This work was undertaken on behalf of the Professional Learning and Development Forum ( PLDF) to review and refresh the 2006 version of the 'Professional Standards for Initial Teacher Education / Training for Lecturers in Scotland's Colleges'. It included a PLDF initiated consultation to which there was a significant response.
Overall, 85.4% of Scotland's colleges responded to the survey providing 525 records and 241 written comments on the standards. Twelve individual groups were consulted and they provided comments and suggestions for inclusion in the refreshed standards. Three of Scotland's Colleges' Communities of Practice ( COP) were directly involved in rewriting the standards. The three TEIs (Universities of Aberdeen, Dundee and Stirling) were also consulted.
Almost all respondents confirmed that the standards were still relevant and welcomed the opportunity to contribute to the refresh of the standards. The draft standards were also presented to three student groups to assess their reaction. The refreshed standards are closely based on the standards developed in 2006, which were considered robust and of high quality and which address:
- Guidance and Support
- Planning and Preparing the Learning Experience
- Teaching / Facilitating Learning
- Quality and Standards
- Professional Practice and Development
This review of the Professional Standards for Initial Teacher Training / Education has produced a set of Standards which have been refreshed to meet changes which have occurred since the last review in 2006 and have taken into account developments which are impacting on the FE Sector now and are anticipated to have an impact into the foreseeable future.
This review has engaged a wide range of participants who have contributed their specialist knowledge and understanding to the review of the Standards and could be the catalyst for strategic thinking on the future needs, challenges and expectations of those in the FE sector with responsibility for learning and teaching.
These refreshed Standards are not only initial standards for those wishing to gain the TQFE qualification through a university, or a Professional Development Award through SQA, but also define a lecturer's current role and contribution to an FE college. Taken as a whole, they also underpin ongoing CPD programmes for all lecturers in colleges in Scotland.
In tandem with the consultation activity, an additional challenge question was asked: What do lecturers need to do to prepare for their role in 2020?
Four common themes emerged which need to be considered in the future planning of courses and CPD for lecturers in Scotland's colleges. These have been identified as follows:
- Professional Standards and CPD
- Teaching Practice and Reflection
The responses which were received (and which are summarised at Annex 1) clearly point to what is expected of a lecturer as we move into the future in particular are the responses highlighting the need to be ICT literate. The term 'Digital Practitioner' cannot be underestimated and has to be critically considered in any future planning and development for lecturers.
It is recommended that consideration be given to the development of a strategy to heighten the awareness of the revised standards, and their value, amongst the community upon which they impact.