Becoming Teachers: Texts and Testimonies, 1907-1950

By Peter Cunningham; Philip Gardner | Go to book overview

4

POLICY CONCLUDED: DEMISE AND LEGACY OF STUDENT TEACHING

At the end of the inter-war period, the residual elements of the student-teacher scheme were the subject of renewed criticism from two independent enquiries investigating the wider question of the training of teachers. The first, which we have noted earlier, was a report by the Committee of Investigation appointed by the Executive of the National Union of Teachers, the second a memorandum drawn up by the Joint Standing Committee of the Training College Association and Council of Principals. 1

The NUT report regarded the current system of training as a 'patch-work affair' whose reform was long overdue. 2 The principal concern of the NUT in relation to the student-teacher scheme remained much as adumbrated by Miss Wood nearly 20 years before, that 'all applicants for places in Training Colleges or University Training Departments should have completed a course of secondary education'. 3 The colleges, too, maintained their long-standing position on student teaching.

Experience shows that its disadvantages outweigh its advantages, and there is no doubt what these disadvantages are. The loss of the last year in school is a serious deprivation, not only in respect of the actual loss in intellectual and cultural development and such opportunities as eligibility for prefectship, but also because as a result students find it more difficult to study when they enter college. 4

Despite the weight of educational opinion and the attritional attentions of central government, the extraordinarily resilient appeal of student teaching in a small number of localities-the most prominent examples were Newcastle, Gateshead, the Isle of Wight and Gloucestershire-actually saw it surviving into the post-war years, fully four decades after its inception. 5 This meant that preliminary training still demanded a mention, if a terse one, in Circular 85, issued in February 1946, which detailed revised training regulations. This direction was a terminal one.

-70-

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Becoming Teachers: Texts and Testimonies, 1907-1950
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents vii
  • Abbreviations viii
  • Introduction ix
  • Part I 1
  • 1 - Problems and Approaches 3
  • Part II 21
  • 2 - Policy Developed: the Student-Teacher Scheme and Its Origins 23
  • 3 - Policy Debated: Conflicting Ideals for Teacher Education and Training 49
  • 4 - Policy Concluded: Demise and Legacy of Student Teaching 70
  • 5 - A Stolen Profession? Social Class and Teacher Supply' 86
  • 6 - A Narrow Life? Teachers and Professional Identity 109
  • 7 - Practice: Experience of Training from Classroom to College 128
  • Part III 151
  • 8 - Person 153
  • 9 - Mr Brian Sawkin 159
  • 10 - Mrs Delia Skelley and Mrs Lesley Thornbird 171
  • 11 - Mr Gerald Phillips 186
  • 12 - Miss Daisy Shipley and Mr Arthur Shipley 198
  • 13 - Miss Barbara Mill 215
  • Conclusion 228
  • Select Bibliography 235
  • Index 247
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