Education for Social Change: The Case of Teacher Education in Wales
2.1. Developing the Curriculum for Wales
- Ambitious, capable learners, ready to learn throughout their lives;
- Enterprising, creative contributors, ready to play a full part in life and work;
- Ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world;
- Healthy, confident individuals, ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society  (p. 11).
- Develop an appreciation of sustainable development and the challenges facing humanity;
- Be afforded the space to generate creative ideas and to critically evaluate alternatives—in an ever-changing world, flexibility and the ability to develop more ideas will enable learners to consider a wider range of alternative solutions when things change  (p. 26).
2.2. What the CFW Means for Teacher Agency and Expectations
There’s nothing really new in Donaldson it’s just good teaching, and the good teachers have been teaching in an Donaldson-esque way for a considerable length of time, it’s just they didn’t know what it was. It’s just good teaching—making sure that it’s relevant to the pupils (p. 39).
“It’s a difficult one because it’s ‘change your mindset’ more than resource.”
“I think a lot of heads will need to become far more creative and change their mindsets, look at the curriculum design issue. It’s not going to be a box ticking exercise thank god, we’ve had that. This has got to be a lot more evolved and it’s got to be a change of mindset.”
“Have they got the skills to do those things because we’ve never taught in that particular way and you can’t just suddenly change the mindset of a profession that’s almost going to take a generation to re-educate that profession to do things differently” (p. 47).
2.3. Curriculum for Wales Delivery and Assessment
2.3.1. CFW Delivery
2.3.2. Assessment in the CFW
Refining work is encouraged throughout one of the statements of what matters in this Area, with the aim of building skills in self-evaluation and reflection. The evaluation involved in the creative process enables learners to develop reflective, questioning and problem-solving skills, as well as to challenge perceptions and identify solutions. Learners may demonstrate resilience in applying critical appraisal of their work and be expected to respond positively to critical feedback. Learners can develop problem-solving skills by experimenting with a variety of arts and artistic techniques (p. 65).
2.3.3. Active, Informed, and Responsible Citizens
The place where we feel we belong, where the people and landscape around us are familiar, and the sights and sounds are reassuringly recognisable. Though often translated as ‘habitat’, cynefin is not just a place in a physical or geographical sense: it is the historic, cultural and social place which has shaped and continues to shape the community which inhabits it” (p. 241).
Reflecting the inquisitive entrepreneur, learners become aware of their shortfall in knowledge through their own experience, rather than simply being told it. They also learn to look around a problem and not just to see it at face value, or are encouraged to find problems within scenarios presented to them as a project assignment brief. Finding these problems is a necessity—failure to do so results in learners not being able to engage with the scenario (p. 405).
Students are expected to communicate and debate their thinking processes and enter into a discussion of their work with tutors and peers and in later studies when appropriate with external stakeholders such as industry practitioners, clients and community members (p. 7).
The highest grades are given to those who can argue for a range of distinctly different yet justifiable solutions. The number of alternative solutions required will be determined by the educator, who will consider the developmental stage of the learners. New students may be asked to present only two alternatives, whereas more accomplished students will be more challenged, with 6 to 12 alternatives (p. 7).
4.3. Social Change, Sustainability, and Entrepreneurial Education
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Learning and Teaching in the CFW|
|Assessment in the CFW|
|Education for Social Change in the CFW|
|Academic papers (incl. conference presentations)||8|
|Reports (e.g., technical policy reports)||3|
|External UWTSD documentation||1|
|Internal UWTSD documentation||2|
|Other resources (e.g., project websites and blogs)||2|
|CFW Guidance on Delivery||UWTSD Implementation||Example|
|Learning and teaching should be collaborative and cross-disciplinary||Trainee teachers at UWTSD are engaged in collaborative teaching and peer support to extend the range of strategies and methods they employ within their teaching and to seek to continually improve themselves to the benefit of their learners.||As part of the Professional Graduate Certificate in Education, trainee teachers are engaged in workshops to practice and develop their skills in teaching, research and critical analysis, resource development, experimentation with traditional and creative pedagogies, application of digital technology skills, self-reflection, and peer and self-evaluation; they also engage in project work to develop their knowledge and ideas with both peers and teaching staff .|
|Learning and teaching should make use of external practitioners||UWTSD has a long history of engaging alumni as sources of information for evaluation and as external practitioners.||UWTSD alumni have contributed to programme development. Especially, their “ideas, perceptions and experiences, networks and contacts, have provided particularly rich empirical evidence that enabled comprehensive and detailed consideration and evaluation”  (p. 234).|
|Learning and teaching should be delivered using a range of teaching and learning approaches||UWTSD designs “fit for purpose” learning and assessment, ensuring that is it constructively aligned. Cognition research into insightful as well as analytical thinking theoretically underpins this approach.||Penaluna et al.  explored practical measures of how student performance can be assessed and argued that inappropriate assessment strategies can significantly inhibit the creativity of students and teachers.|
|Learning and teaching should take place in a range of contexts and be cross-curricular||UWTSD’s approaches borrow learning methodologies from design education, which seeks to create value for others through seeing multiple perspectives within wicked problem-solving scenarios.||For example, UWTSD makes use of pedagogies such as curiosity-based learning that distinguishes between, at first, focussing on divergent thinking (opening minds and synthesis), and then converging (analytical and solution-focused) to generate ideas and explore possible solutions [47,48,49].|
|Learning and teaching should allow for learners to develop their skills (e.g., critical thinking, problem solving, decision-making) and for them to generate different types of value (financial, cultural, social, and learning)||For over 10 years, UWTSD has been involved in various international innovation projects focussed on mainstreaming entrepreneurial education skills among teachers.||UWTSD was involved in the EU-level ADEPTT (http://adeptt.blogspot.com/, accessed on 4 June 2021), Eco System App (https://ecosystemapp.net/, accessed on 4 June 2021), EntreAssess (http://entreassess.com/, accessed on 4 June 2021), and EntreCompEdu (https://entrecompedu.eu/, accessed on 4 June 2021) projects. |
Dr. Jan Barnes, UWTSD Senior Lecturer in Cross-curriculum close to practice enquiry and research, described for the EntreAssess project in 2018 how she develops trainee teachers’ entrepreneurial skills .
The EU-funded policy reform project EntreCompEdu, led by UWTSD, developed a professional skills framework of entrepreneurial education and ran a teacher training course with over 400 teachers globally .
|Learning and teaching should ensure exposure to local, national, and international contexts at different stages of development||UWTSD has been involved in international teaching and research projects to develop teacher education for many years. Learners participate regularly in these opportunities.||Educators engaged in the development of the EntreCompEdu programme. As part of this training programme, they engage with educators from other countries, learn together, and exchange teaching ideas . |
UWTSD also co-hosts international events, e.g., as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, for their students . For example, they hosted Fiorina Mugione, previously the Chief of Entrepreneurship at the United Nations.
|Learning and teaching should take place in authentic context(s)||UWTSD makes extensive use of guest speakers (including alumni) in their teacher training.||For instance, guest speakers are invited to inform trainee teachers of recent developments within the field of post-compulsory education and to enable learners to view education in relation to different contexts. This also includes EdD students. |
See also this blog reflecting on an alumni-led event and [37,49] (https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/users/enterprisecentre/stepping-back-to-go-forward-alumni-voices/, accessed on 31 May 2021)
|CFW Guidance on Assessment||UWTSD Implementation||Example|
|Assessment should enable reflection on learner progress over time (e.g., it should inform a learner on their strengths and achievements, as well as areas for improvement and, if relevant, barriers to learning)||UWTSD supports learners extensively via formative feedback.||An adaptation of the Art and Design “Crit” is used to enhance peer to peer learning—through the justification of multiple solutions, which are expected to be argued for their distinctiveness from each other (Forced Divergent Thinking) [37,49].|
|Assessment should enable reflection on group progress over time too (e.g., at school level)||Alumni join classes to reflect on their learning in their own teaching contexts.||“Glorious Failure” is a teaching/assessment approach in which students are allowed to “fail” if they reflect upon the why and articulate the reasoning .|
|A wide range of assessment approaches should be used to provide a holistic picture of learners’ development||Students are subject to various summative and formative assessment methods such as project work, presentations/pitches, self-reflection, as well as self-evaluation, peer evaluation, and external expert review/feedback. |
In addition, UWTSD has been and is actively involved in research in entrepreneurial education assessment to help educators develop progress in their assessment challenge.
|UWTSD educators have been part of the EU-funded EntreAssess project that published assessment methods, tools and examples to help educators with assessing entrepreneurial teaching and learning. The project focussed on practical and easy-to-use assessment methods and aimed to help enhance students’ learning in entrepreneurial education and support the quality of education and outcomes in European contexts .|
|There should be engagement between the learner and the world outside of school, incl. parents or carers, and practitioners||UWTSD has a long history of engaging alumni as sources of information for evaluation and as external practitioners.||If an educator is innovative, they can “only be realistically evaluated and validated by their learners”, in other words: alumni  (p. 29). Consequently, alumni engagement and the empowerment of alumni to return to university and provide advice as well as share their experience of their education, for instance, preparing them for their work, are crucial. |
See also .
|Learners should participate in the assessment process (e.g., reflect on their learning journey)||Students are encouraged to “fail fast” and to be comfortable making mistakes and learning from them (“glorious failures”).||“Glorious failures” denotes a concept that accepts that what is new will likely be a prototype that is improved with testing and feedback. In education, it means understanding and accepting that interventions will be prototypes, which means for both students and educators, the experience itself will be as valid as the immediate outcome .|
|As learners progress, they should become increasingly effective. This includes increasingly successful approaches to self-evaluation, identification of their next steps in learning and more effective means of self-regulation||UWTSD is continuously involved in developing training programmes focussed on teachers’ continuous development.||UWTSD has been the project lead for the EU-funded policy reform project EntreCompEdu (2018–2020). It supports educators in developing their entrepreneurial education skills. |
The EntreCompEdu framework builds on good pedagogy in the field of entrepreneurial education. The framework rests on six pedagogical principles: (i) think creatively, (ii) look to the real world for inspiration, (iii), promote collaboration with a purpose, (iv) create something of value for others, (v) stimulate reflection, flexible thinking and learning from experience, and (vi) make entrepreneurial learning visible .
|CFW Guidance on Social Change||UWTSD Implementation||Example|
|Learners should be empowered to become active agents of building a socially just and sustainable society||The University’s sustainability statement commits UWTSD to deliver “meaningful and relevant educational pathways.” This includes promoting learning and social responsibility, which supports what the Brundtland Commission in 1987 has described as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” .||The PGCE/PCE programmes aim to produce learners who |
“understand their professional responsibilities in relation to ESD, with particular regard to the development of practice and engagement within the classroom, and the ability to understand, critically evaluate and adopt thoughtful sustainability values.” Teacher trainees are encouraged to “experiment with pedagogies that embed ESD and consider sustainability through critical reflective practice and evaluation”  (p. 31).
|Learner engagement is emphasised. Learning should take place in authentic contexts across curricular areas||For UWTSD, collaboration with industry is a key focus. It facilitates “more value creation opportunities for students” while also augmenting learners’ employability . At the same time, industry collaboration allows UWTSD learners to explore value creation opportunities for the development of new sustainable businesses, products, and services.||UWTSD has been ranked 1st in Wales and 2nd in the UK in 2018/19 by the HESA for the number of graduate businesses running for three years or more . Over 550 alumni are enhancing and supporting UWTSD’s entrepreneurial education ambitions.|
|Enterprising spirit and action competence. Being able to create value of different kinds—financial, cultural and social||UWTSD in teaching about (and through) entrepreneurial education focuses on value creation that is ecological, humane and social, in addition to the traditional economic value creation.||In 2020, UWTSD teaching staff launched the “Harmonious Entrepreneurship Society” to “set up and advance harmonious approaches to entrepreneurship to address the sustainability challenge facing our planet” . |
All units in the PGCE/PCET/PCE programmes are also mapped against the university’s “Education for Sustainable Development” plan, which outlines skills developed in the teacher trainees .
|Learners should become enterprising in managing their own and others‘ resources, valuing failure as a part of the creative process, and relatedly strengthening their employability skills||Creativity and innovation are at the heart of UWTSD’s mission to enhance graduate employability and the number of graduate start-ups.||UWTSD has been ranked 1st in Wales and 2nd in the UK in 2018/19 by the HESA for the number of graduate businesses running for three years or more . Over 550 alumni are enhancing and supporting UWTSD’s entrepreneurial education ambitions.|
|Learners should become sustainable citizens through a sustainable education, and should be able to respond to challenges of a social, economic and environmental nature||UWTSD’s Sustainability Statement focuses on providing meaningful education that considers social responsibility and the needs of future generations.||The university aims to “utilise our collective skills, knowledge and technology to enable the University and its graduates to offer solutions to the most urgent societal challenges—in Wales and further afield. We are also committed to building a sustainable society driven through enterprising innovation and entrepreneurship”  (p. 3).|
|Learners should be able to make responsible decisions, to act as caring, participative citizens of their local, national, and global communities, committed to justice, diversity and the protection of the environment||Entrepreneurial value creation—where value may be cultural, social, or environmental, in addition to economic—is well understood in UWTSD teaching.||UWTSD’s “Harmonious Entrepreneurship Society” was set up to advance entrepreneurial approaches that have sustainability at their heart .|
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Weicht, R.; Jónsdóttir, S.R. Education for Social Change: The Case of Teacher Education in Wales. Sustainability 2021, 13, 8574. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13158574
Weicht R, Jónsdóttir SR. Education for Social Change: The Case of Teacher Education in Wales. Sustainability. 2021; 13(15):8574. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13158574Chicago/Turabian Style
Weicht, Rebecca, and Svanborg R. Jónsdóttir. 2021. "Education for Social Change: The Case of Teacher Education in Wales" Sustainability 13, no. 15: 8574. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13158574