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Teachers as advocates for widening participation

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In England and Australia, higher education institutions (HEIs) are expected to widen participation (WP) in higher education (HE) to enhance social justice and improve individual and national economic returns. Furthermore, HEIs are the major providers of initial and in-service teacher education. This article surveys international literature to explore ways in which teacher education programmes could and do contribute to preparing teachers to advocate for WP, including drawing on learning from WP research that demonstrates the value of current HE students engaging young people in schools and colleges to support them in seriously considering progressing to HE. We conclude that teachers and pre-service teachers are well placed to be advocates for WP. In the majority of higher education institutions, however, WP and teacher education functions are not working collaboratively to embed advocacy for WP into teacher education programmes.
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Keywords: access; advocates; ambassadors; initial teacher training; newly qualified teachers; pre-service teacher education; students; widening participation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2012

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  • The journal is based on the belief that there are neglected links between research and theory, and policy and practice in the promotion of widening participation in post-compulsory education and lifelong learning. It aims to provide a forum for the development of theory, the addressing of policy questions and the dissemination of innovative practice in the field of widening participation and lifelong learning.
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