Murtagh L & Rushton EA (2023) The role of teacher educator virtual communities of practice (VCoPs) in mobilising policy engagement: A case study of the initial teacher training market review from England. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, pp. 1-19. https://doi.org/10.1080/1359866x.2023.2191306
Attempts to solve perceived policy problems in Initial Teacher Education (ITE) have seen national and international jurisdictions increasingly centralising ITE curricula, coupled with monitoring and auditing of outcomes against defined sets of professional standards. This paper reports the findings of a documentary analysis of 75 items of publicly available literature generated by stakeholders between 2 July and 30 September 2021, in response to a Market Review of Initial Teacher Training in England. The paper outlines how online platforms and networks can serve as Virtual Communities of Practice (VCoP), which can mobilise teacher educators to engage with and critique policy making. Discourse emerging from the analysis of the 75 items focuses on key concerns associated with teacher supply, quality and questions the evidence for wholesale changes to ITE. This paper highlights that the voice of teacher educators in England is marginalised and offers a cautionary tale for colleagues currently immersed in international efforts to “reform” and “review” ITE. We argue that this case study illustrates the potential for the international sector to form a VCoP and through these, to challenge postulated “solutions” to espoused policy “problems” in ITE.
Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education