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Every Child Matters: the perceptions of a sample of initial teacher education trainees in England

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Publication details

JournalEuropean Journal of Teacher Education
DatePublished - 2009
Issue number4
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)383-399
Original languageEnglish


We discuss an investigation into the understandings of trainee teachers about government policy, using, as an example, the UK government's 'Every Child Matters' (ECM). We discuss the research methods used to gather and analyse data from 197 initial teacher education trainees in three institutions in England drawn from six subject areas. The project focussed on trainees' reactions to the anticipated outcomes of ECM and their confidence to help implement the initiative in their roles as form tutors (home room teachers) and subject teachers. Trainees react positively to ECM but reveal uncertainty about its precise meaning and about the roles they would need to adopt as teachers. We suggest that it is problematic for governments to expect teacher education communities to assist with the implementation of policies that have been inadequately characterised. We make recommendations about the role of initial teacher education in the further development of ECM.

    Research areas

  • educational policy, pre-service teacher education, student teacher attitudes, outcomes, quality, policy

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