides 12 stories covering a variety of situations and challenges that SBTEs face. They are real scenarios gathered during the research and cross referenced to the DfE’s National Standards providing a starting point for discussion, exploration and reflection, and engagement with other SBTEs.
FLiTE is for practitioners and training/education providers and has four main objectives:
- Inspire critical reflection on school-based practice in teacher education
- Deepen the professional learning and development of teacher educators
- Develop collaborative working in initial teacher education partnerships
- Enhance the quality of learning opportunities for student teachers
Our REF2021 case study also included how this research influenced the Department of Education’s National Standards for school-based initial teacher training mentors, how it was used by the National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers.