||Presenter: Dr Alison Hramiak, Owen 429, ext 6023 A.Hramiak@shu.ac.ukTheme: Supporting StudentsAnticipated outcomes: Dissemination of innovative good practice that better prepares students for placements by developing courses that better suit their requirements.
Session outline (or abstract):
This short paper explores the challenges and issues faced by Teach First teachers during their first year of teaching in a culturally diverse school, and describes the strategies they employ to overcome them. Using a variety of methods, both qualitative and quantitative data are collected, focussing on the perspectives of the teachers over the course of the academic year. Three common themes emerged from the findings; firstly, there is evidence from all data sets that cultural challenges exist for the participants, and that they have developed strategies for overcoming them during the course of the year. Secondly, the cultural gap revealed by the data is not necessarily seen as one between staff and pupils, but exists more between curriculum and pupils. Thirdly, while cultural differences have caused some problems for the participants, they have come to recognise that although they cannot change the whole culture of the school and its pupils, they can make a difference in their classrooms. The cultural lens provided ideas to better prepare future trainees for this type of situation in schools, and also added to a growing body of knowledge in this area. This in turn enables us to develop our future courses for such trainees in ways that better suit them, with more appropriate curriculum topics, and prepare them better for placement in doing so. Such enhanced preparation would also be applicable to other teacher training routes, and as such could be extrapolated to other situations such as PGCEs and Schools Direct Initial Teacher Education. In better preparing our own trainees for their work in schools, we might also better prepare ourselves as HE tutors in teacher training – an aspect of this work that would be worth further study. To engage with these changes, we may need to see culture differently, than we have previously done, and raise our awareness, and those of our trainees to the issues that might arise in situations like the one described here.
Session activities for engagement:
Interactive power point presentation that includes some short activities for audience to get them thinking about their own course and practice and how they might improve this in the light of the findings from this study.
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25 It’s a balloon Sir! sept 2012 alison hramiak