Teaching competence : a personal construct view
Attempts to incorporate all the views of competence and quality in teaching into definitive check lists of behaviours are doomed to failure, despite the current political pressure to constrain the assessment of teaching. The reflective process in education, expressed through PCP and Self-Organised-Learning is discussed and located within the competence debate in teaching and current models of competence. The value of a conversational and reflective approach in the assessment and understanding of teaching is stressed. Twelve members of staff engaged in teacher training completed a SPACed-FOCUSed repertory grid and their personal constructs of teaching competence at the end of a four year B.Ed course were elicited. A further reiterative process of review reflection and structures of meaning exercises resulted in the production of an initial set of criteria of competence that represented the staff group#s construct dimensions. The initial criteria set was applied to students undertaking their final teaching practice and the results fed back to the staff in the form of a feedback for learning exercise. This application is compared with a review undertaken as part of a conversational methodology. Three further groups followed a broadly similar pattern to that of the staff group - Students; Newly Qualified Teachers and their Mentors. with each undertaking a group repertory grid exercise. The constructs/elements elicited lead to a criteria or competency set for each group. Comparisons are drawn between all groups, and a detailed analysis is made of each group's responses with Circular 14/93 (DFE 1993A). Recommendations for future practice are made which return to the central theme that criteria or competency sets alone cannot adequately describe the complex set of activities that is called teaching. Profiling approaches, different forms of evidence and professional development portfolios are proposed as some alternatives and additions to present practice. The final chapter reviews the author's personal learning prior to and during the research process. Influences are discussed, and critical incidents listed and analysed through a SPACed-FOCUSed repertory grid employing a conversational and reflexive processs that mirrors the study methodology.