Skip to main content

The findings will have implications for education research, policy and practice. Image courtesy of Shutterstock

New inquiry into the cost, value and quality of teacher education and medical education

A major new inquiry run by academics at the University of Exeter could inform Government policy about the education of thousands of new teachers and doctors in England.

Experts at the University’s Graduate School of Education have set up a new commission to seek to discover what teacher educators and medical educators can learn from each other. The two communities, which carry out training in similar ways and face similar decision-making pressures, will be able to share ideas.

Academics will investigate the nature of the evidence used to make judgements about the cost, value and quality of professional learning. The commission includes economists, and members will explore if their expertise could enable more sophisticated decision making by policy makers and practitioners.

The inquiry is funded by the British Educational Research Association as part of a new Research Commission initiative.

The findings will have implications for education research, policy and practice. It is hoped it will lead to an “observatory” being formed so experts can continue to develop ideas which will help to improve decision making to support the development of excellent professional education.

The inquiry, called Cost, Value and Quality in Professional Learning: promoting economic literacy in medical and teacher education, is being led by Vivienne Baumfield and Karen Mattick, co-leaders of the Centre for Research in Professional Learning (CRPL) at the University of Exeter.

Professor Baumfield said: “Everyone involved in developing teachers, from Government, to existing teachers and academics, wants this process to be of the highest possible quality, and for it to be maximum value for money.

“We want to encourage dialogue involving everyone engaged in the education of teachers, doctors and health workers to share ideas and break down the silos in which each profession is currently working.

“The aim of the commission is that we create an environment where contributors trust each other. We need to open this dialogue with economists, and use their expertise not in a crude “profit and loss” way, but to encourage sophisticated decision making.”

Professor Mattick said: “We are excited at the prospect of working closely with teacher educators to compare and contrast our two fields and learn from their perspectives on cost, quality and value.”

Evidence will be taken from witnesses from the Universities of Aberdeen, Glasgow, Exeter, Monash, Cambridge, Oxford, Cardiff and Durham as well as experts from BMJ Learning at the events. The first was held last week, and the next will be held in April.

Date: 16 February 2016

Read more University News