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Department of Education

Viewing archives for teacher training

In Trinity Term 2019 the Oxford Department of Education will hold a flagship event series on ‘Future Directions in Teacher Education Research, Practice and Policy’ convened by Diane Mayer (Professor of Education (Teacher Education) and Alis Oancea (Professor of Philosophy of Education and Research Policy and Director of Research) and in commemoration of its 100th anniversary.

The series will include six public seminars, taking place on Monday 29 April, 13 May, 20 May, 3 June, 10 June and 17 June and running from 5pm to 6.30pm in the department, as well as an annual public lecture on Friday 10 May from 5pm at Worcester College. The seminars will cover topics from regional reforms in Teacher Education, to comparative global research perspectives and future directions to help connect policy, research and practice.  Speakers will include experts from across the department, including an inaugural seminar by Diane Mayer, as well as international speakers from Arizona State University and the University of Helsinki.

The focus of the annual lecture will be ‘The Quest for Better Teaching’, with guest speaker Jenny Gore (Visiting Professor, Department of Education and Laureate Professor in the School of Education at the University of Newcastle) and a panel of respondents including Dame Alison Peacock (Chief Executive of The Chartered College of Teaching), Martin Mills (Professor and Director of the Centre for Research on Teachers and Teaching at UCL) and Trevor Mutton (Director of Professional Programmes and the Oxford Education Deanery, Department of Education).

A preliminary seminar on ‘Rethinking Teacher Education: The Trouble with Accountability’ was delivered by Marilyn Cochran-Smith (Boston College, USA) on 18 February and can be listened to here.

All further events in the series will be recorded and made available on the University podcast site.

This series marks 100 years since the passing of a statute creating what was known in 1919 as the University Department for the Training of Teachers and aims to reflect on our past and pay particular tribute to our contributions in the field of teacher education today. Attendance is free but registration essential. The full programme is as follows:

Classroom-based Interventions Across Subject Areas: Research to Understand What Works in Education
5pm, Monday 29 April – Department of Education

The Quest for Better Teaching *2019 Annual Lecture*
5pm, Friday 10 May – Worcester College

Making Change Happen – The Reform of Initial Teacher Education in Wales
5pm, Monday 13 May – Department of Education

Comparative Teacher Education Research: Global Perspectives in Teacher Education Past, Present and Future
5pm, Monday 20 May – Department of Education

The Connections and Disconnections in Teacher Education Policy, Research and Practice: Future Research Directions
5pm, Monday 3 June – Department of Education

What Are Teachers’ Professional Competencies?
5pm, Monday 10 June – Department of Education

Building Research Capacity in Teacher Education
5pm, Monday 17 June – Department of Education

Listen to all the seminars in full here

About our Public Seminar Series

The Department of Education’s Public Seminar Series are held on a termly basis throughout the academic year and are designed to engage wider audiences in topical research areas across the department. Seminars are free to attend and open to all. Each series is convened by a member of the department and seminars are held on most Mondays during term from 5pm. Speakers include a wealth of academics from across the department and the wider University, as well as internationally recognised professionals from across the globe. All upcoming seminars are publicised, in advance, on the department’s event pages and where possible recorded and made available on the University’s podcast site.

If you have an interest in the future of education and would like to be kept informed of our research and anniversary activities, join our mailing list to receive the top news, publications and event opportunities for the forthcoming year and beyond.

The University of Oxford’s teacher training has again been graded as ‘outstanding’ – the best possible category – by the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) in its latest report, published on 14 December 2018. Inspectors found teacher training at the Department of Education to be of the highest standard in all the performance categories. The results come just ahead of the department’s 100th anniversary year, which will be celebrated in 2019.

Teacher training at Oxford University has been in existence since 1892, when the University opened (under the Non-Collegiate Delegacy) a Day Training College for elementary school teachers, where pupils were able to gain a teachers’ certificate and take an external degree. Today, the department, in partnership with local schools, trains around 180 secondary school teachers a year through its PGCE (Post-Graduate Certificate in Education) programmes in English, geography, history, mathematics, modern languages, religious education and science.

The inspection team visited the department and 12 of its partnership schools during June and November 2018 to carry out their assessments. They found the initial teacher education partnership at the department to be:

  • A unique and distinctive partnership, underpinned by a compelling and clearly articulated vision for a research-informed, partnership-led model of teacher education and professional development.
  • The recruitment processes, including the setting of pre-course research tasks to be rigorous and thorough, with almost all trainees making a flying start to their training year, leading to completion and employment rates for all subjects and groups that are, over time, well above sector averages.
  • The exceptionally well-crafted design of the course enables virtually all trainees to exceed the teachers’ standards. Typically, more than two thirds of trainees attain to a high level by the end of the training year. As a result, they make an exceptionally strong start to their NQT year, ensuring in turn that their pupils make sustained progress in their learning.
  • The partnership draws exceptionally well on the skills and experience of teachers and leaders within the partnership to enrich the curriculum studies and professional development aspects of the course. In addition, school-based mentors and university tutors work together extremely well to ensure a coherent and joined-up experience for trainees. Trainees express considerable confidence in all elements of the course, in particular the support provided by their university tutors.
  • Leaders have ensured that schools in challenging circumstances, as well as those judged to be outstanding, good and requiring improvement, are well represented in the partnership. Schools value their involvement in the partnership, especially the opportunities membership provides for staff at all levels to be involved in research activity. School leaders believe this helps to recruit and retain talented teachers and leaders.
  • The partnership takes its role in supplying high-quality teachers extremely seriously. Trainees are prepared for a long-term career in teaching, able to take responsibility for their own professional development and committed to social justice. A large number of former trainees hold teaching and leadership positions in partnership schools and, in many cases, contribute to the course as mentors.

Department Director, Jo-Anne Baird, welcomed the inspection outcome, saying that: “Ofsted have recognised the strengths of Oxford’s distinctive partnership model, with its distributed leadership and firm grounding in research-based teacher education.  All of those involved in the Oxford Internship Scheme can be rightly proud of their contribution to excellence in teacher education.”

The Oxford PGCE secondary partnership works with around 37 secondary schools in four local authorities and specialises across the 11-18 age range. A particular strength of the programme is its truly integrated approach, which acknowledges the different roles of university and schools in teacher education. This is reflected across the course structure, enabling trainees to use theory to interrogate practice and vice versa. A further feature is the way in which it has, at its heart, a model of research-informed practice which encompasses not only research about effective teaching which is drawn on to generate suggestions for practice, but also research into the processes of professional learning that is used to inform and review the structure and design of the teacher education programme itself.

Commenting on the outstanding grading, Trevor Mutton, Director of Professional Programmes at the department, said: “We are extremely proud of this achievement which recognises the unique nature of the partnership that we have with the local schools which work closely with us in both planning and delivering the PGCE programme. The Ofsted report recognises that we are producing teachers of the highest calibre who go on to make a difference to the lives of countless young people in schools up and down the country.”

The University of Oxford has been consistently designated by Ofsted as an ‘Outstanding’ provider and in 2019, the department will celebrate its 100th anniversary since the official passing of a statute creating what is known now as the Oxford University Department of Education. Originally established in 1919 to prepare teachers for Elementary and Secondary schools, the department’s contribution to the wider community has been evident since its inception and remains firmly at its core.

To find out more about teacher training at Oxford see:

To view the full Ofsted report see here: 10040487 University Of Oxford Partnership 70057 Final Report

Norwegian article citing an international panel involving Professor Alis Oancea (Director off Research).

Read now.