NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1064501
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Nov
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 1
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1377
The Future of Science Teacher Education
Harrison, Christine
Education in Science, n258 p6-7 Nov 2014
In this article, Christine Harrison questions the quality of education received by today's trainee teachers and illustrates how different routes providing initial teacher education can be problematic. Many of the new routes involve schools, more than previously, in deciding on which aspects need to be focused on. While there are some excellent training schools out there, one has to ask if all schools that take on the teacher education role have sufficient experience, staffing and time to do this alongside their other responsibility of teaching children. Harrison's primary concern is that many of the new routes separate and break the link between schools and higher education, and she believes this is to the detriment of both those establishments. She explains that the problem is not with the variety of routes into teaching seen currently. Indeed, having a range of ways into teaching provides for a teaching force coming from a wide range of different experiences and that suggests diversity, which is always welcome. The problem is with the speed of change in bringing in many new routes into teaching with a lack of transparency about what each course offers and entails. Without this transparency, it is impossible to have the assurance that all trainee teachers are equipped with the best subject knowledge support, opportunity to engage with research, and trainers who can help guide science graduates into understanding the complexity of how children think about science and realise the range of skills and strategies necessary to engage all children in meaningful science learning. Any substantial changes in how Initial Teacher Education (ITE) is done may have knock-on effects, for years to come, in training the next generation of outstanding teachers. And that, in turn, could have huge implications for the nation's schools. Harrison goes on to state that the Carter Review has been initiated by Government and will look across the full range of Initial Teacher Training (ITT) courses and seek views from those involved across the sector. However, she points out, the fast pace of change and interference from Government regarding the numbers of ITT places offered per subject has already undermined several universities' confidence in the future of initial teaching courses, and some university education departments have either withdrawn from or reduced their PGCE courses, formerly one of the main routes into science teaching. [This article has been adapted from one written for issue no. 71 of "Science Teacher Education" ("STE"), published October 2014.]
Association for Science Education. College Lane Hatfield, Herts, AL10 9AA, UK. Tel: +44-1-707-283000; Fax: +44-1-707-266532; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom