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Title 1:

Comparison of teacher education programmes in Australia and the UK

In both Australia and the UK, teacher education is a domain which is highly scrutinised and closely linked to national policy, as education is increasingly being viewed as the vehicle for national development. However, both countries are currently experiencing teacher shortages and a decline in teacher training applications. In a globalised education market, policy-makers at national level can benefit from research into international comparisons of teacher education programmes. This dissertation examines the relationship between policy and practice in Australia and the UK in order to identify whether there are specific aspects of their initial teacher training programmes which are contributing to the decline in the number of applicants to the teaching profession.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Gilroy, P. 2014. ‘Policy interventions in teacher education: sharing the English experience’. Journal of Education for Teaching, 40(5), pp.622-632.

Mayer, D. 2014. ‘Forty years of teacher education in Australia: 1974–2014’. Journal of Education for Teaching, 40(5), pp.461-473.

Rowe, E.E. and Skourdoumbis, A. 2017. ‘Calling for “urgent national action to improve the quality of initial teacher education”: the reification of evidence and accountability in reform agendas’. Journal of Education Policy, DOI: 10.1080/02680939.2017.1410577.

Yeigh, T. and Lynch, D. 2017. ‘Reforming initial teacher education: A call for innovation’. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 42(12), pp.112-127.

Title 2:

Critical pedagogy and learning to teach in England

On a practical level, the purpose of teacher training is to produce professional teachers who have the theoretical knowledge and skills to enable others to learn. At a deeper level, there is the idea that, in addition to facilitating learning, teachers should also be critical pedagogues who challenge harmful ideologies in education. This dissertation explores this distinction within the context of human rights. With specific focus on the initial teacher training programmes run by universities in England, the extent to which the teacher training curriculum offers opportunities for trainee teachers to raise their awareness of human rights issues, and then to embed human rights within their own pedagogical approaches, is explored. Potential improvements which focus on elucidating the theory of critical pedagogy as being complementary to the model of reflective practice are suggested.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Bowie, R.A. 2017. ‘The rise and fall of human rights in English education policy? Inescapable national interests and PREVENT’. Education, Citizenship and Social Justice, 12(2), pp.111-122.

Clarke, M. and Phelan, A. 2017. Teacher Education and the Political: The power of negative thinking. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

McLaren, P. 2015. Life in Schools: An Introduction to Critical Pedagogy in the Foundations of Education. London: Routledge.

Osler, A. and Starkey, H. 1996. Teacher Education and Human Rights. London: Routledge.

Title 3:

The benefits of outdoor learning to pupils’ well-being and educational attainment: How assessment can be facilitated within a cross-curricular approach.

Although the benefits of outdoor learning are well-documented, there is a relative scarcity of research relating to how outdoor learning is assessed. This dissertation explores the assessment methodologies which have been utilised by teachers, and the standards by which learning is judged to be successful, within the context of learning outdoors. To add to the research, this dissertation focuses on how formative assessment techniques can be facilitated by a cross-curricular approach to outdoor learning.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Davies, R. and Hamilton, P. 2018. ‘Assessing learning in the early years’ outdoor classroom: examining challenges in practice’. International Journal of Primary, Elementary and Early Years Education, 46(1), pp.117-129.

Learning and Teaching Scotland. 2010. Curriculum for Excellence through outdoor learning. Edinburgh: Scottish Government.

Waite, S. 2017. Children Learning Outside the Classroom: From Birth to Eleven. London: Sage Publications Ltd.


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