The projects begin

ITT Study

Zhe has been very busy trying to get to grips with the organisation of initial teacher training in England. It is very complex. We have begun to design the survey and have conducted three pilot structured interviews using the survey questions. We have made a number of modifications already. Piloting is very important.

Zhe is also compiling a list of ITT contacts in universities – we will begin with the telephone survey in universities as we don’t want to bother schools just yet.

We have already realised that we need to do more work than was originally anticipated. We need to talk to primary ITT course leaders, but also to at least one of the people who teaches one of the arts disciplines. We also need to try to find out what is offered in at least two of the partner primary schools, as it is clear to us now that universities may not be the place where the creative arts are “taught”. This may happen in the school. We have decided to ask university course leaders if they can suggest two schools we might approach for information. We are also aware that it would be very helpful if we could get some kind of picture from the IT trainees themselves about how much creative arts they actually “learn” about in the partner schools.

We have been tempted to pursue what is actually taught about creativity and the creative arts, as well as where, and for how long, and we will do some of this – but we can’t get too much detail. Just not enough time. We now suspect that there may be follow on work to do once we have done this initial project.

We are currently intending to go to school providers in the next school year, but we are also aware of the advice about another Covid19 spike in winter which would disrupt this plan. Timing is so tricky!

Art rich primary school project

Helen began working on the arts rich primary school project on March 8. The first task is to establish the criteria and process for choosing our 20 arts rich schools. We are also revisiting several other primary school research projects to see what they examined and how. We can see already that most of the case-study based projects did not get any, or much data from children, and this reinforces our decision to include pupils. But it also means that we need to think very carefully about what we ask children, when and how.

Photo by Phil Hearing on Unsplash