Making Teachers in Britain: professional knowledge for initial teacher education in England and Scotland

Ian Menter, Estelle Brisard, Ian Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


There is an apparent contradiction between the widespread moves towards a uniform and instrumentalist standards‐based approach to teaching on the one hand and recent research‐based insights into the complexity of effective pedagogies. The former tendency reflects a politically driven agenda, the latter is more professionally driven. Tensions reflecting such a contradiction are evident in the debates over initial teacher education (ITE) policy and practice in many parts of the world.

This article examines aspects of ITE policy in two contiguous parts of the United Kingdom, England and Scotland. The authors draw on a comparative study carried out during 2002–2004, particularly on an analysis of key contemporary policy documents, in order to consider some of the similarities and differences that are apparent in these two countries. It is argued that while features of national culture, tradition and institutional politics have a significant role to play in the detail of the approaches taken, there is nevertheless evidence of significant convergence between both countries in one aspect of the determination of initial teacher education, the definition of teaching through the prescription of standards, which set official parameters on professional knowledge required for entry into the profession. This, it is suggested, reflects trends associated with neoliberal ‘globalisation’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-286
JournalEducational Philosophy and Theory
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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