One teacher's experience of the need to teach outside their specialist material area

Davies, S. ORCID: 0000-0003-1151-7841, 2022. One teacher's experience of the need to teach outside their specialist material area. In: D. Gill, J. Tuff, T. Kennedy, S. Pendergast and S. Jamil, eds., PATT 39. PATT on the edge: technology, innovation and education. St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada June 21st-24th, 2022. Newfoundland: Faculty of Education, Memorial University of Newfoundland, 58 - 66. ISBN 978-0-88901-505-0

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Policy changes in England, have shifted the subject focus. Previous policy advocated knowledge and skills bounded by specific practices in an individual material area (for example, Textiles). Whereas the new policy shifts teaching towards a single-subject. A subject that requires pupils to learn across material areas and answer contextual problems through a breadth of material specialism expertise. For teachers, this means that they can no longer work within one specialist material area, and therefore they need to find ways to respond to the change and teach more broadly.

The research reported here explored how one teacher delt with this change by identifying the resources used to translate the new policy into practice. This research was part of a professional doctorate project. Qualitative data were collected during the first year of the new policy examination. Semi-structured interviews explored the teacher's experience, specifically the individual and structural resources that supported new modes of practice. Interview transcripts were first analysed, and a rich picture was developed to describe the teacher's response to change, finally data were coded thematically to develop a model of D&T teacher agency.

The findings suggest that both individual and departmental factors influence how this teacher managed the shift to single-subject teaching. For example, the teacher's past experiences and conceptions influenced their capacity to teach outside a material specialism in the present school setting. In addition, the learning opportunities afforded by this teacher's context were key to subject integration and the break with established practices that perpetuate the tradition of individual material area boundaries.

This research will enhance understanding of D&T teachers' strategies in response to shifts in subject focus. In addition, how past, present, and future agency impacts teacher responses to change. There is a profound need to recognise the breadth of subject knowledge and skill required to teach outside a material specialism and the need for teacher preparation programs to develop student teachers' expertise around identify the resources needed for good D&T practice.

Item Type: Chapter in book
Description: Paper presented at PATT on the Edge Technology, Innovation and Education, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, 21-24 June 2022.
Creators: Davies, S.
Publisher: Faculty of Education, Memorial University of Newfoundland
Place of Publication: Newfoundland
Date: 2 August 2022
ISBN: 978-0-88901-505-0
Rights: © 2022 The Authors
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Institute of Education
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 12 Oct 2022 11:53
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2022 11:53
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