15th Consortium Annual Conference 2016 (#hudtec16)

Being an FE teacher educator

Friday, 24th June, 2016 at the University of Huddersfield

Programme Papers

According to Anja Swennen, a Dutch teacher educator, “Good teachers need good teacher educators”. This one day conference seeks to examine what it means to be a teacher educator working with and in the FE and skills sector. The starting point will be Lunenberg, Dengerink and Korthagen’s (2014) six roles of a teacher educator and we will explore how these apply to the distinctive context and work of FE initial teacher education. This event will be of particular interest to FE-based teacher educators, HEIs working in partnership with FE colleges to deliver ITE and managers from the FE and skills sector with responsibility for ITE.

Conference Programme

Timing Session
Timing Session
09.30 Registration and refreshments
10.00 Welcome - David Powell
   Director, The Education and Training Consortium
10.05   Professor Pete Boyd, University of Cumbria
   Inquiry-Based Teachers Contributing to Collective Educational Leadership in the Age of Accountability
10.40   Dr Andrew Wilson, Hull College
   Lies, damned lies and learning styles or data is not the plural of anecdote.
11.10 Break
11.35   Sabrina Poma, Canterbury Christ Church University
   ‘Nibble and nudge…’: developing Teacher Educators’ agency in FE professionalization policy-making
12.15 Critical Dialogue Space 1
12.45 Lunch
13.25 Dr Rebecca Eliahoo, University of Westminster
   The accidental experts: teacher educators on research and scholarship at home and away.
14.00 Dr Octavia Springbett, Independent Researcher
   Disentangling policy and practice in FE teacher education – what of the teacher educators?
14.30 Afternoon Break
14.45 Critical Dialogue Space 2
15.20 Plenary: What next for FE ITE?
15.30 Close


Programme Papers

Our speakers and their papers

Professor Pete Boyd, University of Cumbria


Pete Boyd Pete Boyd is Professor of Professional Learning at the University of Cumbria. Pete became a teacher educator based in higher education following a successful first career of 15 years teaching in the secondary age phase. He was a Geography teacher and head of department in comprehensive schools in Birkenhead and Bradford, but as a mountaineer and qualified instructor he also taught for three years in a residential outdoor education and field-study centre. His current academic development role at the University of Cumbria is focused on research capacity-building. He also teaches undergraduate Education Studies and supervises educational research by teachers and lecturers completing Masters and Doctoral level studies. Pete’s research has focused on investigating the work, identity and expertise of academics and teachers. He has a commitment to practitioner research and current projects include working as a research mentor to support teacher researchers based in schools. Pete has a particular interest in assessment for learning and has co-authored an influential text on assessment in higher education (Sue Bloxham & Pete Boyd 2007). His most recently published book is an advanced reader for beginning teachers (Pete Boyd, Barry Hymer & Karen Lockney 2015).

Paper: Inquiry-Based Teachers Contributing to Collective Educational Leadership in the Age of Accountability

In this lecture I will argue that, within the current context of Education, developing as an inquiry-based teacher, who is able to collaborate and contribute proactively within professional learning communities, is an essential stance for the professional educator. For teacher educators this is a layered imperative, because they need to become inquiry-based themselves, and then model that stance for the benefit of their student teachers. Regarding the role of modelling in developing coherence in teacher education programmes, I will refer to my own research which included teacher educators working within ‘higher education in further education’ settings. The Neoliberal policy agenda currently dominates Education internationally, but is perhaps at its most relentless in England where it first developed during the 1980s and has since been reinforced during successive governments. The emphasis is on ‘customer choice’ within a free or quasi market and to support this is an associated policy apparatus of quantitative measurement of outcomes, over-assessment, high stakes inspection, league tables, teacher performativity and a requirement for post-compulsory students to become entrepreneurial as they find their way through the system. Within this context, it is not surprising that some institutional leadership teams in schools, colleges and universities have resorted to managerialist approaches. Despite this challenging context, I remain optimistic, and will argue that the collective agency of inquiry-based teachers could be increasingly effective in leading institutions in order to steer curriculum development and to mediate, on behalf of their learners, the unintended consequences of Neoliberal policy. Such a development of collective educational leadership requires confident managers of educational institutions who are committed to contemporary approaches to shared leadership within knowledge-based organisations. In arguing for the need to develop inquiry-based teachers, I will suggest implications for teacher educators and for approaches to teacher education and development.

Dr Andrew Wilson, Hull College


Andrew Wilson Andrew Wilson has been a lecturer in FE for 23 years following an undistinguished career as a factory operative, carpet cutter, postman, silk screen printer, doorman, barman and ship’s cook. He has taught psychology across all sector qualifications from GCSE to degree.  He has been involved with all of the Consortium’s teacher education courses at Hull College since 2000.  At present Andrew is the Research Ethics Co-ordinator and course leader for the BA (Hons) Applied Social Science at the college.  He follows a mixed methods research philosophy and has recently completed his EdD in Policy and Values at the University of Hull.

Paper: Lies, damned lies and learning styles or data is not the plural of anecdote

In this presentation I will argue that learning styles models as pedagogic technology should be seen as a contested concept. They are informed by a field that lacks a unifying paradigm, is demonstrably confused and dominated by concerns over academic status and financial gain.  Much of its underpinning data comes from unreliable sources that lack reliability, validity and trustworthiness.  Its evidential base is focussed on; past governmental policy that lacked empirical checks, the erroneous but influential ‘Ofsted hypothesis’, the confused responses to inspection demands by senior managers and the wilful and unethical reproduction of the concept by teacher educators in the FE sector.  I argue that it is the inability of teacher educators to engage with effective inquiry-based practice leading to a failure to provide factual and appropriate information for their students that has obscured the contested nature of this field.

Dr ‌Rebecca Eliahoo, University of Westminster


Rebecca Eliahoo Dr Rebecca Eliahoo is Principal Lecturer (Lifelong Learning) at the University of Westminster.  She is a Senior Fellow of the HEA and her professional interests lie in the field of teacher education, staff development and mentoring. She completed an investigation into mentors’ experiences supporting trainees during initial teacher training for her Masters dissertation and a study of the professional development needs of English teacher educators in the FE sector for her PhD thesis.
In 2003, she won a Walter Hines Page scholarship to study language and widening participation in the recruitment of teachers in Texas, U.S.A and, in both 2005 and 2012, she was awarded University of Westminster Teaching Fellowships for excellence in teaching and learning.

Before qualifying as a lecturer, Rebecca was deputy editor, features editor and reporter on a number of publications specialising in industrial design and marketing and wrote regularly for national newspapers.

Paper: The accidental experts: teacher educators on research and scholarship at home and away

How can teacher educators in the English FE system manage their own scholarship and research? What can other countries teach us about supporting the transition from teacher to teacher educator and what roles do scholarship and research play in this? Taken from her PhD thesis, Rebecca’s paper examines the ways in which self-study, collaboration and networking have helped practitioners to negotiate the rocky road of becoming a teacher educator in Europe, North America and Australia. Finally, she looks at what we can do right now to help ourselves.

Sabrina Poma, Canterbury Christ Church University


Sabrina Poma Sabrina Poma is Senior Lecturer in Teacher Education and Development at Canterbury Christ Church University. She is currently completing her Doctorate thesis at the UCL Institute of Education focusing on FE professionalization policy-making at meso-level. She is also involved in researching the creation of an expansive learning environment within Police Firearms instruction.

She holds HEA Fellowship and is an appointed Honorary National Firearms Instructor by Kent Police and the College of Policing.

Paper: ‘Nibble and nudge…’: developing Teacher Educators’ agency in FE professionalization policy-making

This key note addresses the notion of teacher educators’ (TEds) agency involved in FE professionalization policymaking. The attempts to “professionalize” the sector have displayed a high degree of compliance, on the part of teacher education professionals and research shows that TEds are mostly reactive to government policies. Using the process of the Lingfield review and the subsequent deregulation, it discusses TEds’ level of engagement by highlighting the resources exchanged and ‘games’ being played with other organisations in order to mediate policies within the sector. Finally, it proposes some developmental activities to increase but also sustain TEds’ agency over FE professionalization in the future. 

Dr Octavia Springbett, Independent Researcher


Octavia Springbett Dr Dr Octavia Springbett is an independent qualitative researcher based in Somerset.

She has taught in adult and further education since 2001 as a literacy, language and technology specialist, during which time she became involved in the design and delivery of a teacher education programme for NVQ assessors.

She was among the first FE teachers to be awarded Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) accreditation in 2009, and gained a master’s degree in Adult Literacy, Numeracy and ESOL in 2010.

Awarded a PhD in Educational Research from Lancaster University in 2015, her thesis explored the entanglement of teacher educator identity and technology practices in three south west further education colleges.

Her research currently focuses on three areas: the relationship between FE policy and the lived experience of teacher identity; the conceptualisation of educational technologies as sociomaterial practice; and the location of higher education in further education settings.

Paper: Disentangling policy and practice in FE teacher education – what of the teacher educators?

Locating teacher education within FE colleges raises distinct issues for practitioners, student teachers and adult learners that are frequently neglected in policy and research. Drawing on doctoral research examining technology practices as identity enactment, this paper illustrates that teacher educators identify with key FE discourses to different degrees and that core values and beliefs both conflict with and are reinforced by this context. These tensions are visible in teacher educators’ working practices, suggesting a daily effort to balance the ideals and possibilities of further education with the ideologies and realities of further education policy.


Programme Papers


Costs and how to book

Consortium partner colleges

The conference is FREE to teacher educators from Consortium partner colleges. We have emailed the booking link to all Consortium centre managers and tutors. If you haven’t received this email please contact David Powell.

Teacher educators from non-Consortium colleges and HUDCETT members

A fee of £100 per person is payable to attend this conference. We use the University’s on-line store for all our conferences. This is a secure system and requires you to register before you can complete the booking. The booking process should take no more than 5 minutes to complete.  Please use the link below to book and pay the £100 fee for your place. You will automatically receive a confirmation email upon completion of your booking and the joining instructions for the Conference will be sent out to all attendees about a week before hand.

Pay £100 and book for the Consortium Annual Conference 2016

Enquiries about the conference and queries about your booking

Any enquiries about the conference or questions about your booking should be directed to etc@hud.ac.uk


Programme Papers


Last updated Tuesday 12 July 2016
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