Article by Pat Perks and Stephanie Prestage (School of Education, University of Birmingham)
Six weeks with a group of PGCE students (usually 40) is not a long time. However it is our university allocation before the first main teaching practice. There is so much going on for these students and so much to think about that we often look for memorable hooks for our sessions (Prestage & Perks 1992). Such hooks offer a shorthand to recreate the discussions, attitudes and thinking at a later date. These ITE students are in the process of developing theories of teaching. They will work on developing their subject knowledge, their planning and teaching skills, their knowledge of assessment practices, their management of resources and of people and all other aspects to be found under Shulman's umbrella heading 'pedagogical content knowledge' (Shulman 1986, Brown and McIntyre 1993, Cooper and McIntyre 1996, Askew et al 1997). In this article we analyse our practice to begin to determine our parallel pedagogical content knowledge and offer in some detail a session from the Autumn term.
Article by Alan Bloomfield, David Coles and Alison Price* (Cheltenham & Gloucester College of Higher Education and*Oxford Brookes University)
This article describes our investigations into the links between students' qualifications in mathematics prior to coming to Cheltenham & Gloucester College of Higher Education (CGCHE) and their performance on modules in the first two years of a three year Primary B. Ed. programme. It is based upon the workshop with the same title which took place at the 1997 Association of Mathematics Education Teachers (AMET) Annual Conference in Leicester. The conference was dominated by discussion of the Initial Teacher Training National Curriculum For Primary Mathematics. At the time of the conference this document was being circulated for consultation by the Teacher Training Agency (ITA) and has since been finalised (ITA, 1997). A brief summary of the workshop discussion at the AMET conference raises a number of concerns and possible strategies for meeting the ITA changes facing mathematics education teachers.
Article by D N (Jim) Smith (Sheffield Hallam University)
In previous years many of our student teachers have commented upon their perception of a strong difference between the views of school teaching propounded by the university based teacher trainers and those propounded by teachers in their practice schools. This apparent dichotomy might be characterised as college tutors being seen to be advocating strong but idealised positions and approaches whilst the influential teachers in school are characterised as being more pragmatic and practical.
If there is a substantial element of truth in this perception then this must arguably lead to some confusion for the student teacher who has to try to satisfy the apparently conflicting university and school based requirements (as well as attempting to meet pupil needs, parental and their own professional aspirations).
Through discussions with student teachers I know that this confusion often arises, but have been less clear about how the issue is resolved. Do student teachers tend to support the college ideals or the school practice?
Article by Una Hanley and Tony Brown (Manchester Metropolitan University)
How do students use language in developing an understanding of their professional task? This paper draws from a study examining the case of non specialist students following the mathematics strand of an initial training course for prospective primary school teachers. It considers how their existing knowledge about learning mathematics, gained through experience of learning mathematics themselves in schools, underlies or limits their understanding of their future task as a teacher. Here we focus on some early attempts by students to introduce more 'official' styles of expression when speaking of teaching and learning. We suggest that from the outset the student's path is severely constrained.
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