Waiting for OFSTED affect, learning and the impact of inspection on teacher educators -part 1.BERA Annual conference, Sussex University September 2-5th September 2013

Clyde, Helen and Cooper, Bridget (2013) Waiting for OFSTED affect, learning and the impact of inspection on teacher educators -part 1.BERA Annual conference, Sussex University September 2-5th September 2013. In: BERA Annual Conference Sussex University, 2-5 Sep 2013, Sussex University.

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The considerable research on the impact of OFSTED on school teachers, has not been matched by research into the more punitive process in teacher education. OFSTED claim to raise standards and to report without fear or favour. However, the chief inspector was equivocal about OFSTED’s role either as improver or judge when quizzed in parliament recently (Great Britain, Parliament, House of Commons, 2012). With such ambiguity of both purpose and effectiveness can such an expensive, time consuming process be justified?
This research therefore, sought to ascertain how teacher educators understand the general impact of inspection and specifically on their learning and their feelings. This combination is significant given the close relationships drawn between emotion and learning in both educational and psychological theory and increasingly in neuroscience, for example, Damasio (1999). Semi-structured interviews drew both on this framework and the previous inspection literature, and were conducted both before and after an OFSTED inspection.
Grounded theory methodology was chosen for a rigorous analysis and to reveal the participants’ complex thinking and feeling about inspection. Twenty-three staff members were interviewed for up to an hour, of whom fifteen were academic tutors, six were senior or middle managers and two were associated administrative staff.
The pre-inspection interviews considered here, reveal the dramatic impact on participants’ emotions, workload and family life in the weeks leading up to OFSTED. Data, rich with metaphors and similes of battle, punishment, fear and anxiety tell their own story, including a powerful clash of values, where intellect and honesty are reluctantly relinquished for calculation and spin. Already pressurised by the marketization of HE and the shift of teacher education into schools, the strain is ratcheted up to a physical pitch, which impinges directly on individuals’ well-being.
Significantly, despite the expense and relentless frequency of inspection most participants predict very little benefit. Furthermore, interaction with students, research and course reviews are forsaken for the dull bureaucracy of inspection preparation. The research suggests that the atmosphere of fear inhibits learning and motivation, with the implication that the government and its inspectors understand and achieve little in terms of educational excellence.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Inspection, emotion, learning, teacher education
Subjects: Education > Educational Research
Divisions: Faculty of Education and Society > School of Education
Depositing User: Bridget Cooper
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2013 14:11
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 09:08
URI: http://sure.sunderland.ac.uk/id/eprint/4142

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