Widening participation for women in Initial Teacher Education – it’s not a problem, is it? - What are the widening participation issues encountered by women as they embark on a Primary PGCE Initial Teacher Training course?
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This research explores widening participation in one university-led Post Graduate Primary initial teacher education course (PGCE) in England. Rooted in a social constructivist paradigm and utilising a mixed-method social survey approach (questionnaires and group discussions), the widening participation (WP) issues students faced when embarking on this course were evaluated. Students worked with me as co-constructors of data by sharing stories of their journeys towards studying for this course. Specifically, the issues affecting women were investigated in order to critique the assumption that WP for women in higher education has been achieved. I am a teacher educator with a strongly held belief that education plays a key role in helping to achieve social justice and equality. To help facilitate this process, I argue that if barriers discouraging students from becoming teachers can be broken down, these newly recruited teachers would be in a position to act as ambassadors for further WP in higher education. Results from data analysis suggest that three factors can act as barriers to participation: geographical location of the course provider, financial constraints and family/caring responsibilities. These findings are discussed in relation to implications for future practice, including offering a flexible, part-time PGCE course.
Vineer, Kath. (2020). Widening participation for women in Initial Teacher Education – it’s not a problem, is it? - What are the widening participation issues encountered by women as they embark on a Primary PGCE Initial Teacher Training course?, The Plymouth Institute of Education Online Journal, 1 (1).