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Improving Retention of Science Student Teachers

Scott, Linda and Howarth, Sue and Collins, Philip (2012) Improving Retention of Science Student Teachers. In: Association for Science Education Annual Conference, Research Seminar series, Jan 2012, University of Liverpool.

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Abstract

Our on-going research aims to try and find out why some Science graduates on one year (PGCE) teacher training courses are not successful in completing the course. The course itself has been judged ‘Outstanding’ (Ofsted, 2010), so we have focused on the student teachers (trainees). Some key characteristics of trainees ‘at risk’ of being unsuccessful were identified in a variety of ways, including data analysis of records for trainees who left the course early and those who successfully completed the course, focus groups, questionnaires and case studies. Loss of trainees during PGCE courses appears to be a characteristic across many providers of initial teacher education for Science in the UK. Key factors emerging include gender, age, previous experiences/careers, support (or otherwise) of family/partner, caring issues (children/parents), subject knowledge, attendance at a subject knowledge enhancement course and more. If characteristics of ‘at risk’ trainees can be identified, strategies can be put into place to identify applicants, who might be at risk, at the selection stage and to support them during the course to reduce the drop-out rate. Recent work, described in the paper, appears to be improving our retention. Further research is needed to confirm and extend our current approach, which could, perhaps, be applied in other institutions and across other disciplines.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: Academic Departments > Institute of Education
Depositing User: Sue Howarth
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2012 08:46
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2012 06:01
URI: https://eprints.worc.ac.uk/id/eprint/2055

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