3.2.4 Profile/qualifications of teacher educators

Effective, motivated and inspiring teacher educators are necessary to ensure trainee teachers are well trained, although few policy frameworks emphasize this aspect enough (Moon, 2013: 23; Naylor and Sayed, 2014: 11)Footnote 12. Depending on the needs of the context, a teacher policy may include recommendations or requirements for the profile, qualifications and professional development of teacher educators. Teacher educators should understand and use active learning methods, and effectively support training. They should understand pedagogy and be able to convey a variety of teaching methods, techniques and processes; be knowledgeable and experienced in practical issues related to day-to-day work in the classroom and schools; and be involved in or at least informed of research directly related to their area of expertise. They should be able to model good teaching behaviour in their classrooms, so as to give trainee teachers ‘a genuine learning experience, with first-hand insights into teaching and learning that might not be fully appreciated or understood (for instance related to diversity of learners), were they to be discussed or conveyed in other ways’ (European Commission, 2013: 9; see also UNESCO, 2014a). They should have in-depth knowledge of the national education system and its context; good skills in teamwork and collaborative work; and an enjoyment of teaching, so as to generate a positive attitude towards teaching amongst their students (ILO, 2012: 242–43).

Exercising the profession of teacher educator requires access and commitment to lifelong learning. In addition to keeping abreast of developments in education, teaching, and their own profession, teacher educators also need to be lifelong learners to promote lifelong learning with the teachers they train. As is the case for teachers, this will include selection and initial training, induction and career-long CPD (European Commission, 2013: 21).

3.2.3 Content, curricula and school based teaching practice

Selection and initial training