School Direct: a new perspective
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The Glasgow Room, Harcourt Hill Campus
In this paper I draw on Aristotle’s concept of phronesis and Crick’s understanding of Citizenship Education in order to make the claim that identity and autonomy play a critical part in developing the relationship between trainee teachers’ personal moral and political values. I then examine aspects of current standards-based teacher education practice with the intention of evaluating the extent to performativity can enable identity and autonomy to flourish. The view I reach is that contextualised school-based teacher education has the potential to contribute to the self-realisation of the identity of the teacher as citizen, thereby securing autonomous moral and political decision-making which is the hallmark of a critical and strategic professional knowledge. However, I argue that such potential will not be realised in much School Direct training without a new interpretation of teacher education process, pedagogy and provision. After consideration of each of these aspects of teacher education, I reach the conclusion that the reinterpretation of each which I am recommending will only be achieved if school-based training such as School Direct, is fully embedded in the rationale and the purpose of the school itself. School Direct, therefore, rather than an apprenticeship model, offers a significant opportunity for senior leaders and school-based teacher educators to critically engage in reflecting on the degree to which their trainees, teachers and indeed pupils, are flourishing as autonomous citizens whose identities are being fully realised.
Dr. Nick Mead is Associate Lecturer in Education at Oxford Brookes University