Table of Contents

  • We demand a lot from our teachers. We expect them to have a deep and broad understanding of what they teach and whom they teach, because what teachers know and care about makes such a difference to student learning. That entails professional knowledge (e.g. knowledge about a discipline, knowledge about the curriculum of that discipline, and knowledge about how students learn in that discipline), and knowledge about professional practice so they can create the kind of learning environment that leads to good learning outcomes. It also involves enquiry and research skills that allow them to be lifelong learners and grow in their profession. Students are unlikely to become lifelong learners if they don’t see their teachers as lifelong learners.

  • In order for teachers to deliver high-quality instruction and help all students reach their full potential, countries need to establish and sustain a coherent system of initial teacher preparation that can serve as the foundations for a process of continued development throughout the full duration of a teacher’s career.

  • This chapter describes the background of the OECD Initial Teacher Preparation Study, discusses its methodology and presents its outputs. It introduces the Teacher Education Pathway Model that served as an organising framework to the Study. Further, the chapter explores the concept of initial teacher preparation both as part of the continuum of teachers’ professional learning and as a complex system encompassing a variety of stakeholders and artefacts. Finally, it lays out the key challenges of initial teacher preparation systems as they relate to the Pathway Model.

  • This chapter discusses three key challenges of ensuring evidence-informed, self-improving initial teacher preparation (ITP) systems. First, it notes the lack of rigorous research that could underpin ITP policies and practices by describing available evidence as well as major research gaps. Second, it explores the difficulties related to the use of evidence, in particular, to mediating knowledge, accessing and analysing available data, etc. Third, it discusses barriers to designing ITP in an evidence-based manner as a result of the often conflicting institutional contexts. The second and third sections of the chapter propose strategies to address these challenges. In particular, they discuss how different stakeholders can support building evidence, build continuous improvement in existing processes such as accreditation, and more effectively disseminate and use evidence across the system.

  • This chapter discusses the challenges of ensuring a balanced teacher workforce focussing on the way these relate to initial teacher preparation (ITP). It first gives a short overview of the different facets of teacher supply and demand such as teacher shortages, oversupply, demographic characteristics, attrition and teacher diversity. The second section highlights three ITP-related strategies that can help addressing this challenge: using ITP data in forecasting workforce needs, raising the status of teacher education through building a solid knowledge base for teachers and ensuring quality teacher education, and attracting, selecting and hiring candidates who are likely to be committed to improving their professional competences throughout their career. Finally, the third section of the chapter illustrates how policy makers, teacher education institutions and schools can apply these strategies concretely in their practice and through introducing processes.

  • This chapter discusses the challenges related to equipping teachers with the necessary competences and ensuring that the profession’s knowledge base is regularly updated. It first provides a framework that helps understand professional competence in its complexity. The first challenge countries are experiencing is providing a coherent and comprehensive curriculum that covers all knowledge domains, and develops practical skills and theoretical knowledge in a synergetic way. The second challenge relates to integrating new evidence and emerging models into teacher education curriculum. Thirdly, countries are facing barriers in aligning initial teacher education curriculum and the school context. Lastly, the chapter explores challenges related to building capacity among teacher educators. The chapter suggests that addressing these challenges involves ongoing reflection on teachers’ knowledge, strong initial teacher education (ITE)-school partnerships and supporting teacher educators. Specific ideas are outlined in the last section to help policy makers, teacher education institutions and schools to implement these strategies.

  • This chapter discusses the challenges countries are facing in providing a coherent support and early professional development system for new teachers. These revolve around three key aspects: overcoming the theory–practice divide, providing support to beginning teachers tailored around their specific needs, and ensuring a smooth transition from initial teacher education (ITE) to school practice by recognising induction and post-induction periods as critical in becoming professionals. The chapter then proposes some specific strategies including strengthening practical experience in engaging in critical reflection and evaluation of teaching, ensuring effective mentoring schemes with competent mentors, and securing continuity in professional support throughout the early career years. Finally, the last section suggests specific strategies for policy makers, teacher education institutions, and schools and teachers.

  • This last chapter discusses four principles that emerge from the challenges and strategies presented in this report with regards to governing initial teacher preparation systems. In particular, it first highlights the importance of strategic thinking and sets out a vision for initial teacher preparation (ITP) in the context of teacher learning as a continuum. Second, it discusses key elements of effective knowledge governance and how these can be implemented with respect to ITP. Third, the chapter emphasises the role of building capacity at the individual, organisational and system levels. Finally, it concludes by emphasising a whole-of-system perspective through strong partnerships and networks to drive systemic improvement.