Preparing a ‘classroom-ready’ teacher: The challenge for teacher educators

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Teacher Education: Assessment, Impact and Social Perspectives, 2016, pp. 1 - 21
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Classroom-ready book chapter_091115Final.docxAccepted Manuscript version69.03 kB
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© 2016 by Nova Science Publishers, Inc. In Australia, a government report on teacher education has recently been published (Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group 2015). This report is regarded as highly influential in directing change in teacher education programs nationally. Its key premise is a requirement for teacher education programs to prepare ‘classroom-ready’ teachers. In this chapter, we critique the notion of classroom-ready: we investigate what such teachers may look like, what attributes, skills and knowledges they may possess, and how teacher education programs may provide appropriate preparation, experiences and environments most likely to lead to this outcome. We use current thinking from the relevant literature and policy documents to develop a schema of attributes deemed most important for classroom-ready teachers. We also examine teacher education reviews and policy documents since the turn of the century to investigate whether any new attributes are suggested in the quest for classroom-ready teachers. We critically evaluate past and current recommendations for the development of attributes deemed desirable, and interrogate the potential of teacher education programs to support their development in student teachers. We examine different models of teacher preparation to critically evaluate their ability to produce classroom-ready teachers in current contexts, including fiscal constraints, international mobility, competitive testing regimes and changing attitudes to and uses of emerging technologies. Recommendations for teacher education programs and for future research on this topic are provided.
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