Developing understanding of Student-Teacher Agency: Implications for Programme Development

Helen Coker

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Developing student teachers to become confident and effective professionals is a central aim of teacher education programmes. Developing understanding of student-teacher agency - the ways in which student teachers actively participate in their learning - has the potential to inform programme development. Working in the context of a blended learning Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) programme, the research presented here aimed to develop understanding of student-teacher agency, with the purpose of informing programme development. Deepening our understanding of the student teacher experience enabled critical reflection on the design and delivery of the programme, informing our developments.

Taking a narrative stance, data were generated from fifty-three student teachers, during a discussion activity in which they reflected on their experiences during the PGDE year. Analysis utilised Priestley, Biesta and Robinson’ (2015) framework for Teacher Agency. Findings suggested that student teachers’ peripheral positioning, to the community of professional teachers, influences their approach to their own learning during the PGDE year. Findings directly informed the development of programme structures. Deeper understanding of student-teacher agency has informed our practice in a blended learning environment: Understanding these aspects of the student-teacher experience has the potential to inform the development of programmes utilising different methods of delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-63
Number of pages12
JournalTeacher Education Advancement Network Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2017


  • Teacher-education
  • Student-teacher Agency
  • Programme development
  • Blended Learning
  • Critical Reflection
  • 23ref2021


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