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 an evidence-informed, self-improving initial teacher preparation system?

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.


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