During the last 20 years, governments around the world have paid increasing attention to the recruitment, preparation, and retention of teachers. Teacher supply and teacher quality have become significant policy issues, taken up by policy-makers at the highest levels. This is because teachers are now seen by many governments as the 'lynch-pin' of educational, economic and social reform. This volume grew out of a recognition by the Editors of the growing significance of teacher education policy and a curiosity about international trends and differences. The book brings together nine papers from leading academics around the world: from the UK (England and Scotland), the USA, Australia, Singapore and Belgium, plus a joint paper comparing Namibia and the USA. Taken together, the papers reveal the complexities and contradictions of international trends. On the one hand, they demonstrate that there is indeed a common direction of travel along the lines encouraged by international bodies such as the OECD.
At the same time however, the papers also reveal important differences among countries in terms of how they are addressing common aspirations as well as some apparent contradictions within the policies of individual nations. This book was based on the special issue of Teachers and Teaching.
John Furlong is Director at the Department of Education, University of Oxford, UK. Marilyn Cochran-Smith is John E. Cawthorne Chair in Teacher Education and Director of Doctoral Program in Curriculum and Instruction at the Lynch School of Education, Boston College, USA. Marie Brennan is based at the School of Education, University of South Australia, Australia.