England’s essentialist teacher education policy frameworks as double texts

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterpeer-review


This chapter argues that the current essentialist framing of what teachers need to know in teacher education policy in England (Department for Education [DfE], 2019a; DfE, 2019b), uses these policies as double texts. That is, the ITT Core Content Framework [CCF] (DfE, 2019a) and Early Career Framework [ECF] (DfE, 2019b) prioritize certain knowledge bases whilst placing other vital knowledge and skills for the effective professional development of student teachers and Early Career Teachers, out of sight. This is done through the omission of important theory and evidence, the narrow and isolated representation of evidence from cognitive psychology (Turvey et al., 2019; Baird, 2022) and the monopoly of the narrative of evidence in teacher education and development. Through a brief analysis of the discourse of ‘learning’ in two centralized teacher education policies, I examine how evidence about learning, that would question the marketized neo-conservative ideologies of education are absent in policy. The effect is to deprive teachers of a rich and agentive professional development. The CCF and the ECF (DfE, 2019a; DfE, 2019b) are central policy frameworks for teacher development in England and I consider how they may operate, as policy double texts (Schostak, 2020) to monopolize the narrative of what teachers need to know in order to become effective teachers, exploiting an essentialist philosophy of teacher education and learning in education.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTeacher Education in Crisis
Subtitle of host publicationThe State, the Market and the Universities in England
EditorsViv Ellis
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
ISBN (Electronic)9781350399686
ISBN (Print)9781350399662
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2023


  • teacher education
  • essentialism
  • cognitive load theory
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • policy


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