Preparing to teach literacy
This review was undertaken by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education (HMIE)
on behalf of Scottish Ministers. It was carried out by HMIE in collaboration
with representatives from the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) responsible
for initial teacher education (ITE), education authorities and the General Teaching
Council for Scotland (GTC Scotland). All review teams included an HMI and a
representative of at least one of these other bodies.
The review took place over the period October 2000 to July 2001. It focused
on the ways in which the HEIs and their partner schools helped student teachers
to develop the knowledge and teaching skills required to make an appropriate
contribution to pupils' learning in reading and writing. Reviewers recognised,
and took into account, the relevance of listening and talking abilities to the
development of reading and writing.
The review had four main aims:
- to report on the quality of the planned literacy components of selected
ITE programmes for the stages from pre-school to S1/S2;
- to report on the quality of student teachers' experiences in relation to
the teaching of literacy, both on-campus and during school placements;
- to identify ways of strengthening links between ITE and continuing professional
development (CPD) in developing teaching competence related to literacy; and
- to identify and highlight good practice and make recommendations to improve
both ITE and CPD provision for literacy.
Review teams gathered evidence through a range of activities, which
included the following.
- They analysed documentation on the curriculum for each of the ITE programmes
- They interviewed HEI staff responsible for managing, planning, teaching
and assuring the quality of these programmes and for supporting and assessing
student teachers on school placements.
- They interviewed student teachers on each programme. These interviews explored
the coverage of literacy over the whole programme, including how the HEI and
the school had helped student teachers develop teaching skills related to
reading and writing while on placement.
- They observed lectures, workshops and tutorials in each HEI.
- They interviewed headteachers, or other school managers, and principal teachers
and primary and secondary class teachers involved in supporting student teachers
during their placement in schools.
- They perused the external examiners' reports for each programme and samples
of student teachers' assignments.