A ‘usable past’ of teacher education in England: history in JET’s anniversary issue

Lori Beckett, Amanda Nuttall

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    The recent JETAnniversary Virtual Special Issue, abbreviated here to JET@40, reproduced its very first editorial (Stones 1975) with selected articles from Britain and abroad published in subsequent decades.  The journal first came into being as a response to damning criticism of the profession via government-sponsored reports and reviews but also to encourage informed debate with particular focus on notions of ‘good teaching’ and the ‘good teacher’. In this paper, we engage with selected contributions in JET@40 to tease out an historical map for teacher education. The task is to glean a sense of the past which resonates with our co-developed, research-informed teacher education programme, and gives insight to a lack of institutional and political support to encourage teacher research activity that interrogates the effects of poverty and cumulative multiple deprivation on disadvantaged students’ lives, learning and urban schooling experiences. Our argument is that JET@40 not only provides us with an indication of the best of what is known and practised but also a ‘usable past’ (Hansot & Tyack 1982 cited by McCulloch 2011, 55) or history of specific professional insights to inform debate about possibilities and predicaments in our own teacher education programme.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Education for Teaching
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017


    • Teacher education
    • History
    • educational change
    • schools policy


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