Supporting Mature Students in Primary Teacher Education: A Framework of Care (Diversifying the Teaching Profession: Dimensions, Dilemmas, and Directions for the Future)

Ryan / Routledge / September 2022

Diversifying the Teaching Profession Book Cover

This chapter shares research insights from working collaboratively with mature-age first-generation students throughout their first year of a primary, undergraduate, initial teacher education (ITE) programme as part of the Step into Teaching project, one of the Programme for Access to Higher Education (PATH), Strand 1 (Equity of Access to ITE) initiatives. The project’s approach to access and to supporting under-represented groups in higher education (HE) was underpinned by a caring, relational framework, informed by Tronto and Noddings. The research aspect of the project involved mapping the journey of the mature students, including through their engagement in semi-structured interviews, and then drawing on this mapping to iteratively develop the project supports. The findings suggest that, following Noddings’s educational understanding of care, mature ITE students, particularly those who are first-generation entrants to HE, can derive very significant academic and social benefits from supports collaboratively developed and delivered within a framework of care.