Teaching as a Masters profession in England: the need for continued debate

Jackson, Alison ORCID logo ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2631-4430 and Eady, Sandra (2012) Teaching as a Masters profession in England: the need for continued debate. Professional Development in Education, 38 (1). pp. 149-152.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/19415257.2011.554714


In this paper we suggest that teacher educators in higher education institutions (HEIs) in England are not fully convinced that teaching should be a Masters profession. The original engagement with Masters-level provision for student teachers in England seems to have been founded on a technicality rather than a committed philosophical stance as to the value of Masters for the teaching profession. The alignment of postgraduate qualifications across Europe (Bologna Declaration; European Commission 1999) highlighted a misnomer that had been used without question for years; the Postgraduate Certificate in Education did not include any Masters-level study and should not assume that title. Thus HEIs offering the Postgraduate Certificate in Education decided to resolve this dilemma by including Masters-level credits in their postgraduate programmes. Subsequently, the Children’s Plan (Department for Children, Schools and Families 2007, para. 4.24, p. 88) stated that: ‘to help fulfil our high ambitions for all children, and to boost the status of teaching still further, we now want it [teaching] to become a masters-level profession’, indicating the Labour Government’s intention at that time to endorse a move to teaching as a Masters profession in England. For the Labour Government (1997–2010), Masters study was conceptualised in the form of the Masters in Teaching and Learning and was seen in practical terms: ‘The Masters in Teaching and Learning (MTL) is a practice-based masters programme designed to help teachers gain the knowledge and skills they need to have a real impact in the classroom’ (Training and Development Agency for Schools [TDA] 2010). In December 2010 in a letter to the TDA, Michael Gove, Education Secretary of the new Coalition Government, withdrew central funding for the MTL. However he seemed to imply in this letter (Times Educational Supplement 2010) that a connection between teaching and Masters-level study would still be on this government’s agenda: ‘The quality of teaching and teachers’ professional development are of the utmost importance and I am committed to developing a strong culture of professional development where more teachers acquire postgraduate qualifications like masters and doctorates.’ It is against this shifting political scene that teacher educators present Masters study to student and practising teachers. The project reported in this paper takes a point in time when teacher educators from across England came together to discuss this issue and consider their position with respect to teaching as a Masters profession.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Professional Development in Education
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
ISSN: 1941-5265
Departments: Academic Departments > Institute of Education (IOE) > Non-Initial Teacher Education (Non-ITE)
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2018 11:40
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 10:45
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/4050


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