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Using Mixed Methods to Research the Professional Development Needs of English Teacher Educators in PCET Using Semistructured Interviews, Online Survey, and Focus Group

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By: Published: 2017 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases in Education
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Abstract

My PhD explored the professional development needs of teacher educators—the people who teach teachers to teach. In this case study, I discuss my experience of using mixed methods: semistructured interviews, an online survey, and a focus group, with a community of teacher educators in the southeast of England. I wanted to identify the professional development needs of beginning and more experienced teacher educators, with the aim of proposing flexible ways of meeting these. There was little research on teacher educators who worked in my context: Post-Compulsory Education and Training (PCET) which covers Adult, Community, and Further Education as well as Higher Education. Therefore, I wanted to gather evidence from a wide number of sources. It seemed to me that mixed methods would be the most appropriate research approach. However, as I found out, a mixed method methodology holds both opportunities and challenges, forcing me to reflect upon and question my role as a researcher. This case reflects a part of my larger PhD study.

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