Chris Carpenter


In May 2014 Michael Gove Secretary of State for Education announced that there would be a review into Initial Teacher Training (ITT) in the UK. The report was led by Andrew Carter OBE, the Headteacher of a school-centred ITT provider and ITT lead on the Teaching Schools Council. The report was published in January 2015 and one of the principle recommendations in the report was a call for evidence based teaching (EBT).

In this paper it is proposed that in broad terms the call for EBT is not well defined. On the one hand it can be seen as a positive recommendation especially if this heralds a sustained engagement with scholarship. However, EBT should not be viewed as an unquestioned good because it can also be seen as the search for ‘perfect practice’. Given that education is a concern with human relationships and recognising the heterogeneity of educational contexts, the reduction of teaching to a sharply defined set of behaviours is problematic. This reduction is especially difficult given that this places teacher preparation within the purview of the more restrictive ‘technical rationalist’ model of professionalism.