A Flying Start

Improving Initial Teacher Preparation Systems

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Addressing teacher education in all its complexity is fundamental to ensuring that all students reach their potential in today’s increasingly diverse classrooms and rapidly changing environment. This report provides insight into key features of selected teacher preparation systems by analysing the information collected in the OECD Initial Teacher Preparation (ITP) study. The ITP study investigated the policy environments of the first phase of continuous teacher learning in seven countries to identify challenges, strengths and innovations: Australia, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, the United States and Wales (United Kingdom).

A Flying Start: Improving Initial Teacher Preparation Systems describes the challenges of designing and sustaining initial teacher preparation systems and proposes strategies for different levels of the system (policy, teacher education institutions and schools), based on both international evidence and practices identified in the study. The report can therefore act as a resource for policy makers, teacher educators, educational leaders, teachers and the research community.


How can we ensure a balanced teacher workforce?

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.


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