Teacher Education Advancement Network Conference 2024

Activity: Attending or organising conference/seminar/workshopConference


In this presentation we (academic staff paid student researchers) will share two intertwined stories about a journey to improve the experience for parents who are also teacher trainees, and the 'meta-research' that happened along the way, of the experiences of the project student researchers, who are also themselves trainee teachers.
Parents have a lot to offer the teaching profession, the wealth of experience and understanding that parents bring are positive (Blackmore, 1999; Sikes, 1998). However, we are concerned about the wellbeing of teacher trainee parents, in the context of wider teacher recruitment and retention crisis where the drop-out rates of teachers in the first year is increasing year on year (, 2023), when qualified teacher parents clearly face many challenges (Hermann, Gorlewski, Brookover, Walsh, Kozachuk, Deitz and Ciminelli, 2023) . In addition, the most recent survey of those leaving the profession found that 27% of teachers who leave each year are women between the ages of 30 and 39 (Simons, 2016). Every teacher who leaves will have their own story to tell, but it seems likely that a factor is parenthood and caring responsibilities (Quickfall, 2020).
Similarly, student researchers also have a lot to offer our sector and a lot to gain from involvement in research projects, but constraints on this group mean that many (and particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds) are dissuaded from engaging (Gonye, Hall, Nadasan, Rawlinson, Sari and Underwood, 2019).
The whole research team (2 student researchers and 3 members of academic staff) have been involved in key decisions about the scope, methodology and findings of this study, and student researchers have been involved and informed throughout the project, whilst being protected from the bulk of the time-heavy, repetitive workload (eg transcription, minute taking) so often allocated to student researchers (King and Imai, 2022). We collected quantitative and qualitative data from online questionnaires and focus groups, with both current students and alumni groups. In the presentation we will share an overview of these findings.
Outcomes of this study include recommendations for parent student policy, planned improvements to our programmes, including innovations to optimise participation and access, and improved sources of support so that ITE providers can give trainees the best chance of becoming a successful and happy teacher and parent. In this presentation, we will also share our collective advice on working as a student and staff research team and protecting student researchers from overload.
Period22 May 202423 May 2024
Event typeAcademic conference
Degree of RecognitionNational