Expansive and restrictive approaches to professionalism in FE colleges: the observation of teaching and learning as a case in point
AbstractWhat it means to be a ‘professional’ in further education (FE) in England has been the subject of ongoing debate over the last two decades. In an attempt to codify professionalism, New Labour developed a package of reforms, crystallised by the introduction of professional standards and qualifications and a new inspection framework under Ofsted. These reforms reflected a political desire to improve FE teachers’ professional skills and knowledge and prioritised teaching and learning as the main driver for ‘continuous improvement’. The observation of teaching and learning (OTL) subsequently emerged as a pivotal tool with which to evaluate and measure improvement, whilst also promoting teacher learning and development. Drawing on recent research into the use of OTL, this paper focuses on two case-study colleges in the West Midlands, whose contrasting OTL practices serve to exemplify expansive and restrictive approaches to professionalism in FE.
CitationExpansive and restrictive approaches to professionalism in FE colleges: the observation of teaching and learning as a case in point 2013, 18 (4):348 Research in Post-Compulsory Education
PublisherTaylor & Francis
JournalResearch in Post-Compulsory Education