I have spent all of my professional life working with children and young people. Initially I was part of the County of Avon’s Youth Services as a youth and community worker, but then moved to education as a primary school teacher. In my career as a teacher I was fortunate to have responsibility for curriculum and assessment, allowing me an insight to the experiences children required to make good progress in their learning. As acting Deputy Headteacher my wider responsibilities included staff development and career progression. This opportunity provided me with an understanding of how teachers develop from trainee to senior leadership. In 1999, when considering whether to apply for headship, I decided to move to an academic career at Bath Spa University, which I believed would provide me with opportunities to research the relationship between children’s learning and teacher’ professional development.
My initial role at BSU was that of PGCE English Co-ordinator. My responsibility was to ensure trainees were confident and competent in their teaching of language and literacy, especially in phonics. In my next role as Programme Leader for the Primary and Early Years route my focus was to work with secondary colleagues to harmonise the PGCE provision and further develop our partnership with schools. A strong university and school partnership became central to the success of the programme, and in 2011 the PGCE programme was awarded ‘outstanding’ by OfSTED.
I have the greatest respect for all those who successfully complete their training and become outstanding teachers. Their impact on children’s learning and well-being is evident in schools, both locally and nationally.
I believe teaching is a noble profession. I am dedicated to researching the many factors that result in the successful training and continual professional development of teachers. Along with colleagues in the Bath Spa partnership, we have explored the concept of a 'Bath Spa Teacher Researcher' (BSTR), the name we give to our PGCE trainees. Central to this concept is the development of our profiling and assessment framework, the Profile Characteristics. Embedded in this framework are the values we believe underpin education and the teaching profession, along with the Teachers’ Standards, a requirement for teachers.
My international interests are in relation to working with and supporting Arab teacher training colleges in Israel. This joint venture with the British Council, four Arab colleges and four English universities, including Bath Spa University focuses on the training and development of teachers. Although the contexts and cultures of the institutions, both in England and Israel differ, there are many similarities in the practices of selection, training and educating the next generation of professional teachers. This will be the focus of further research.
During the last year, as Head of Initial Teacher Education, my focus and responsibility has been on advancing national and local initiatives in teacher training. These have included:
• Teach First - working in partnership with the University of Bristol to develop and deliver a South West PGCE and leadership programme for top graduates.
• Troops to Teachers - as part of a consortium of seven universities across England, to design and deliver a unique undergraduate provision for Service Leavers.
• School Direct - in collaboration with Teaching Schools and academies to develop bespoke models of school-led PGCE provision.
• The PGCE partnership - developing clusters of working practice resulting in high calibre teachers to the teaching profession.
I relish the opportunity to be involved in the development and delivery of these new and exciting pathways to the teaching profession. In collaboration with colleagues from schools and universities, locally, regionally and nationally, we will advance a range of innovative and bespoke models of teacher training that will impact positively on children and young people’s progress and learning.
- BA (Hons) 1st, with QTS
- Educational Doctorate. application pending
- Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).
- Vice Chair of UCET Primary Committee
- CERC (Children and the Environment Research centre)
- TACTYC (Training, advancement and Co-operation in Teaching Young Children.
- Teacher Education
- English pedagogy and subject knowledge
- Early Years
- Place based learning.
- Working with partnership schools and universities to advance models of teacher training exploring personalised and bespoke professional routes
- Researching an international understanding of practices relating to the selection, training and andeducation of future teachers, both in England and Israel
- Researching a place-based and local curriculum in Bath and Bristol
- Working with schools to research and develop a range of possible ways into teaching through exploring personalised and custom-made professional routes.
Other external roles
- Supporting universities with phonics provision
- External Reviews of PGCE provision
- Consultant to schools on aspects of curriculum and development
- Chair of Personnel Committee on Secondary Cooperative School governing body
- Curriculum Committee on Primary Academy governing body.
Recent professional updating
- The Teachers' Standards, national and local training
- OfSTED Framework for ITT, national and local
- UCET conferences, 2013, 2012, 2011
- UCET Primary Committee 2013, 2012, 2011
- Equality and Diversity conferences, 2011, on the Equalities Act 2010
- Westminster Education Forum Select Committee (2009), the New Curriculum (2010), the Future of Primary Education (2010).
Research and academic outputs
Reclaiming teacher education: a conversational journey of realization, innovation and determination through imposed national policies
Black, P and Sorensen, N (2019) 'Reclaiming teacher education: a conversational journey of realization, innovation and determination through imposed national policies.' In: Sorensen, N, ed. Diversity in Teacher Education: perspectives on a school-led system. UCL IOE Press, London. ISBN 9781782772521
Innovative approaches to early childhood education for sustainability in England: case studies from the field
Barratt, R, Barratt-Hacking, E and Black, P (2014) 'Innovative approaches to early childhood education for sustainability in England: case studies from the field.' In: Davis, J and Elliott, S, eds. Research in early childhood education for sustainability: international perspectives and provocations. Routledge, Abingdon. ISBN 9780415854481
Rose, J, Black, P, Hughes, S and McMahon, K (2014) 'Talk, narrative and sustained shared thinking.' In: Davies, D, Howe, A, Collier, C, Digby, R, Earle, S and McMahon, K, eds. Teaching science and technology in the early years (3-7). 2nd ed. Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 33-53. ISBN 9780415825580
Black, P and Hughes, S (2003) 'Using narrative to support young children's learning in science and D&T.' In: Davies, D and Howe, A, eds. Teaching science and technology in the early years. David Fulton, London, pp. 38-50. ISBN 9781853468803
Whiting, C, Whitty, G, Menter, I, Black, P, Hordern, J, Parfitt, A, Reynolds, K and Sorensen, N (2018) 'Diversity and complexity: becoming a teacher in England in 2015-16.' Review of Education, 6 (1). pp. 69-96. ISSN 2049-6613
McMahon, K, McKay, D, Howarth, L, Barber, K, Humphreys, K, Lee, A, Etchells, P.J, Black, P and Yeh, C.S.-H (2020) The learning sciences in the (Primary) Initial Teacher Education curriculum. In: Universities' Council for the Education of Teachers (UCET) Annual Conference, 3 - 4 November 2020, London, UK [online].
Noble-Rogers, B and Black, P (2016) Keys to ITE success: partnership; mentoring; assessment and the rest! In: UCET Annual Conference, 8 - 9 November 2016, Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel, Birmingham, UK.
'The dog ate my homework, the cat ate my test': what we know about child development and learning to teach
Reynolds, K and Black, P (2016) 'The dog ate my homework, the cat ate my test': what we know about child development and learning to teach. In: Reframing Teacher Education for Learning Equity, 11 March 2016, University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.
Barratt, R, Barratt-Hacking, E, McGuinness, M, Barratt-Hacking, E and Black, P (2011) Developing a community place-based curriculum through science and technology. In: Association for Science Education Annual Conference, 5 - 10 January 2011, University of Reading.
Towards a new topography of ITT: a profile of Initial Teacher Training in England 2015-16. An Occasional Paper from the IFE No.1
Whiting, C, Black, P, Hordern, J, Parfitt, A, Reynolds, K, Sorensen, N and Whitty, G (2016) Towards a new topography of ITT: a profile of Initial Teacher Training in England 2015-16. An Occasional Paper from the IFE No.1. Bath Spa University, Institute for Education, Bath. ISBN 9780992633899
Black, P and Brown, B.M (2017) Comments. Next steps for the teaching workforce in Wales: initial teacher education, retention and continuing professional development. p. 63.