What is important to you in Lifelong Learning Teacher Education?


What really excites you about Lifelong Learning Teacher Education?

What really frustrates and annoys you?

Just what is important to you as a teacher educator?

I’m trying to start a discussion and promote participation … there are good numbers of people following and viewing this blog, so why not make a post, or make a comment as well as reading those from others? This post is trying to start a conversation, and is a nice simple, personal perspective.

My own answers are:

I’ve always found the whole process of being a teacher, working to help people learn, to be one of the best experiences in the world. Not always worthwhile, often very difficult, but just brilliant when you help someone to develop and grow as a person / professional / member of the community (or even all three!). Not quite as good as seeing your own children do good or nice things, but very close to it. The feel good factor for you as you see confidence, capability and engagement build in your pupils, students, trainees and others is almost unbeatable. Top of the list then is being a teacher, and particularly a teacher of teachers!

Secondly, the fact that the work, particularly in the LL sector is complicated, ever changing and often dominated by things we wouldn’t choose to do. It’s also of course one of the most frustrating things, but I find the ongoing challenge, variety and need to problem solve offers a professional working experience which is unlikely to be boring for long, and which will keep your mind, to some degree your body and probably all of your other senses alive and engaged at all times. This does of course have down sides, including 30 hours of work to fit into every 24 hour day; exhaustion; feeling isolated … !!! but for me, if I can solve a reasonable amount of the problems, help a few people learn a few things every week, and not wake up too often at three am, I’d still choose it on balance above any other work.

Thirdly I actually like learning myself, and there are always many (probably too many) things to learn all the time. Some days you’ll come across a brilliant piece of writing (even occasionally in an academic journal!), another day a great teaching idea, and another day some technology which actually works!!

Fourthly, the community of LL Teacher Educators (yes, I do think there is one!) is a really nice, committed and passionate group of people!

So these are some of the things which are really important to me, and I’ve hinted at the frustrations.

Overall I don’t just (still) believe we can change the world, I know we can!! Maybe only a fraction, and maybe only for one person, but that still makes it worth it.

So what about you?



We are looking for teacher educators (from the colleges, higher education institutions and private providers) i.e. teachers who trainee people to become teachers in the further education/lifelong learning/post compulsory sector to take part in this project.

Why you may ask?

We think that by you participating in this project, it allows time for you to:

  • articulate and reflect on your personal journey act as a springboard to explaining the complex nature of your work i.e. to teach trainee teachers how to teach their learners
  • provide a suitable platform to disseminate your personal journey       individually and collectively

In order to capture your data (anonymously and at any time during the process, you are free to opt out of this and your data will be deleted), we will use a questionnaire survey (to capture your salient details), interview (to obtain rich narrative), ‘and Talking head’ approach (for you provide a 15-minute audio recording of yourself of being and becoming a teacher educator). We hope that these innovative approaches will give you a sense of ownership and opportunities to think about your job.

Eleven current/former teacher educators in the further education sector from colleges, higher education institutions and private providers set up this FETEP project.

We are: Gordon Ade-ojo (University of Greenwich), Heather Booth-Martin (Craven College, John Bostock (Edge Hill University), Jim Crawley (Bath Spa University),  Carol Azumah Dennis (University of Hull), Baiba Eberte (Carlton Training), Sai Loo (Institute of Education, University of London), Nikki Sowe (NBS Teacher Training, Professional Development and Consultancy), Lydia Spenceley (Grantham College), and Sonia Spencer (Reading College).

We are trying to find out the following questions:

  1. What are the routes to becoming teacher educators/trainer in the sector?
  2. How do teacher educators train others to become teachers?
  3. What knowledge(s) do they draw upon and apply in their work?
  4. How do they maintain their professional development?
  5. How do they view themselves?

Finally, the start of this project is timely because of the recent developments in the ‘Teaching and Training Qualifications’ (LSIS 2013) and ‘Professional Standards (Pye Tait Consulting 2014). These developments provide a platform to think about the questions of: pathways, training of teachers, use and application of knowledge, and professional development and identity. More importantly perhaps, even though there must be research done in this area of further education, however, little has been published. Thus eleven of us like-minded teacher educators have come together to study this area but perhaps more importantly to use this project to learn to collaborate and support each other to increase our research and publication capabilities (in spite of a fast moving and competitive FE landscape!).

So, if you are interested in taking part in this project, contact me, Sai Loo on s.loo@ioe.ac.uk.

We look forward to hearing from you,

Sai, Institute of Education, University of London. http://ioe-ac.academia.edu/SaiLoo


Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS), (2013b) Teaching and Training Qualifications for the Further Education and Skills Sector in England (2013): Guidance for initial teacher education providers (Coventry, LSIS).

Pye Tait Consulting, (2014) Professional Standards for Teachers and Trainers in England (London, The Education and Training Foundation)