Changing approaches to initial teacher education through collaborative partnerships

Yvonne Bain, Douglas Weir

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


    Responding to the recommendations of the Donaldson (2010) review of teacher education in Scotland, the Scottish Government (2012:12) identified actions in relation to widening access to initial teacher education through the use of part-time provision. Additionally, the implementation strategy of the National Partnership Group (NPG) in Scotland, tasked universities and local authorities to have formal partnership arrangements, including “agreements on resource allocation and staffing, with the opportunity to discuss local needs and adapt delivery accordingly” (NPG, 2012: 9). The DLITE (Distance Learning Initial Teacher Education) initiative exemplifies an innovative partnership approach to widening access to teaching through a part-time blended learning Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE). Further, the DLITE initiative seeks to offer sustainable access to teacher education in the partnership local authority areas which have been struggling to attract and retain new teachers. This paper outlines the development of the DLITE model and explores the impact of the partnership development on the professional learning of those tutors involved in supporting the students’ learning experiences. The DLITE initiative enables participants to study, undertake practicum placement experience, and to have the opportunity of a guaranteed Induction Year placement within their local authority. However, as the first cohort is due to complete the DLITE PGDE in June 2015, it remains to be seen how successful this has been in providing a home-grown sustainable teaching workforce for the partnership local authorities. One of the aims of the empirical study associated with the DLITE developments is to explore the impact on the professional learning of those involved in supporting early phase career development by distance learning, including the initial teacher education stage. This study will examine the impact (affordances and challenges) on the professional learning of those supporting the DLITE students. The study takes a qualitative, grounded approach to uncover insights gained about the professional learning of the tutors. Data is drawn from regular team meetings with lead co-tutors within the local authorities and School of Education tutors, questionnaire and interview responses gained from tutors and co-tutors involved in different aspects of tutoring within the DLITE PGDE programme. Evidence is emerging of creating authentic opportunities for the co-construction of the learning experiences with an equality of university and local authority staff. Implications for teacher education are highlighted around the value of ‘third spaces’ (Martin, 2011; Zeichner, 2010) for professional learning and development.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 26 Aug 2015
    EventAssociation for Teacher Education in Europe (ATEE) 40th Annual Conference 2015: Teacher Education through Partnerships and Collaborative Learning Communities - University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom
    Duration: 24 Aug 201526 Aug 2015
    Conference number: 40 (Link to programme and abstracts)


    ConferenceAssociation for Teacher Education in Europe (ATEE) 40th Annual Conference 2015
    Abbreviated titleATEE 2015
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Internet address


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