What is the Teacher Education Fellows programme?

Feb. 14, 2023

At Ambition Institute, we know that the quality of teaching is vital to improving pupils’ outcomes, especially for disadvantaged pupils.

Quality teaching isn’t instinctive but is a skill established through careful professional development.

This article unpicks Teacher Education Fellows: a programme supporting leaders of professional development (PD) and teacher education to develop informed and intentional approaches to the most impactful components of teacher education.

Why Teacher Education Fellows?

Teacher educators across the sector face a range of challenges:

  • School leaders who lead teaching and learning must decide on ‘what’ they should support teachers to work on. A training approach is only as good as the content it delivers, so how can we make the most effective use of the limited time available?
  • School and trust leaders of PD grapple with how to best design professional development that helps teachers improve and pupils learn more. But, from the increasing body of new research into effective PD, what is most useful to inform teacher education and how can we translate complex theoretical ideas into practice?
  • Teacher educators supporting trainee teachers – in schools and trusts, or at initial teacher training providers and higher education institutions – face similar challenges. Given the vastness and complexity of teaching, how can we best configure training experiences that are going to give the next generation of teachers the best chance of success?

These are questions which our Teacher Education Fellows programme seeks to answer. The two-year programme will build and hone your knowledge and skills to design and deliver masterful PD across your school, trust or organisation.

The programme focuses on the building blocks of what teachers should learn, how to design and deliver effective training, and how to increase the likelihood that training changes teachers’ classroom practices. Throughout, the programme will support you to explore and apply what you learn into practice to improve teacher development and subsequent pupil learning in your setting.

At the heart of Teacher Education Fellows is the vision to improve teacher education nationwide. The programme is built on rigorous, cutting-edge research and is the only teacher educator development programme in the country that immerses you in the nuances and complexity of the most effective teacher education practices.

What is Teacher Education Fellows?

Teacher Education Fellows is a two-year programme. The programme aims to help develop and hone your ability to:

  1. Explain learning and drive effective teaching
  2. Design and deliver training
  3. Assess needs to evaluate and improve PD approaches
  4. Support and challenge individual teachers to improve
  5. Influence your organisation at a systems level
  6. Contribute to teacher education beyond your school, trust or organisation

The first year of your programme is designed with three disciplines in mind: cognitive science (what do we know about learning?), expertise development (what do we know about training?) and behavioural science (what do we know about behaviour change?). In this year, you will begin planning a series of structured enquiries to develop your practice. You will then be supported to implement a series of changes to professional development approaches in your school or organisation.

In your second year you will design and implement a project to use teacher education to improve teaching quality across your organisation. This will be followed by your final assignment, where you will write up your project and disseminate your findings.

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What does this mean in practice?

It means improving teaching by learning, testing and mastering ways to support every teacher you work with.

It means improving pupil outcomes by using evidence-based interventions to make measurable improvements to pupil learning.

It means deepening your knowledge of the best evidence and latest thinking from teacher education systems around the world.

It means working to towards your existing priorities and commitments, contextual needs and your role as a teacher educator.

It means collaborating with peers and Ambition Institute’s team to share best practice and improve teacher education nationally.

But most of all, it means gaining the confidence that you are at the forefront of the latest research and evidence-based practice nationwide.

How will you learn?

Teacher Education Fellows is designed to maximise your ability to engage, learn and develop through a mixture of face-to-face and online learning. Over the course of your programme you will take part in:

- Six two-day conferences.

- Weekly hour-long peer learning groups.

- Visits to four schools to see implementation of cutting-edge teacher education first-hand.

- Thirty minutes a week of optional self-study and reading.

When it comes to assessment, you will complete short assignments at the end of each module to demonstrate your knowledge. At the end of your two years, you will complete an independent project assignment of 2,000 words to share and disseminate the project work you will have done.

How will Teacher Education Fellows benefit you and your career?

The Teacher Education Fellows programme is designed to place you at the forefront of the latest research on teacher education. At the end of the two years, you will be confident that you have the evidence-base and skillset to support your teachers, coaches and staff, and drive forward pupil outcomes.

On graduating, you will remain part of a national network of teacher educators enabling you to continue to share best practice and support your continued growth and progression.

Who is eligible?

Teacher Education Fellows is designed for all leaders of professional development within a school, multi-academy trust, teacher development organisation or higher education institution (HEI).

To apply, you must have influence over teacher development practices in your role, and be in a position to change, improve or overhaul those practices to some degree.

The programme costs £4,000 and is paid in two instalments, one per academic year.

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