Collaboration with University of Aberdeen, University of Dundee, University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow, University of Strathclyde, University of the Highlands and Islands and University of the West of Scotland.
The aim of this project is to promote teachers’ in-depth professional learning so as to sustain system-wide change that addresses the aims of the Scottish Attainment Challenge (SAC).
The project builds upon previous research at Stirling that identified issues in the support of early career professionals within the induction phase (I’Anson & Eady; Drew & Watson). In terms of teachers’ professional judgements in relation to acknowledging pupil difference, this work identified:
(i) the significance of translation work in terms of theory and values into practice, and
(ii) the presence of mentors that have the capacities to support early career phase teachers to promote equity of opportunity and attainment, as being significant.
The role of the university in promoting and supporting teachers’ professional judgement - especially with regard to interrupting patterns of socialisation that may fail to acknowledge the complexities of thinking and practice that are necessary if more inclusive approaches are to be foregrounded - was also recognised. This project was therefore designed to address limitations identified in previous research. In promoting innovative practice, coupled with the relational support necessary to sustain evidence-informed thinking and practice, the project aims to close the attainment gap and achieve greater equity of outcome for children and young people.
The specific focus of the project is the development of deeper understandings of theory, values and pedagogical practice for teachers drawn from across 10 schools (primary and secondary), so that knowledge practices will be shared and developed in and between a range of subject areas through collaborative enquiry projects, within and across these schools. The Master’s level learning includes work on effective mentoring practice so as to build capacity and opportunities for direct activity with early career teachers and student teachers. It is anticipated that the cohort of teachers will become leaders of professional enquiry and act in a mentoring capacity with induction year teachers and ITE students on teaching practice.