The Creation of Learning Opportunities in Employment-Based Initial Teacher Education in Wales

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    The author carried out a small-scale study in 2015, aiming to understand how teacher trainees learned in the workplace. The study, based on pragmatic qualitative and social constructionist approaches, involved a group of trainees and school staff supporting them (n=4). Surveys and individual interviews were undertaken, coded and analysed using a thematic analysis, and conclusions were drawn, based on abductive reasoning, using Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) (Engeström, 1999) as an analytical lens. The study suggested that the trainees developed different identities determined not only by the circumstances in which they were operating, but also by the level of risk involved in the activity, which in turn affected the level of discretion allowed on the part of the trainee. It was also apparent that these identities were driven by a tension between the needs of the trainee and those of the learners in the schools. Finally, trainees’ performance was mediated through the involvement of more experienced practitioners, not only to advise and guide, but also to ‘lend their professional status’ by their presence in the room, cloaking the trainees’ activities by proxy, and elevating their professional identity and confidence, a form of relational agency (Edwards, 2005).
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 11 Sept 2018
    EventBERA 2018 - Northumbria University, Newcastle, United Kingdom
    Duration: 11 Sept 201813 Sept 2018


    ConferenceBERA 2018
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


    • abduction
    • activity theory
    • case study
    • employment-based learning
    • initial teacher education
    • mentoring
    • professional learning
    • qualitative research
    • relational agency
    • teacher identity


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