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Title: Re-thinking professionalism in further education in post-devolution Wales
Author: Harper, Michael Hugh
ISNI:       0000 0004 2749 3677
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis explores professionalism in FE teaching in Wales. It also considers government policies for professionalising teaching in the sector and, in particular, if the Lifelong Learning UK (LLUK) Professional Standards have been material in shaping teacher professionalism. The research was based on interviews and focus groups with teacher-trainers and trainee teachers in two universities and four FE colleges in South Wales, and the documentation of their training programmes. The research also includes an analysis of policy documents and interviews with officials responsible for policy in Wales. The research draws on current sociological interest in professionalism and the way that can be defined by employers in the interests of the firm. The theoretical basis of the analysis is Bernstein's concept of pedagogic discourse and it is argued that professionalism has been re-contextualised by government and LLUK as an official discourse, represented in the Professional Standards as a set of generic competences, underpinned by trauoability and linked to the attainment of qualifications. This generic discourse defines professionalism in ways that privilege corporatism and flexibility its generic nature promotes the idea of trainability for teachers, in much the same way as learners in FE are expected to 'learn how to learn' to adapt to the changes brought about by globalisation. Welsh Assembly Government policy commits to achieving equivalent standards of professionalism in FE and schools but, unlike England, apart from its endorsement of the Standards, no progress has been made. The Standards' role in teacher training was explored The influence of the official discourse in the Standards was mediated by teacher-trainers in ways that were oriented to practice and to the enactment of professionalism, rejecting any notion of competencies. The Standards accordingly had little influence on trainees' constructs of professionalism. Trainees were focussed instead on gaining basic survival skills, but they had a clear personal sense of professional standards, centred on their responsibilities and commitment to their students. Theirs was a discourse of professionalism in formation, recognising the importance of tacit knowledge, acquired by experience. The study concludes by identifying a possible distinctively Welsh approach to professionalising FE teaching, and the need for improved mentoring and support for trainee and newly qualified teachers. A copy of the LLUK's Professional Standards: *New Overarching Professional Standards for Teachers, Teachers and Trainers in Lifelong Learning in Wales* can be accessed from the LLUK at:
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available