A Masters level profession? The mid-course views of PGCE trainee teachers

Many thanks to Claire Creasor from Edge Hill University for sharing her paper on Masters level with us. This complements the M level PGCE research carried out at the University of Cumbria and looks at the perceptions of students at a point mid-way through their course.

Download the paper from this page. Claire's abstract is below.

Abstract

Teaching is on course to become a Masters level profession. The introduction of M-level PGCE programmes and Government ambitions for a Masters degree in Teaching and Learning (MTL) as a future target for all teaching staff, combine to paint a picture of a profession that is undergoing major professional change. Much of the success of such initiatives will depend upon the viewpoints of the trainees completing PGCE courses and entering the teaching workforce over the next five years. The findings of this study present a mixed picture – the opportunity to get an advantage over ‘rivals’ is valued by some; for others a lack of understanding of the assessment framework under which they are studying, and of the ‘bigger picture’ in terms of the intended ‘M-ness’ of the teaching workforce, inhibit pursuit of the available Level 7 credits. Difficulties reconciling the practical and academic aspects are prevalent. What emerges overall is a portrait of new entrants with diverse goals, who view the M-level aspects of the course, at best, for the opportunity they may provide ‘on paper’ to potential future employers. Is this in fact the truth – and do employers really care? Or are trainees overlooking the personal development - additional skills, reflexivity and critical thinking - that lead to the award of M-level credits in the first instance? This study finds that greater information sharing is required if trainees and newly qualified teachers are to attain a mindset which is in tune with the vision of the teaching profession offered by politicians.