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‘Further Education Teachers Talking about Students’ Learning’

Salisbury J, Jephcote M, and Roberts J


The discussion of learning and teaching in this paper is based on data from a research project funded by the ESRC/TLRP programme.  The research project is investigating the experiences of learning and working in further education colleges in Wales and the data used in this paper were collected during the first 3 months of the project from in depth, semi-structured interviews with 27 teachers.

This paper begins from the simple proposition that it is important to locate teachers and learners as active participants in at least some of the processes of learning.  More specifically, the character of these processes is shaped by the nature of the social contexts in which interaction occurs and the ways in which teachers and students construct their roles within it.  Our analysis of the data suggests that teachers’ conceptualisations of their students’ learning can be related not only to their own and students’ backgrounds and learning biographies, but also to the wider structural context within which learning in FE is currently located. This kind of analysis has implications for how to analyse learning processes both theoretically and methodologically and the ways in which researchers convey their findings to a practitioner audience.

Research Papers in Education, (2008), ISBN