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Social Sciences

Developing and evaluating SEN programmes in initial teacher training (PGCE)

1 October 2007 - 30 September 2008

PI/s in Exeter: Dr Steve North, Professor Brahm Norwich

Research partners: In partnership with SENJIT, Institute of Education, University of London

Funding awarded: £ 85,000

Sponsor(s): Teacher Development Agency (TDA)

Project webpage(s)

Developing and evaluating SEN programmes in initial teacher training (PGCE)

About the research

This project aims to develop a relevant and usable programme and materials to support the initial training and education of teacher about SEN. It is part of a larger project funded by the Teacher development Agency (TDA) that includes work with SENJIT at the Institute of Education, London University. The overall project is in response to the Government’s commitment to improve the initial training of primary and secondary teachers in this area of education.

From Exeter we are coordinating a trial of a ‘personalised learning task’ on the PGCE programmes here and in collaboration with other tutors of several PGCE programmes nationally.

This task involves PGCE students working individually with a pupil over a period of time in liaison with the SENCO and the pupil’s class teacher in their placement school. The aims of this task are for students to find out in detail about the educational needs of this pupil, to find out about origins of the additional needs, how to assess the educational needs of a pupil in a particular subject area and develop skills in planning and teaching.
The task is supported by a Framework for ‘personalised learning’ which introduces the students to a pedagogic model of assessment and teaching that is relevant to understanding teaching and learning relevant to all pupils, not only those with SEN.

Students, their school based tutors and the school’s SEN coordinator have access to a website with the task brief, the framework and other relevant resources. The evaluation of this trial is expected to provide feedback to enhance design of the task, supporting materials and effective implementation in practice schools.