How do teachers know what they know about HE? An investigation into teachers' HE knowledge base and how it is acquired

R. Foster

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    This paper reports the findings of a research project carried out with secondary school teachers in the North West of England about their knowledge of opportunities in Higher Education (HE). The research is the initial phase of an Aimhigher development project aimed at enhancing the knowledge and skills base of teachers in the North West region who will be involved in giving guidance to pupils on options beyond 16, thereby supporting the increased participation of young people in Higher Education. Edge Hill is working in partnership on this project with Manchester Metropolitan University and Greater Merseyside Connexions. The research findings will inform the development work being undertaken by Greater Merseyside Connexions in relation to information resources and will provide a comparative perspective with the parallel research in post-16 colleges being undertaken by Manchester Metropolitan University. The starting point for this research was the consistent evidence of two significant factors in decisions by young people about entering HE. The first of these is that, for many young people, choosing HE is a process that begins early in their education, 2 often in the 12 – 14 age range, i.e. Key Stage 3. For example, as long ago as 1996, Howieson and Semple identified the need for guidance and support at an earlier age than it was typically offered. More recent research (e.g. Foskett et al 2004) comes to similar conclusions. The second factor is the strong evidence that many students will seek and take notice of the opinion and advice of a teacher whom they know well and trust rather than necessarily the ‘expert’ person, e.g. Careers or Aimhigher Coordinator. In the words of Foskett et al (2004): ‘ …teachers were seen also as being influential in the choices of pupils, particularly if they were perceived as inspirational.’ (Foskett et al, 2004:29) The investigation sought answers to the following questions: • What demands are made of teachers who work with Key Stage 3 and 4 pupils in terms of guiding or advising pupils about opportunities in HE? • How do teachers acquire their knowledge and understanding of HE? • In what areas of HE knowledge do teachers feel most secure and most challenged? • What additional sources of update information about HE would teachers find most useful?
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2005
    EventBritish Educational Research Association (BERA) Conference - University of Glamorgan, Pontypridd, United Kingdom
    Duration: 14 Sept 200517 Sept 2005


    ConferenceBritish Educational Research Association (BERA) Conference
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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