Communities of practice and routes into teacher education: research findings from the University of Huddersfield Consortium for PCET

Author/Producer ESCalate
  • Penny Noel (University of Huddersfield Consortium for PCET)
Published in Issue 7 Spring 2007: Strengthening links within & outside the Education Community
Date Published Spring 2007
Pages 4


By Penny Noel, University of Huddersfield Consortium for Post-Compulsory Education and Training


A one-year research project undertaken during 2005-06 for the University of Huddersfield Consortium for PCET has examined routes into teacher education and the place of communities of practice. An aim of the research was to identify and promote equality and diversity of practice. Consortium teacher educators, the subject of the research, work across the North of England within a network of over 30 initial teacher education providers, primarily, although not exclusively, involving colleges of FE and including the University that provides the accreditation. The awards of Certificate in Education and Post-Graduate Certificate in Education were developed specifically for in-service teachers and trainers working in the post-16 sector. The Consortium represents the largest network in England of in-service teacher education for PCET, involving over 2,000 trainees and around 130 teacher educators. Teacher education in the learning and skills sector differs significantly from schoolteacher education. Upon appointment to their new role, schoolteacher educators will leave the schools in which they have taught to join an HEI. However, new teacher educators in the learning and skills sector will typically remain in an FE college, delivering HE within FE, and very often continuing to teach their original specialist subject – in addition to undertaking their part-time teacher education role. Because Consortium provision involves in-service teacher education, many teacher educators will be teaching colleagues from their own colleges.