Trainee teachers to spend more time in classrooms

Trainee teachers are set to spend more time in the classroom. Picture: Getty
Trainee teachers are set to spend more time in the classroom. Picture: Getty
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TRAINEE teachers will spend more time in the classroom under a “radical overhaul” of how students are prepared for the profession at university.

Edinburgh University’s School of Education has announced it will introduce a new Masters qualification, which will see students placedin primary schools for the whole of their third year at university.

The changes are being brought in following the Donaldson Review, which made a series of recommendations on how to drive up the standard of teaching in Scotland’s schools.

The university said that as part of its “accommodation” of the Donaldson Review’s recommendations, the BEd (Primary Education) programme would be replaced with an MA in Primary Education. It said the new qualification would “raise the bar for students” aiming to be primary school teachers. It will be adopted for entry in 2014.

Students will now be placed in primary schools for the entirety of their third year, moving away from the model where they taught in classrooms for up to ten weeks each year across the four years of


The second change is to allow students to study one of six other subject areas alongside primary education to honours level. This will allow them to specialise in a certain area. Previously students could not study any other subjects. The initial six subjects are: maths, earth science, history, German, religious studies, and Scottish studies.

Dr Ann MacDonald, director of the current BEd (Primary Education), and designer of the new suite of programmes, said: “By offering programmes which combine teacher education with the study of many challenging university subjects, we have radically raised the bar for primary education. Placing our students in schools for a year should allow them to become bona fide members of the school community and real assets to the schools, something which the previous system curtailed.”