Faciltating peer coaching

Grant type: Hot Topic
Round: Hot Topic 2009/10
Amount awarded £50.00
Completed: March 2010
Leader(s): Dr Jane Essex
Organisation: Keele University
Contact Email: j.e.essex@keele.ac.uk
Contact phone: 01782 583120
Interim report received: 28 January 2010
Final report received: 28 January 2010

This is 'Hot Topic' because it meets an urgent need and turns that need into an opportunity for professional development for our students. We regularly receive feedback that our trainee teachers are not confident about teaching students with Special Educational Needs so have increased the numbers of lectures and workshops. We have started to explore the possibilities of deploying trainees' subject expertise, but have only found one mechanism for doing this so far, owing to the intensive subject knowledge demands of the course.
This year we have 'home grown' four 'expert' trainees who have undertaken placements in special schools and who are willing to share their experiences and insights with their peers at a timetabled session. We intend to record the session so that it could be shared with trainees in other subjects via Keele's Virtual Learning Environment, and thence with a wider audience. Resources used for the session would similarly be made available.
This is an innovative development in Initial Teacher Education because it uses peer expertise to meet an identified need of other trainees in a formal taught session. Indeed it meets a need that is systematic, in that no formal qualifications exist for becoming a specialist Science teacher specifically for students with Special Educational needs, and therefore relatively little support material is available formally for I.T.E. work in this area.