The ‘problem’ of teacher quality: Exploring challenges and opportunities in developing teacher quality during the Covid-19 global pandemic in England.

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4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Teachers and teacher education are often presented as “problems” to be solved, with policy solutions that focus on ways to make teachers “better” and improve teacher “quality” by introducing prescriptive strategies. We investigate the ways Covid-19-related changes to university and school-based facets of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) in England influence teacher quality in relation to both student teachers and early career teachers, working in secondary schools. Drawing on 34 interviews with school leaders, school mentors and ITE tutors, we critically explore the ways in which teacher quality was developed through key aspects of teachers’ pedagogy and practice during the pandemic crisis when schools were closed and teaching moved online. Our findings show that the pandemic crisis has highlighted the different facets of teacher quality which arguably disrupt narrow and prescriptive understandings of what constitutes “quality” in policy terms. Although there were many instances of challenge in the development of new and student teachers, our data also shows how ITE tutors, school mentors and leaders responded creatively to the crisis. Participants highlighted the opportunities afforded by the pandemic to develop diverse and innovative pedagogies and practice, enhance students’ subject knowledge, as well as overcome some of the challenges in other areas of pedagogy and practice. Furthermore, the study shows that teacher quality was not substantially reduced despite the challenges arising from the pandemic and concerns that pre-service teachers would not be ready and prepared for a career in the classroom.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEDUCATIONAL REVIEW
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2023

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