Cultures, colleges and the development of ideas about teaching in English further education

Kevin Orr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the development of new teachers' practice and conceptions of teaching in English further education (FE). Drawing upon data from observations and interviews involving both trainee and serving teachers at a large FE college, it discusses and applies a restricted conceptualisation of culture to investigate the influence of local cultures on new teachers. The paper concludes that while experiences of sections of teachers within the institution may diverge, they share much greater commonality. Even in the few instances where distinctive and sustainable local cultures existed these did not necessarily lead to distinctive teaching practices, suggesting that the most powerful influences on teaching in FE may derive from dominant ideas in society, not from local workplace settings. The paper argues that research that concentrates on the local, such as the Transforming Learning Cultures in Further Education project, risks understating the significance of wider cultural influences on learning, in this case on learning to teach in FE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-388
Number of pages12
JournalResearch in Post-Compulsory Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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