School based training : a comparative case study of an articled teacher course and a one year PGCE
This research is based on a case study of two primary Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) courses at the same university which was carried out at a time of rapid change and major reform. One of those courses, the Articled Teacher (AT) PGCE was of the 'school based' variety much heralded at the time as the way forward for the preparation of teachers. In this scheme, learner teachers were based, usually alone, for two years in one school in the care of a mentor, with a chance of a 'teaching practice' in another school. The ATs came into the university for seminars, lectures and tutorials. The other route was a more traditional one year course where the students, 75 in number, were based in the university and were sent out, sometimes alone, sometimes in groups, into two or three different schools for 'teaching practice' or 'school experience'. The research focussed on three major factors in making comparisons between the two groups: 1) patterns of loyalty to, and support from, the university and the school; 2) the sources of their theorising about teaching - the ATs relying more on their own personal experience mainly because of their constant need to survive in their schools; 3) the differences between the course providers in schools and in the university which were more important for the ATs because of their course's emphasis on 'partnership' rather than 'integration'. The findings of the fieldwork are placed in the context of a discussion of the recent reforms in initial teacher education with particular reference to their implications for school based training.