Teaching and learning in further education in Wales Martin Jephcote Cardiff University
This project is at a relatively early stage, but our findings so far have pointed us to the importance of giving more detailed attention to:
¾ Teachers’ investment in emotional labour and its gendered nature. Female teachers respond to and accommodate external and internal college pressures in different ways from their male colleagues
¾ Prior experiences of schooling are often negative. Many students carry with them into further education their negative experiences of school, which they use to explain and justify their current dispositions to learning. Many teachers perceived further education as the ‘last chance saloon’ for many of these learners
¾ Teachers’ constructs of students and their learning. Teachers’ real and assumed knowledge about their students’ localities and lives constructs differing learner identities and classroom practices and reinforces the view that what goes on inside a college site is in some ways connected with, and a reflection of, what goes on in the society around it.
The project team has found the following concepts particularly useful in carrying out our research:
¾ Learner identity: individuals’ understanding of themselves as learners and of their relationships with learning opportunities
¾ Learner biographies: the processes through which learner identities are shaped by previous learning experiences and the wider aspects of the individual’s social movement
¾ Learning cultures: for example, emotional labour and ethical orientations to teaching.