This paper explores the tensions which arose when encouraging vocational trainee teachers to participate in meaningful action research within an academic framework. Trainees expressed concerns when encountering the university-mandated action research module, and they appeared to be inhibited by research terminology and academic literature. The author investigated ways to motivate trainees to independently research their practice. This account explores how the author sought to overcome these challenges through designing strategies to motivate trainees to adopt action research as a productive approach to learning about teaching. It outlines the challenges of supporting their achievement of the teaching qualification whilst fostering their fundamental commitment to an enquiring approach to their professional practice. The author devised strategies to make the action research process more accessible, and to shift trainees’ perceptions that research could only be practised by those of proven academic ability. This process was educative for both the trainees and Teacher Educator.


Beginning teachers, action research, vocational teacher education, academic terminology, perceptions, evidence-based improvements to practice

How to Cite
Mattinson E. (2018) “‘Just Tell Me What To Do’: The Challenges of Facilitating Professional Judgement in Vocational Trainee Teachers”, Teaching in Lifelong Learning. 8(2). doi: https://doi.org/10.5920/till.536





Elaine Mattinson (HUDCETT)

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

Peer Review

This article has been peer reviewed.

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