Theories of learning and the Teacher Educator


Teacher Educators in the Further Education (FE) sector are charged with ensuring that trainees understand and are able to apply learning theory. Their own development needs in this regard are unknown. The overall objective of a two stage project undertaken for the Huddersfield University Distributed Centre for Excellence in Teacher Training (HUDCETT) was to work towards the development and utilisation of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) systems and resources for Teacher Educators. Stage 1 of the project, reported here, aimed to identify current practice within teacher education communities in terms of the delivery of learning theory, and also to identify related CPD needs. Research findings draw attention to the wide range of theory covered in teacher education for the sector, with individual trainees receiving widely varying curricula as it relates to learning theory. The majority of Teacher Educators surveyed valued both practice and research evidence in determining the choice of theory to cover in their delivery. The survey also indicated that for some of them, an awareness of research evidence exerted no influence. For several, theories were selected because they were the ones best understood by the Teacher Educator concerned. There was evidence that a minority of Teacher Educators subscribed to claims made about learning lacking a robust evidence base. A variety of CPD and support measures were valued by the Teacher Educators surveyed, with one of the measures most highly valued emphasising the importance for Teacher Educators of collaborative group learning.

How to Cite

Noel, P., (2011) “Theories of learning and the Teacher Educator”, Teaching in Lifelong Learning 3(2). doi:









Penny Noel






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