Teacher Education in England: A Critical Interrogation of School-led Training, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Teacher Education in England

A Critical Interrogation of School-led Training, 1st Edition

By Tony Brown


148 pages

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Models of teacher education in England have undergone major upheaval in recent years. Teacher Education in England draws on the experiences of some of the people directly involved in these changes and explores the implications that they have had on their professional lives. The book also explores the challenges faced by universities in responding to the ascendance of school-led teacher training and the ways in which this impacts on conceptions of teacher education more generally, in England and beyond.

Drawing on 150 interviews with teacher educators and trainees, this book documents how the systemic changes to teacher education have been implemented and explores the impact of these changes on the people directly affected by them. Presenting insider accounts, the book shows that the structural adjustments have impacted on many dimensions of teacher education that had characterised university input and that they have also unsettled more familiar understandings of professional identity and staffing composition. Demonstrating that the redistribution of teacher education across new apparatuses bolsters market forces, whilst maintaining the option of creating new forms of training that transcend established boundaries, Brown also explores the opportunities that are opened up by the new models.

Teacher Education in England is the first substantial study to focus on School Direct since its implementation in 2013. As such, the book should be of great interest to academics, researchers and postgraduate students engaged in the study of teacher education and educational policy. It should also be essential reading for teacher educators, as well as teachers and trainee teachers.


'This book provides a riveting but deeply disturbing account of how initial teacher education in England has been overturned and reshaped over recent years. In spite of the huge commitment of those teachers and university staff involved in the processes of preparing future teachers, the evidence in this book reveals the unsettling and disruptive effects of many aspects of radical government intervention. Although the main focus of the book is on England, Tony Brown skilfully uses international perspectives to identify wider trends as well as to characterise the peculiarities of the English. This book adds enormously to our understanding of what has been happening in teacher education and through the judicious use of extracts from research interviews it brings to life the real world of beginning teachers and those who support them.'

Ian Menter, Emeritus Professor of Teacher Education, University of Oxford, UK.

'This book records and analyses many failures of contemporary teacher education policy in England. It is evident that short-termist, marketised manipulation cannot guarantee the quality or supply of teachers which the nation needs. More stable, educationally principled approaches, based on respect for teacher expertise and constructive partnerships between schools and universities, are clearly called for. But will they be forthcoming?"

Andrew Pollard, Professor of Policy and Practice in Education,University College London, Institute of Education.

'One of the strengths of the book is the theoretically informed analysis of data from interviews to support the arguments. The voices of the interviewed teacher educators in Chapter 3, for example, make for particularly depressing reading: the cases of experienced, university based teacher educators, some with PhDs but having abandoned their research careers in the face of workload intensification and surveillance, are particularly well narrated. One teacher educator’s explanation for this situation – ‘principles don’t pay the bills’ – made the broader political point well but also demonstrated why Brown’s use of Lacanian psychoanalytic theory was apt…I do think this book is essential reading for anyone researching or otherwise seeking to make sense of SD [School Direct] as a significant part of the constellation of reform under the Coalition and Conservatives.'

Viv Ellis, Professor of Educational Leadership and Teacher Development, King's College London, in Journal of Education for Teaching

Table of Contents



About the Author


1. Introduction

2. School-led Training in England (with Harriet Rowley and Kim Smith)

3. Research-in Teacher Education

4. Shifting Under-sandings of Subject Knowledge

5. Summing up Mathematics Subject Knowledge

6. Theoretical Becoming as a Teacher

7. Evolving Teacher Educator Responsiveness

8. Conclusion

About the Author

Tony Brown is Professor of Mathematics Education at Manchester Metropolitan University.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Teacher Education

The Routledge Research in Teacher Education series presents the latest research on Teacher Education and also provides a forum to discuss the latest practices and challenges in the field.


Please send inquiries or proposals for this series to one of the following:

Will Bateman: [email protected] – Editor, UK and Rest of World

Elsbeth Wright: [email protected] – Editor, North & South America

Vilija Stephens: [email protected] – Editor, Australia & New Zealand

Katie Peace: [email protected] – Publisher, Asia

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Educational Policy & Reform / General
EDUCATION / Research