Whither (or Wither) Equality in Teacher Education?

Feb 21, 2017 by

Yvonne Masters –

Entrance to teacher education is a highly political issue with high entrance scores and some form of aptitude test being the norm. Based on a Featured Presentation at The Asian Conference on Education 2016 in Kobe, Japan, this article by Dr Yvonne Masters of the University of New England, Australia, is a discussion starter to examine the questions: who is missing out and is equity being ignored under the guise of quality?


Dear Readers,

This is an invitation to all of you interested in the future of teacher education to join a conversation about what matters in teacher education. This can be done by using the comment box below this conversation opener.

“Currently, in Australia, entrance to teacher education is a highly political issue and teacher education candidates must meet both high entrance scores and some form of aptitude test.”

Most, if not all of you, will have experienced some formal education and several teachers along the way. These teachers may be memorable as teachers who inspired you to learn more and to do well or, unfortunately, for the opposite reasons. Many of these teachers will have undertaken some form of teacher education whilst some may have entered the teaching profession through other pathways or because, if you are old enough for this to have happened or live where it is still the norm, have become teachers with no specific qualifications and because they wanted to teach. It is even possible that you did not know which teachers were which: trained or untrained. Currently, in Australia, entrance to teacher education is a highly political issue and teacher education candidates must meet both high entrance scores and some form of aptitude test. The questions are: who is missing out and is equity being ignored under the guise of quality?

Resource: The Star Teacher Pre-Screener
The Science of Teacher Selection and Interviewing


The current milieu

Education is, unarguably, important and student learning is central as an integral part of any education. It is also beyond doubt that teachers play a critical role in such learning (Darling-Hammond, 2000; Hattie, 2003; Killion & Hirsh, 2011; Panayiotou et al., 2014; Rowe, 2003). Teacher education, globally, is under discussion and the introduction of teacher standards has been one way in which quality has been spotlighted (Bourgonje & Tromp, 2011; Erebus International, 2008; Page, 2015). The introduction of standards has been accompanied by a discussion around the selection of teacher candidates prior to entry into initial teacher education courses (Bowles, Hattie, Dinham, Scull, & Clinton, 2014; Heinz, 2013; Iucu, Mironov, Borzea, & Marin, 2014).

Source: Whither (or Wither) Equality in Teacher Education?

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