'QED'. Assessing and Profiling Food and Textiles: Students in Initial Teacher Education

Dr A Geen, Robert Hutt
2000, Vol. 5, No. 3,

Abstract


This paper describes the system of profiling developed at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, to chart the progress of students training to teach food and textiles technology in the light of the national standards for the award of qualified teacher status. Analysis of responses from students and mentors suggests that the profile has encouraged reflection on action and helped students to set realistic targets for future development. Areas which still need to be addressed include the reduction of the workload for school staff and the establishment of more objective criteria to define the grades awarded. Some suggestions are offered for future policy on profiling within initial teacher education.

In a recent edition of Modus! an account was given of the role of mentors in schools which have entered into partnership with the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC) to train student teachers of home economics and technology. Since that time, attention has been paid to two important developments in initial teacher education (ITE). The first is the requirement of central Government that training providers acquire evidence that their students have mastered the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to meet all 76 standards for the award of qualified teacher status (QTS) set out in DfEE circular 4/98 and Welsh Office circular 13/98.2 Recent correspondence in The Times Educational Supplement suggests that for mentors in certain disciplines, this has been a challenging task.3

The second innovation has been the introduction of the Career Entry Profile (CEP). All trainees are expected, towards the end of their course, to list up to four areas in which they consider they have especial strengths, together with four aspects of teaching in which they believe they will benefit from further practice and tuition. This self-assessment then forms the basis for discussion with their induction tutor about the targets they should meet during their first year of teaching. In completing the profile they must make full reference to the QTS standards.

These requirements point to the need for mentors and college tutors to maintain an efficient system of formative profiling throughout an ITE course. This article describes the practice which has recently been devised at UWIC and reports the views of food and textiles mentors and their students about its value.


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