Building an Evidence-base for Initial Teacher Preparation (ITP) in NIE: A Formative Project

Project Number
OER 13/09 LEL

Project Duration
August 2009 - August 2011

Status
Completed

Abstract
The core aim of the project is to initiate a programme of research activities that contribute to the systematic, Institute-level development of a rich and contextualised understanding of the nature, substance and professional impact of student teachers' learning within NIE's initial teacher preparation (ITP) programmes in order to provide an evidence-based means by which to review and enhance their core assumptions and processes. As indicated in NIE's 3:3:3 Roadmap (2007, p. 35), there is a commitment to aligning the NIE research agenda with the needs of the Foundation Programmes Office (FPO) ''in order to realize � synergies and sustain continuing programme enhancement''. In keeping with this, Research Strategy 1.3.1 (p. 41) commits to: Enhance the quality, excellence and relevance of the ITP programmes through evidence-based research by: (a) Reviewing and conducting meta-analyses of past studies on teacher education. (b) Identifying key areas of research and developing a research framework that will inform and transform the ITP programmes. (c) Establishing international partnerships in research endeavours. (d) Providing platforms to share research findings with NIE staff and programmes offices. The proposed project is a vital first step towards achievement of this Research Strategy. The proposed research programme is based on three propositions: 1. That teacher learning is a continuum, the formal aspects of which begin with ITP, followed by both formal and informal elements throughout an individual's career. 2. That teacher learning is deeply contextualised. 3. That teacher learning is a shared responsibility, involving the student teacher, their peers, their teachers and supervisors, MOE and NIE. These propositions are based in turn on the view that teacher learning involves the interactions with their world by which teachers develop the personal practical theories that are the basis of their professional practice, and through which they change those theories. This project is timely for a number of reasons. First, it follows closely on from the 2008-2009 NIE Programme Review and Enhancement (PRE) process, through which specific aspects of the ITP programmes were reviewed, and recommendations made for improvement in those programs, and related activities. A consistent recommendation from the PRE Task Forces was for the establishment of a program of research into the nature and impact of ITP programmes. Second, it builds on work undertaken in 2007, when OER conducted an initial survey of practices within the ITP programmes. It also builds on other OER and NIE research work, completed and underway. Third, the current cohorts of undergraduate students are the products of the MP1 and MP2 era in Singapore schooling. It is timely to systematically determine their views on the value of digital technologies for their ITP learning. This is also the first year when all PGDE students have been supplied with a laptop computer. The perceptions of these students will extend the insights derived from the Digital Use and Perceived Usefulness survey of undergraduate students.

Research Themes
Teacher Education (Pre Service)

Funding Source
NIE

Related Links
ReEd Vol 3 (2011): Evidence for Improving Teacher Education

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