A difficult realisation: the proletarianisation of higher education-based teacher educators

Viv Ellis, Melissa Glackin, Deb Heighes, Mel Norman, Sandra Nicol, Kath Norris, Ingrid Spencer, Jane McNicholl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Written collaboratively with research participants, this article reports the main findings of the Work of Teacher Education project that studied the labour of 13 higher education-based teacher educators in England and Scotland over the course of a year. The priority of maintaining relationships with schools (and between schools and student teachers) is noted and 'relationship maintenance' is advanced as a defining characteristic of teacher educators' work. Policy changes and their impact on institutional structures and roles, variations in organisational arrangements and research activity are also discussed. The paper concludes by arguing that a new conceptualisation of the work of teacher educators as academic work is essential for the discipline and higher education institutions as a whole.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-280
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Education for Teaching
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • academic work
  • participatory research
  • proletarianisation
  • teacher educators

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