A place for fundamental (British) values in teacher education in Northern Ireland?

Alan McCully, Linda Clarke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
104 Downloads (Pure)


This paper examines the distinctive locus of teacher education in Northern Ireland (NI) in respect of Fundamental British Values (FBV). It is written from the perspective of teacher education tutors in a PGCE programme that explicitly subscribes to pursuing the Shared Future agenda as outlined by NI Government policy in 2005. First, it establishes the inappropriateness of pursuing an FBV agenda in NI where the historical and contemporary context has been characterised by division expressed through opposing British and Irish identities; and, emerging from conflict where future political progress requires greater accommodation between these two often hostile positions. Second, using data from a previous Teaching and Learning Research Programme study (2005) on Values in Teacher Education as an indicator of student teacher social and political attitudes, it draws on later NI census (2011) and Life and Times Survey data (2005 and 2008) to identify the challenges and opportunities facing teacher educators wishing to encourage a more nuanced awareness among student teachers as to how identity issues impact on education. Finally, one teacher education initiative designed for this purpose is examined and its approaches offered as a means that Initial Teacher Education might contribute to producing teachers better equipped to contribute to a more accommodating society in NI in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-368
JournalJournal of Education for Teaching
Issue number3
Early online date25 May 2016
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Jul 2016


  • Identity
  • teacher education
  • Northern Ireland
  • fundamental British values


Dive into the research topics of 'A place for fundamental (British) values in teacher education in Northern Ireland?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this