3.2.1 Initial teacher education

Initial teacher education (also known as pre-service teacher education or training) is key to the teacher quality and performance. Darling-Hammond (2000: 1) notes that:

The findings of both the qualitative and quantitative analyses suggest that policy investments in the quality of teachers may be related to improvements in student performance. Quantitative analyses indicate that measures of teacher preparation and certification are by far the strongest correlates of student achievement in reading and mathematics, both before and after controlling for student poverty and language status … This analysis suggests that policies adopted by states [in the USA] regarding teacher education, licensing, hiring, and professional development may make an important difference in the qualifications and capacities that teachers bring to their work.

In India, pre-service teacher training and having a Master’s level qualification were found to have a significant positive correlation to learner outcomes (Kingdon, 2006). A study using the Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality (SACMEQ) data set found that years of professional training in teachers showed a positive relationship to mathematics achievement in some cases, but not achievement of students in four out of five countries (Spreen and Fancsali, 2005).

However, initial teacher education should be part of an integrated professional development model linked both to induction and mentoring at the beginning of a career and to ongoing professional development throughout a career. Initial teacher education is likely to be planned as part of a teacher recruitment strategy based on current needs (Section 3.1). For this reason, coordination among teacher preparation programmes, education ministries or departments – including decentralized structures – and the bodies responsible for financing teacher training and recruitment is essential, particularly as the emphasis moves towards more school-based, learner-oriented outcomes (ILO, 2012: 224–226; Moon, 2013: 11–14).

3.2 Teacher education – initial and continuing

3.2.2 Candidate selection and entry requirements