Teacher Trainer

Getting Started

This pathway is designed for teacher educators who have trainee teachers preparing to teach technical subjects in further education colleges or other similar providers. We will focus on the subject specialist pedagogy of technical education and training, although using the term pedagogy can be controversial in further education settings in England. The government's Commission on Adult Vocational Teaching and Learning (CAVTL) found that "A robust vocational teaching and learning system must be underpinned by a serious focus on vocational pedagogy.  And yet, as we have gone round the country visiting sites of vocational teaching and learning and in our seminars, of all the terms we have discussed the one that gets people most agitated is ‘pedagogy’” (CAVTL 2013, p13). This may reflect the relatively weak status of technical education and training in comparison to academic education, which dominates perceptions and policies in England. Discussing pedagogy for academic subjects is considered entirely normal, but not for technical courses. To quote Lucas and his colleagues in a report for City and Guilds, "The evidence suggests that serious consideration of pedagogy is largely missing in vocational education and … vocational learners are the losers as a result of this omission” (Lucas et al. 2012, p13). We agree, which is why we have produced these resources to enable teacher educators to explicitly focus on the pedagogical decision-making associated with technical subjects.

Your Journey

These resources are designed to support your thinking about what informs the decisions your trainee teachers make in the planning and management of their sessions with their own particular students in their own particular context. For that reason we focus on certain concepts that trainee teachers will adapt and apply to their own circumstances as they decide is appropriate.

We start with what we mean by pedagogy, and then explore several underpinning concepts that support your decision making:

  • Pedagogical content knowledge
  • Content representation [CORE]
  • Occupational identity
  • Recontextualisation

Importantly, this approach to teaching where teachers have autonomy to make appropriate decisions for their students is underpinned by the teacher’s strong subject knowledge to inform these decisions. We have assumed this subject knowledge in developing these materials.

On the following pages the resources are sequenced to lead you through the concepts in an order that we have found to be useful, but feel free to move around as you wish.

There is a separate but similar pathway through these resources for trainee teachers which you may wish to use with your trainees, or encourage them to access themselves.



  • Pedagogy, & pedagogy as decision-making
  • Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) & Content Representation (CoRe)
  • Occupational identity
  • Recontextualisation


  • Done
  • To Do
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