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 initial teacher preparation equip teachers with updated knowledge and competences?

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.


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