Trading Places: Sharing the experiences of practitioners as they move into Further Education and Training (FET) teaching roles.

Ref: 07/09/2021 - 7082022
Name: Susan Fitzgerald & Dr Anne Graham Cagney
Email Address:
Phone Number: 0872466120
Institution Address: Waterford Institute of Technology
Seeking a partner/s in: Northern Ireland

Changing career from a current occupation to a teaching role is not as smooth a transition as one might expect. Our recent study identified a range of personal and professional issues that arose for FET tutors as they transferred their professional ‘ways of thinking and practicing’ (Hounsell, 2003) to an FET teaching-learning environment. Their motivation to teach was driven by a desire to share their knowledge, skills and work experiences in order to empower young people and adults who had returned to education. Their new career aspirations and expectations did not match up with the reality of their experiences of teaching and of the purpose of FET.
Similar to the SCoTENS funded SAFETTI Study (, findings also revealed that in ‘trading places’ some struggled to accommodate their evolving personal and professional identity from practitioner to teacher. Recommendations included the need for a more extensive study to be conducted, to explore in greater depth the aspirational vs reality of moving into FET teaching, ideally in a North/South context.
We are seeking partners to work with us on a research project that will focus on the subject of role change from that of practitioner within a discipline to teacher of the disciplinary knowledge, skills, and practices, and the relationship of all of this to personal and professional identities.