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Researching Teacher Education and Training in England (Key Ethical and Methodological Concerns)

The present teacher education and training environment in England is characterised by schools and university partnerships and school-based only frameworks. There are however an increasing body of ‘independent’ teacher education providers. Out of this ‘new’ thinking has emerged labels and entities such as School Direct, Teach First, Troops to Teachers and School-Centred Initial Teacher Training.

This occurrence suggests that increasingly, research in teacher education and training is being carried out in a variety of schools’ contexts. This also provides researchers with a larger ‘ground’ in which to work and a diverse array of potential respondents and participants.

While there is always a ‘downside’ some may argue that the positives (such as the potential for ‘rich data’ and increased understanding of teacher education and training issue based on a wider pool of participants) out-weight the potential negatives–some are highlighted later in this article. Additionally, the highlighted negatives are also preventable with proper understanding and application of research knowledge and procedures. However, given this ‘new’ environment here are a few ethical and methodological concerns that I see as key.

Key Ethical Concerns

Increase in the pool of research participants and places means potentially, there is an increase in the number of people who can be negatively affected. This therefore lends importance to the need to promise and maintain both confidentiality and anonymity and for researchers to be vigilant in these matters.

A lapse in confidentiality and anonymity can have adverse effects on participants, bring the researcher and her or his affiliate University into disrepute and impact negatively relations between University, partnering schools and sometimes Local Educational Authority. On the extreme end of the spectrum of negative effects, a lapse in confidentiality and anonymity could lead to Job loss, or participants being ostracized especially when the research involves sensitive issues such as race, diversity, social Justice or culture.

It is my practice – where possible- to omit names and places in my research reports. However, if these are integral to your study they should only be included after obtaining appropriate consent from potential participants. The use of pseudonyms to conceal identities is a long-standing practice among researchers and continue to aid in achieving anonymity. Additionally, confidential information about children or staff should never be disclosed at any cost.

Other ethical issues which are akin to confidentiality and anonymity is openness, honesty and autonomy. As a researcher I always inform key people in the school and assure participants of their rights to withdraw from the researcher at any time, should they wish to do so, without fear of being penalised.

It is my opinion that if these ethical issues are not carefully attended to, they may lead to less than complete and honest responses from research participants which brings into question the research findings and conclusions.

Key Methodological/Procedural Concerns

The ‘new’ environment with its wide and diverse array of potential respondents and participants provides researchers with an enlarged participant pool from which to draw. This fact suggests the need for caution and care in selecting participants for your research. Participants must be ‘information rich’. Guba and Lincoln (1998) define ‘information rich’ participants as those who are able to provide insight into the issues being researched. It is worth stating here that inappropriate participants will affect the accuracy of the conclusions you draw and the potential impact your study could have.

The other key methodological or procedural concern is the need for a clearly defined research problem. In fact, getting this right, not only helps in selecting ‘information rich’ participants, but aid university based researchers to explain to potential respondents or participants in partnering schools the research focus and guides researchers’ actions and thoughts. Additionally, a clearly defined research problem also helps to determine an appropriate research framework or procedure (e.g. Biographical, Ethnographic, Phenomenological, or Applied Research) that could be used to solve a problem, data collection methods (Interview, survey, experimental) and data analysis approach (qualitative and/or quantitative)

So what have I said?

I said, key ethical concerns for researching teacher education in the ‘new’ teacher education environment in England are confidentiality and anonymity, openness, honesty and autonomy. Key methodological or procedural concerns are participants’ selection and clearly defined research problems. These are critical in light of the enlarged field of potential participant which emerges from the new environment.

Reference

Guba, E., G & Lincoln, Y., S. (1998). Competing paradigms in qualitative research. In Denzin, N., K., & Lincoln, Y., S. The Landscape of qualitative research theories and Issues. Sage USA.

Benefits of Live Chat Software in Educational and Training Institutions

Education and training

In the era of increased educational awareness, the education industry is growing every day with innovative courses and continuously developing with more scientific and professional way of teaching. At the same time, there are new institutions and training centers coming up every day. Nowadays, institutions have expanded their market globally. There is a stiff completion in every level of education, be it a kinder garden or a research institute.

When it come so lower level education, parents do understand the importance of giving their children a best start so that they have a bright future. In the same way, students seeking higher education are well-educated and aware of the options available in terms of courses to pursue and the institutions available.

Considering all the above discussed factors, educational institutions are forced to market themselves beyond boundaries using web. Students can see the courses offered and details associated on the website with few mouse clicks before choosing the institute. And while pursuing the course, they can also see their examination results and marks / grades in the same way.

What are the ways in which “live chat software” can help an educational institution?

Even though there are lots of information furnished on the website, students will still be in search of further information and may have lots of queries. They will be seeking clarification on various aspects before choosing the institute. It is at this point, a live chat system will play an important role.

With the help of a live a live communication facility enabled on the website, the representatives can engage the students / parents visiting the website in to a live chat conversation as the first step. Then, both the parties can discuss in detail. Representatives can answer any queries with pertinent answers. Aspects like “courses” available, “eligibility criteria” in the desired field, possible “streams” and associated teaching, training and allied facilities can be detailed with pertinent information.

Also, representatives can answer unique quires on fee structures, flexible payment schedules and possible scholarships available. Live chat software can be utilized with great efficiency as a “trust building” tool. Candidates can be elaborated with the food and “accommodation” facilities, sports and other activities.

Aspects like, “teaching and training methods” used, adopted “evaluation techniques”, library facilities can also be discussed in detail. And most importantly, representatives can explain in great detail about the “placement” initiatives taken by the institute and various” job opportunities” associated with the desired program.

Since all these details are provided first hand, this will increase the confidence level among the prospective candidates which in turn will increase the enrollment.

Education and Training: Can They Go Hand in Hand?

Organizational employees need some form of training on and off during their entire working career to enhance better skills and performance levels. According to experts, education should go hand in hand with training as professionals need to be educated to deliver better results at the workplace.

Studies have revealed how costly it is to have poorly trained or untrained employees. Training helps a person inculcate superior understanding of the workflow processes and increases his productivity over time.

Training programs help to

· Increase productivity and performance development

· Lower server loads and bandwidth costs

· Improve customer satisfaction

· Increase employee confidence and retention

· Enhance revenue

Education makes a man perfect and that is equally true for the corporate sector. By hosting a number of training sessions, you can educate your staff about updated corporate policies and how they can increase their working speed in less time.

Many industries require people with specific degrees or diplomas. These professionals bring with them various innovative ideas, information, theories, and expertise attained over a number of years by working on varied tasks and business goals. Educational training programs are also needed to gain knowledge on a specific subject matter. For example, when a new product is manufactured, the management needs to explain its features and technicalities to their entire working professionals as well as clients to get going with the process.

Education and training can help your professionals in a number of significant ways.

Reduce Costs

Organizations that arrange for training on a weekly or monthly basis can save company capital to a great extent. Through training, people achieve competency to use resources at a minimal costs.

Collateral Saving

Businesses can save expenses on bandwidth and servers via trainings. By storing documents and files in large shared databases, you can avert a good amount of money otherwise required for creating and maintaining local databases.

There are a variety of ways to organize training sessions

Onsite Training

It is the usual age-old way of conducting trainings and educational programs at a specific location. It involves booking a suitable venue, inviting prospective attendees and managing registration and payments manually.

Online Training

This is a more recent phenomenon where organizers conduct trainings over the internet via web conferencing facility. Registration, payment management, and emailing, everything can be done online. You as well as your participants need to have a PC with an internet connection to connect and complete the registration process to partake in the session.

Blended Training Option

There is this blended training system where you can open online registration yet conduct the program offline in a hotel banquet or in similar such places. It beautifully mixes both online and onsite methods to ensure greater success while educating professionals about the company and its products.