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Teacher Education Special Interest Group


Our Aims

The purpose of the Teacher Education Special Interest Group is to support GA members and others by reviewing the educational landscape as it affects teacher education, looking for patterns, connections, issues and implications and by initiating actions in response. This will involve:

  • Monitoring the impact of changes to teacher education affecting initial teacher education and continuous professional development for teachers of geography for the 3-19 age range.
  • Initiating discussions, surveys and other activities
  • Disseminating outcomes through conference presentations and publications
  • Representing the Geographical Association in matters related to Teacher Education.

What we do

Much of our work during 2012-2013 has been spent developing an area on the GA website devoted to mentoring. These web pages aim to provide guidance and support for mentors, and information about in-school geography training and what a well-informed and competent new secondary geography teacher needs to know and be able to do.

Mentoring section >>>

We meet each term and our membership represents as wide a range of ITE interest as possible. This enables us to receive information on developments affecting ITE from a number of directions and to bring varied experience to focus on them. Reponses have included surveys, articles, published materials, conferences and contributions to the GA’s Annual Conference, joint working with other organisations and representations to official bodies.

We provide guidance and support in relation to curriculum change by delivering workshops and lectures at the GA's Annual conference, contributing sessions to the PGCE/NQT event at conference and helping to organise and contribute to regional conferences.

Past meeting reports

Download: October 2013
Download: June 2013
Download: April 2013

Consultation responses

The download below is the official response (June 2013) to School Direct about the development of School Direct as a means of training secondary school Geography teachers.

Response to School Direct about teacher training (66k)

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This paper was sent to Ofsted in response to their consultation document 'Proposals for revised inspection arrangements for initial teacher education partnerships from September 2012' in January 2012:

Ofsted consultation on proposals for revision of the framework for the inspection ITE 2012 - response from the GA Teacher Education Special Interest Group (164k)

note: this file requires the Adobe Acrobat Reader.

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The following paper was sent by the GA's Teacher Education Special Interest Group to the DfE in July 2011 in response to their consultation 'Training our next generation of outstanding teachers. An improvement strategy for discussion'.

DfE consultation on ITT strategy - response from the GA Teacher Education Special Interest Group (79k)

note: this file requires the Adobe Acrobat Reader.

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TESIG members

View member profiles >>>

Chris Fisher: Former Director of Teaching and Learning; now a Consultant for Geography Education. 

Adam Lawson: Principal Teacher of Geography and the Global Dimension, Homewood School and Sixth Form Centre, Tenterden, Kent.

David Leat: Professor of Curriculum Innovation at the University of Newcastle

Emma Morley: Senior Lecturer in Education, University of Winchester.

Mel Norman: PGCE (Secondary) Course Leader & Geography Tutor, University of Brighton.

Charles Rawding (Chair): Geography PGCE Course Leader, Edge Hill University.

Margaret Roberts: GA President 2008-2009.

Martin Shevill: Head Teacher, Ossett School & VI Form College, Wakefield.

Andrea Tapsfield (Secretary): Formerly HMI.

Briley Habib: Head of geography Westcliff High School, Essex.

Celia Tidmarsh: Subject Co-ordinator Geography PGCE and PGCE Tutor for Assessment, University of Bristol.

We are very short of primary geography representation on the TESIG, having recently lost two members due to other commitments, and would welcome an approach from a primary school teacher with a geography specialism or someone involved in primary geography ITE.

Recent Activities

1. In early 2009 TESIG submitted a lengthy consultation document on behalf of the GA for the DCSF 'New Inquiry into Teacher Training'. The report of that consultation process was published in February 2010. Both the submission and the report can be downloaded below.

Download: Submission from the Geographical Association on the New Inquiry into Teacher Training (PDF)

Download: The House of Commons Children’s Schools and Families Committee: Training of Teachers: Fourth Report of session 2009-10, Volume One (PDF)

We were pleased to see that several of our concerns were reflected in the report's recommendations.  In particular we expressed these concerns:

  • How primary ITT can best equip new teachers to ensure high quality subject teaching as recommended by the Rose Review
    See recommendation 4 of the House of Commons report (p.3)
  • The need for regular reports on the quality of subject training and the establishment of funding for subject-focussed education research 
    See recommendation 11 of the House of Commons report (p.4)
  • The loss of geography subject expertise in university ITT departments
    See recommendations 15 and 16 of the House of Commons report (pp. 4&5)
  • The need for sustained, subject-specific professional development for all teachers
    See recommendation 30 of the House of Commons report (p.6)


2. TESIG responded to the TDA consultation into Assessment only routes into teaching recommending the following:

  • a minimum number of hours teaching should be stated and it should be undertaken in more than one school
  • it should be made explicit as to how the achievements of the Standards will be demonstrated on assessment only routes
  • the accreditation of the award should be on a par with the accreditation of all other QTS awards.

The consultation report published in January 2010 stated in summary that 'Overall, most responses were cautiously positive, though the majority included various caveats... The principal concerns expressed wee on matters of quality assurance, assessment rigour, acceptance of relevant qualification and experience, and elements of the two school requirement. Points raised by TESIG were thus incorporated into the TDA's published revision of requirements for Assessment Only Routes into Teaching.


3.  Annual Conference 2010

Elaine Lockwood's workshop at the 2010 GA Conference

Elaine Lockwood ran two very successful workshops on assessment, one for the PG/NQT day and one for the main Conference. The workshops were well attended and well received. See photo to right.

Margaret Roberts received a GA Award for Excellence in Leading Geography for her article in Geography called 'Investigating Geography'. See photo bottom left.

Charles Rawding received a GA Award for Excellence in Leading Geography for his article in Teaching Geography called 'Teaching place as a process' See photo bottom right

Adam Lawson's school, Homewood School and Sixth Form Centre, received the Secondary Geography Quality Mark with Centre of Excellence status.

Visit the GA Annual Conference page which contains session downloads, photos from the event, and full details of this year's Awards.

Margaret Roberts with her GA Award
Margaret Roberts
Charles Rawding with his GA Award
Charles Rawding
Adam Lawson
Adam Lawson

(Updated 22.07.10)

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