School placement is an essential part of student teachers’ professional learning.Yet in Scotland, as elsewhere, there is evidence of inconsistency in the nature and quality of the support that students receive in schools. This article draws on datafrom 16 Secondary English student teachers on the one-year ProfessionalGraduate Diploma in Education in a Scottish university and focuses on their experiences of problematic working relations with class teachers in two related school contexts: an informal, socio-cultural context and a professional context.The article seeks to problematise school placement, challenging uncontested notions of its inherent value to professional learning. Findings suggest that thekind of relations that students are able to forge on placement with professionalcolleagues significantly affects their capacity for professional growth in a range of ways. The implications for developing partnership relations between InitialTeacher Education programmes, local authorities and placement schools are,finally, considered.
- school experience
- early professional development
- problematic relationships
- early professional identity