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Promoting Quality in Teacher Education

  1. Committees

UCET Northern Ireland

UCET(NI) began its life as an independent body - the Northern Ireland Universities' Council for Teacher Education (NIUCTE), which was established in 1998 with the following remit:

  • to present a professional higher education voice on matters affecting teacher education in Northern Ireland.
  • to provide a higher education consultation body to which governmental and other bodies may refer in relation to teacher education in Northern Ireland.

The membership consisted of a nominee from each of the five university sector institutions engaged in teacher education in NI:


St. Mary's University College (www.stmarys-belfast.ac.uk)

Stranmillis University College (www.stran.ac.uk)
The Open University (NI) (www.open.ac.uk)
The Queen's University, Belfast (www.qub.ac.uk)
The University of Ulster (www.ulst.ac.uk)

In practice, the nominees turned out to be the heads of the institutions or, in the case of the three universities, of the teacher education units. It was agreed that the Chair should be rotated annually in a five-year cycle.
Following discussions with representatives of UCET in the summer of 1999, it was decided that NIUCTE would formally request:

  • that there be a UCET(NI) along the lines of UCET (Cymru);
  • that the then NIUCTE should become UCET(NI);
  • that UCET(NI) should be a standing committee of UCET;
  • that all five HEIs in Northern Ireland who would make up the future UCET(NI) should remain, or in the case of the colleges, become individual members of UCET. This request was formally approved by UCET's Governing Council in December 1999.

UCET(NI) meets formally three times in each academic year as part of the national cycle of UCET meetings. Its chair is ex-officio a member of the UCET Executive Committee and reports to the Annual General Meeting. Minutes of UCET(NI) meetings can be accessed on the UCET website. It has sought to lobby Government, in the context of the new devolved structures established in NI in 1999, on a range of teacher education issues, including the School Improvement Programme in NI, the inspection of ITE by the NI Education and Training Inspectorate and the need to provide financial inducements to ITE students in NI in line with those available, or likely to be made available, in England in the interests of equity and fairness. Its views were also sought on the establishment of a General Teaching Council for NI, on which UCET(NI) now has representation. The Committee hosted the third in an ongoing series of UCET/HMI Symposia in Belfast in December 2001.

The Teacher Education community in Northern Ireland is looking forward to many interesting developments in the near future. A key part of the work of the Committee in respect of these developments will consist in consulting with the Department of Education, the Department for Employment and Learning and a range of other public bodies.

The current chair is Professor Linda Clarke

Linda Clarke was born in Brooklyn, New York, moving to Northern Ireland in early childhood. She qualified as a teacher in 1983 and served as a Geography teacher and head of department for 15 years. Her Masters degree is in Education Technology and her PhD examines the use of Elearning in Initial Teacher Education. She was appointed as a lecturer in Education at Ulster University in 2001 and senior lecturer in 2008, with teaching responsibilities in initial teacher education and in CPD courses in the MEd. Linda Clarke served as Head of the School of Education at Ulster from 2009 to 2013. Linda’s key research interests lie in Teacher Education and Pedagogical Practice. Linda was the northern chair of the cross-border body for teacher education – the Standing Conference for Teacher Education, North and South (SCoTENS 2013-2016). In June 2013, Linda was commissioned by the BERA-RSA Inquiry into Teacher Education to co-write a Review of UK policy and practice – a ‘home international’ comparison of teacher education across the UK. She is Co-convenor of the BERA SIG for Teacher Education and Development. Linda also served as Chair of the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers in Northern Ireland Committee and has just taken up this role again (UCETNI, 2017-19). She is a member of the Editorial Board of Technology, Pedagogy and Education and a reviewer for several key education journals. Linda has recently worked to develop an innovative, interdisciplinary Model, the Place Model which uses two senses of place (status and learning journey) to conceptualise the dystopias and ideals of professionalism – a challenge which is of increasing relevance in a time of increasing anti-expert sentiments – this is the focus of a recent book, UCET conference keynote (2016) and paper in Discourse.

Professor Linda Clarke

Chair

Linda Clarke
T: 028 7031 4254
E:

Linda Clarke was born in Brooklyn, New York, moving to Northern Ireland in early childhood. She qualified as a teacher in 1983 and served as a Geography teacher and head of department for 15 years. Her Masters degree is in Education Technology and her PhD examines the use of Elearning in Initial Teacher Education. She was appointed as a lecturer in Education at Ulster University in 2001 and senior lecturer in 2008, with teaching responsibilities in initial teacher education and in CPD courses in the MEd. Linda Clarke served as Head of the School of Education at Ulster from 2009 to 2013. Linda’s key research interests lie in Teacher Education and Pedagogical Practice. Linda was the northern chair of the cross-border body for teacher education – the Standing Conference for Teacher Education, North and South (SCoTENS 2013-2016). In June 2013, Linda was commissioned by the BERA-RSA Inquiry into Teacher Education to co-write a Review of UK policy and practice – a ‘home international’ comparison of teacher education across the UK. She is Co-convenor of the BERA SIG for Teacher Education and Development. Linda also served as Chair of the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers in Northern Ireland Committee and has just taken up this role again (UCETNI, 2017-19). She is a member of the Editorial Board of Technology, Pedagogy and Education and a reviewer for several key education journals. Linda has recently worked to develop an innovative, interdisciplinary Model, the Place Model which uses two senses of place (status and learning journey) to conceptualise the dystopias and ideals of professionalism – a challenge which is of increasing relevance in a time of increasing anti-expert sentiments – this is the focus of a recent book, UCET conference keynote (2016) and paper in Discourse.