Education Outside the Classroom: Research to identify what training is offered by initial teacher training institutions

Sally Kendall, Anne Wilkin, Jenny Murfield, Justin Dillon

01 December 2006

Research report available to download from the DCSF website

Research brief available to download from the DCSF website

The research was commissioned by the DfES, Natural England (the work began through the Countryside Agency, which has since become part of Natural England), and Farming and Countryside Education (FACE) to provide information on the extent and nature of training in education outside the classroom (EOtC) in initial teacher training (ITT) institutions, across curriculum subjects and across different types of teacher training courses. The research was carried out by the NFER in collaboration with the Centre for Informal Learning and Schools, King’s College London.

Key Findings

  • The results from the survey suggested that there was substantial variation in the amount of EOtC training across courses and across institutions. The quality of provision during school placements was rated as variable by around a third of respondents.
  • The findings from the survey indicated that EOtC was explicitly addressed in nearly 90 per cent of primary and secondary ITT courses.
  • The majority of respondents indicated that there was an expectation that trainees had some practical experience of EOtC on their course, either as a course requirement or a preferred option.
  • Schools played a major role in training for EOtC, particularly at the secondary level. Over four-fifths of secondary respondents reported that student teachers received training in EOtC when they were on school placements.
  • Overall, three key issues emerged from the study: the variation between institutions in the provision of EOtC training; the possibility that some students may be inadequately prepared for EOtC; and the lack of quality assurance resulting from course and programme directors’ lack of knowledge of what happens on school placements.
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