New research suggests student teachers welcome moves to a Masters profession

New research suggests that Government plans to make teaching a Masters profession are being welcomed by those in the sector.

ESCalate, in collaboration with the University of Cumbria, launched a research project in September 2007 to investigate the perceived added value Masters level credits bring to the teaching profession in the eyes of student teachers, teacher educators, teacher mentors in schools and head teachers.

The research to date has suggested that 70% of students surveyed feel that studying at Masters Level is a means to better job prospects and 66% of those surveyed feel that it is likely to contribute positively to the practice of teaching.

This research is significant due to Government plans outlined in the Children’s Plan: Building Brighter Futures (DfCSF Department for Children, School and Families, 2007) which states that, ‘to help fulfil our high ambitions for all children, and to boost the status of teaching still further, we now want it to become a masters-level profession’

Dr Alison Jackson, ESCalate ITE leader at the University of Cumbria comments: “The moves to make teaching a Masters profession will only succeed if those within the profession feel that it will bring a tangible benefit to the quality of teachers produced by the system. The results indicate that teachers do believe that it will improve the quality of work and in turn, increase job prospects in the long term by helping teachers understand why they do what they do and by improving the self esteem of those entering the profession.”

The findings were taken qualitatively and quantitatively from:
– A student questionnaire (1500 responses approx) as they started the course
– A student interview (22 participants) in Autumn 2007
– A teacher educator questionnaire (48 responses) in Autumn 2007
– A teacher educator interview (9 participants) in Autumn 2007

Further questionnaires and interviews are scheduled this summer and the research has been conducted in collaboration with the Institute of Education at London University, the Universities of Southampton, Sheffield Hallam, Edge Hill, Huddersfield, Liverpool John Moores, Wolverhampton, Worcester, and the Maryvale Institute, and with the support of the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers (UCET).

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