Career opportunities play an important role in keeping teachers passionate and motivated in their profession. As such opportunities contribute to growth, challenge, variation and recognition, they can both attract high quality candidates to the profession and keep talented teacher in the profession for a longer time. However, the traditional view on the teacher profession can be considered as static with little career opportunities. This raises the questions: how teacher careers can be understood, and what the implications for such a more dynamic understanding are for education systems, school heads, teachers and for teacher education.
Taking into account this questions, six international reports on teacher careers that aim to support national systems to strengthen career opportunities for teachers are explored in this chapter. These reports from the European Commission’s Working Groups on Schools, the Commissions data network Eurydice, OECD and UNESCO, all emphasise the importance of strengthening career opportunities for teachers, but vary in their focus, as most report focus on formal career structures that are embedded in national legislation, while the EC’s Working Group Schools report from 2020 takes a somewhat wider perspective, taking the perspective of teacher more as a starting point in identifying career options.
From the reports the implications for teachers, school heads and teacher education can be derived, including the need for a wider and more dynamic view on the profession, leading to a wider professional identity, the need for the development of career competencies for teachers and the need for initial teacher education institutes to actively support teachers not only during their initial development, but throughout the different stages of their career.
The purpose of this final chapter is twofold: (1) to provide a synthesis of learning on quality in teaching and teacher education based on the analyses and discussions of the fifteen chapters collected in this book, and (2) to discuss implications that have emerged for future research on quality in teaching and teacher education, policy and practice. In so doing, we ask: What do we know about quality in teaching and teacher education from the collected chapters, and how can these findings inform future research, policy and practice in these areas? In order to answer these questions, this closing chapter is divided into five main parts. In the first part, we identify and endorse a call that is present in all chapters to move beyond a reductionist notion of education. In the second part, we recognise the growing attention to teaching quality both as a blessing and a burden. In the third part, we identify seven key dilemmas that arise from the different chapters. Next we use these dilemmas to identify implications for teacher education practice, policy and research. We then conclude this chapter with some final reflections on what we have learnt in the collected chapters about reimagining and rethinking teacher education quality and the challenges ahead.
Developing teacher education policies calls for a collaborative dialogue of teacher educators, student teachers, researchers, teachers, school heads and school boards, as well as policy makers at regional, national and European levels. The Teacher Education Policy in Europe Scientific Network (TEPE Network) focuses on improving the quality of teacher education in Europe. This aim is reached through careful comparison and analysis of teacher education practices in Europe, sharing of existing practices and outcomes of research on teacher education, and by discussing the implications of these outcomes for teacher education policies at faculty, institutional, regional, national and European level. Key Issues in Teacher Education: Policy, Research and Practice is a series of scholarly texts that inspires and facilitates this dialogue regarding teacher education as an ongoing process of professional development within the continuum of the teaching profession, from initial teacher education, through induction and on to continuing professional development throughout teacher careers. Such teacher education aims to support prospective, novice and experienced teachers to develop their professional capability in fostering the individual and collective learning needs of pupils and in creating and strengthening learning environments and school environments that are inclusive and democratic, that aim at equity and that are exemplary for an inclusive and democratic society. The coherence of the TEPE series is created by a common focus of each volume that is characterized by: • A comparative European (international) perspective cherishing diversity in perspectives and viewpoints; • Addressing the continuum of teacher education; • Bridging research, practice and policy; • With a focus on the implications for local, national or international policies, practices and research. Authors are cordially invited to submit proposals and/or full manuscripts to the Series Editors, Maria Assunção Flores, Joanna Madalińska-Michalak, and Marco Snoek.