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University's teacher training success benefitted by reputation and history - study reveals

University's teacher training success benefitted by reputation and history

  • Chichester graduates highly-rated by schools due to University’s long-standing reputation of developing educators since 1839
  • Investigation explored distinctiveness of teacher-training at Cathedrals Group universities
  • "when you find out that you are going to get a Chichester student you already know what you are going to get” says satisfied school-based mentor

TRAINEE teachers who have graduated from the University of Chichester are the preferred choice for regional schools, a study has revealed.

A two-year investigation by the Cathedrals Group – an association of higher education institutions – explored the distinctiveness of teacher-training at selected universities. The project found that schools rate Chichester graduates highly because they embody the University’s celebrated reputation of developing first-class educators for 180 years.

Lecturer Dr Glenn Stone (below) is Head of BA (Hons) in Primary Teaching at the University and was part of the investigation. He said: “Chichester can trace its origins in training teachers back to 1839, and schools want to capitalise on this reputation.

“When asked about employing new teachers, schools in the University partnership identified that graduates from Chichester are the ‘safest choice’. As a result, the University is trusted by employers to educate the next generation of teachers.

“With 180 years of experience behind us, it is a privilege to see each new generation of teachers graduating from this institution. The research report underlines the importance of this history and the quality of training that still takes place today.”

Dr Glenn Stone

The study involved document analysis, surveys, and focus group interviews with student teachers, mentors from partnership schools, and members of academic staff across five universities in England. It was organised by the Cathedrals Group, which is a coalition of 16 universities and university colleges with Church foundations.

Highlighted in the report was Chichester’s community atmosphere, which helps to develop a “family” of learners and tutors and fosters an effective environment for training to teach. This is confirmed through survey responses that cite the “friendly environment” as one of the most important motivations for choosing Chichester for initial teacher training.

“This not only makes the student experience a positive one,” Dr Stone added, “but is also indicative of the way that student teachers are supported. For example, one school mentor commented that the University genuinely cares about the students and tutors are effective in supporting the school placements required as part of the training programme.

“Also revealing is the commitment to social justice education and the way that the programmes of initial teacher training enable students to develop a holistic understanding of education. The report shows how students do not simply learn the craft of teaching but are equipped to develop an educational philosophy.”

Teachers from University of Chichester the preferred choice for regional schools

The research project concluded that the University of Chichester has a strong reputation for developing teachers, and that a transmission of historical and Christian values can be identified within current training programmes. The spirit of the University, and by association its Christian foundation, continues to shape the teachers graduating from Chichester.

The Chichester case study that forms part of the two-volume report, What really matters about teacher education at Cathedrals Group universities and colleges, is available at http://eprints.chi.ac.uk/3437.

To find out more about degrees in teaching at the University of Chichester go to www.chi.ac.uk/institute-education. For more about the University’s 180-year heritage of training teachers go to www.chi.ac.uk/about-us/who-we-are/our-history.