Teacher Educators in the English Post-Compulsory Sector: Understanding a Gendered Workforce

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Teacher education is, in many Western countries, both highly gendered and of uncertain academic status. Such patterns of gender and status, while bearing many similarities, also depend on the individual characteristics of particular educational systems, their histories and their political and economic circumstances. This paper attempts to develop an understanding of general processes driving the gendered nature of teacher education by examining a specific case, that of the post-compulsory teacher education workforce in England. Initially, the paper applies a structural-Marxist analysis along lines mapped out by Althusser and Braverman, accounting for gendering of teacher education in the case study as an example of degradation of the labour process taking place in a sector of education currently undergoing turbulent change. However, the paper argues that such an analysis can not lead to a full understanding of the processes taking place. Only by relating the gendering of teacher education to the professional and personal identities of both men and women teacher educators can we achieve an insight into their lived experience as education professionals. It is therefore the combination of structuralist and post-structuralist analyses that helps us to understand gendering processes and their implications for policy and practice.


Keywords: Teacher Education, Post-Compulsory Education, Gender
Stream: Education and Social Welfare
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Ron Thompson

Principal Lecturer, School of Education and Professional Development, University of Huddersfield
Huddersfield, Yorkshire, UK

Currently Head of Division of In-Service Teacher Education in the Department of Post-Compulsory Education and Training at Huddersfield University. Main teaching responsibilities include the training of teachers in the compulsory and non-compulsory sectors. Previous posts teaching mathematics and education in colleges and universities in the UK. Research interests include further education policy in England, social class and further education, and mathematical education.

Robin Simmons

Senior Lecturer, School of Education and Professional Development, University of Huddersfield
Huddersfield, Yorkshire, UK

Currently Senior Lecturer in Teacher Education in the Department of Post-Compulsory Education and Training at Huddersfield University. Main teaching responsibilities include the training of teachers in the post-compulsory sectors and teaching sociology to undergraduates. Previous posts managing and teaching in colleges and universities in the UK. Research interests include further education policy in England, social class and further education, and the history of further education.

Ref: I08P0166