For the past three years, Gatsby has been supporting a project at the University of Huddersfield School of Education and Professional Development to research and develop support for subject-specialist pedagogy for technical education. Beginning with trainee teachers for Further Education in science, engineering and technology, the team has developed resources to support context-specific decision-making for good technical teaching.
Additional sets of resources are now available for teacher trainers, teachers undertaking CPD, and subject leaders: https://www.improvingtechnicaleducation.org.uk/teacher-education
The University of Huddersfield team has published an evaluation report for the early project activity, available here: https://www.gatsby.org.uk/uploads/education/subject-specialist-pedagogy-in-ite-final-project-report.pdf
The report identifies the need for focus on subject-specialist pedagogy to inform teachers’ decision-making, and discusses the impact of the approaches explored in this project. The report’s conclusions include:
- There is a need for greater emphasis on subject-specialist pedagogy in initial teacher education (and in CPD) for technical education. Highlighting subject-specialist knowledge to inform teachers’ decisions is a successful route to encourage reflection on pedagogy.
- Involving teacher educators is a sustainable way of promoting better pedagogy. One teacher educator who fully adopts reflection on subject-specific pedagogy into their practice may influence scores of teachers over just a few years.
- Two HEIs having incorporated subject-specialist concepts into their ITE curricula as a result of this work represents an enduring impact.
Approaches identified by this project will be instrumental in informing future Gatsby work, including the development of classroom resources to support early T Level pathways.