Pedagogy in Further Education and Vocational Teacher Education

Jim Crawley | View as single page | Feedback/Impact

The place of learning theory

Addressing learning theory features regularly in research in this field, and can be seen to underpin teacher education, but there is no overall dominant discourse regarding which learning theories should be addressed and endorsed. Finlay’s (2002) review of Further Education teacher education found that many programmes embrace the experiential learning theory of Kolb (1984), reflective practice theory of Schön (1983,) and also utilise the way those theories have been interpreted for teacher education by, for example, Gibbs (1988) and Boud et al. (1985).

Moon (1998), looking more broadly across teacher education in a number of countries, identifies ‘the Deweyian reflective practitioner’ (ibid: 21) tradition as dominant in teacher education programmes in England, and the USA. France and Germany, and that many countries in Europe, adopt ‘a more knowledge focused interest in didactics and pedagogics’ (Moon 1998: 21).

In contrast, and in relation to vocational teacher education, Papier (2010) argues that there is broad agreement on the theoretical underpinnings of vocational teacher education which focusses on the acquisition by vocational teachers, of ‘vertical’ disciplinary knowledge (Bernstein 1999). She suggests this theoretical approach ‘is situated in workplace technologies and practice’ and ‘is recognised and is widely evident from the curricula and curriculum processes examined’ (ibid: 155, 6).