IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


New book examines ‘high-quality’ initial teacher education at scale

15 April 2021

A new book by Clare Brooks, Professor of Education at UCL Institute of Education (IOE), has been published exploring what high-quality initial teacher education means in day-to-day practice.

Lecturer talking to students

‘Initial Teacher Education at Scale: Quality Conundrums’ highlights the challenges that teacher educators face when encountering popular ideas about teacher education with the reality of educating and preparing new teachers. These challenges often stem from trends which are intended to make teacher education better but can often create barriers for high quality programmes.

The book explores how successful large-scale providers have reconciled those tensions and conundrums to ensure their provision is consistently high quality. In particular, the book looks at research into five large-scale, high-quality university-based teacher education providers in Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand and the United States.

By looking at practice-based accounts of how tensions around quality and scale are being resolved, the book highlights competing discussions about teacher professionalism, research and the role of the university in teacher education.

Professor Clare Brooks said: “Teacher education today is dominated by ideas about what ‘high quality’ means that are echoed all around the world. The realities of putting these ideas into practice, however, is very place-specific, and relies on a number of partners working together. This research adopts a spatial perspective which shows that whilst the debates and challenges are universal, the solutions are often local and rely on the expertise and professionalism of specialist teacher educators.

“The accounts also present a robust defence for university-based teacher education, illustrating its adaptability and flexibility in the face of a range of constraints. As teaching becomes increasingly demanding, universities are well placed to provide high quality, adaptive and rigorous teacher education at the scale needed.”

‘Initial Teacher Education at Scale: Quality Conundrums’ was published by Routledge on 7 April 2021.



Matt Clayton for UCL Institute of Education