The primary objective of higher education is to cultivate expertise, ensuring that graduates possess a strong foundation and skill set to excel in their chosen fields.
Within higher education, pre-service teacher preparation programs play a crucial role in fostering the beliefs, practices and professional commitment of young people who will become effective and confident teachers. Well-prepared graduates who enter the teaching force are more likely to feel competent, find fulfillment in their work and remain in the teaching profession.
However, despite this imperative, many graduates of teacher education programs lack this essential level of competence. Over the past 3 years, I (Mary) have conducted interviews with teachers regarding their pre-service education, initially as part of the 2023 Global Education Monitoring Report1 and now as part of my role within a teacher education institution.
These interviews, involving 80 teachers from 19 countries, reveal a troubling pattern: many teachers express almost uniform dissatisfaction with their pre-service preparation, regarding it as excessively theoretical and inadequate for the practical demands of teaching.
These challenges are pervasive across pre-service education systems worldwide. This post, co-authored by two pre-service teacher educators (Ana and Ana), outlines the endemic issues within teacher pre-service education and emphasizes the urgency of rectifying these deficiencies in order to address the global teaching crisis effectively.