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The University of Southampton
Southampton Education School

Research Group: Research in Teacher Education (RITE) Special Interest Group

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The Research in Teacher Education group aims to contribute to the realisation of the Southampton Education Schools's mission to advance theory and practice within regional, national and international communities through excellence in critical and independent research by producing and disseminating high quality research in the field of teacher education.

Members of the RITE group are experienced teachers in Primary and Secondary schools and teach on Initial Teacher Education courses; a major aim is for their research to inform their practice and vice-versa.

Members of the RITE group work collaboratively and individually on research projects. In recent years they have undertaken a study into student teachers' perceptions of bullying, and have contributed to a book (edited by Keira Sewell) about Masters' Level PGCE courses. Currently, the group is investigating trainee teachers' perfceptions of research-led teaching - what this term means to them, and how it affects their practice as teachers.

Two members of the group are currently completing PhDs. Kate Domaille is undertaking an ethnographic inquiry into the construction of School English: the essential line of inquiry in this study is to explore the multiple factors that lead to different models of English emerging in different contexts. It examines the degree to which these models emerge either in a stock reponse to contralised shifts in policy, like the National Curriculum changes for 2008; or how these are refracted through institutional priorities and expectations to become a model that reflects the ethos of specific institutions or the ways in which individual teacher aspiration, desire and expertise shape what happens in the classwoom. Looking at two English departments the study is looking at the interplay between national, local and individual approaches to English.

Richard Harris' PhD focuses on the teaching of diversity within secondary history. There is a great deal of evidence to suggest that diversity is poorly dealt with within history teaching. This study is essentially exploring the views of trainee teachers towards the teaching of diversity and the reasons why they may or may not feel inclined to incorporate this explicitly within their practice. The study is a piece of action research and is looking at ways trainee teachers can be supported so that they fell more comfortable and confident in their teaching of diversity.

The group welcomes other doctoral students who are working in the area of teacher education.

Convenor: Tim Cain.

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