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The work of teacher education research instruments

Ellis, Viv and McNicholl, Jane and Blake, Allan and McNally, James (2011) The work of teacher education research instruments. The Higher Education Academy; Subject Centre for Education, York.

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What are the material conditions of teacher educators’ work, including the division of labour between universities and schools and within university education departments? These are the questions that guided the Higher Education Academy funded ‘Work of Teacher Education’ project just completed by colleagues at the universities of Oxford and Strathclyde (Ellis, McNicholl, Blake & McNally, 2011). In our research, we worked with a sample of 13 university-based teacher educators – 8 in England and 5 in Scotland – over the course of one academic year to study their work on, principally, initial teacher education. Data were generated through interviews, the completion of two sets of work diaries, observation in the workplace and through a participatory data analysis workshop that used the tools of cultural-historical activity theory. Observation of teacher educators at work focused on their interactions with HE (higher education) and school colleagues and their students, and paid attention to artefacts that mediated these interactions. Data were represented and analysed quantitatively and qualitatively.