Fisher, Roy and Webb, Keith (2006) Subject specialist pedagogy and initial teacher training for the learning and skills sector in England: the context, a response and some critical issues. Journal of further and higher education, 30 (4). pp. 337-349. ISSN 1469-9486

This paper explores tensions arising from the dynamics of educational change. The focus is on higher education programmes preparing teachers for the learning and skills sector (LSS) in England. Recent policy initiatives relating to this provision have insisted on the development of subject specialist pedagogy. Powerful social, political and economic considerations, together with practical concerns, have combined in recent decades in a way that has propelled the LSS curriculum, and the training of those who deliver it, in an opposite direction to this new imperative. The momentum for change at both the macro and micro levels within the LSS has been, since the 1980s, towards the provision of multidisciplinary curricula and generic teacher training. Resistance to this trend has largely been seen as reactionary and conservative. Teacher educators for the LSS are now being required to implement curriculum change that, at an abstract level, is not consistent with the predominant model and they are (apparently) without a practicable mechanism for doing so. One means that has the potential to address the ‘subject specialist pedagogy’ requirement has been relatively neglected. A collaborative initiative involving four universities in exploiting new technology to address the policy priority for subject specialist pedagogy is outlined and a number of critical contextual issues are identified

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