Developing Pedagogies that work for Pre-Service and Early Career Teachers to reduce the Attainment Gap in Literacy, Numeracy and Health and Wellbeing

In February 2015, the Scottish Government launched the Scottish Attainment Challenge to tackle the poverty-related attainment gap in Scotland and improve achievement in literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing for pupils living in areas of high deprivation. As part of this effort, the Scottish Council of Deans of Education were invited to develop a research agenda in the field of teacher education. In early 2018, funding was secured from the Scottish Government for a three year research programme involving representatives of the eight Schools of Education providing initial teacher education (ITE) across Scotland at that time.

The broad aim informing the suite of projects is to research how the sector might better prepare early career teachers (understood as final year ITE and probationer year) to work more effectively to improve literacy and numeracy attainment and health and wellbeing outcomes in schools serving pupils from SIMD 1-40 backgrounds. Under this common purpose, the research programme has three strands of activity.

Firstly, a collaborative project aims to resource a conversation across the national sector. The project is designed as four sequential phases -

AUDIT: What do we in teacher education institutions collectively do currently to support early career practitioners to work effectively with pupils from SIMD 1-40 backgrounds?

EVALUATION: Of our current practice, what do we do well and what could we do better?

RESOURCE: What other practice or research might assist us in our purpose?

REFORM: How can we improve teacher education so our early career teachers are more effective in improving the engagement and attainment of pupils?

Secondly, each of the eight participating schools of education will conduct a research project reflecting their particular context and priorities.

Thirdly, three PhD studentships have been funded, to be hosted by the Universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Stirling.