Caught between competing worlds: Teacher education in Australia

Sally Knipe, Tanya Fitzgerald

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Public education in Australia has long been a site for struggle and compromise. Although there have been significant changes to teaching and teacher education, a fundamental shift in the nature of schools and schooling has not occurred to the same extent. The intent of this chapter is to provide a policy critique regarding the dichotomy that has occurred between ongoing attempts to adapt schooling to meet the changing nature of learners and the challenges this places on those within the school system and for those preparing its workforce. Despite ongoing attempts to adapt schooling to meet the changing nature of young people, those within the school system and in turn tertiary institutions preparing teachers, are somewhat constrained in this endeavour. Long-standing traditions of what constitutes the school day, the school year and a model of schooling based on age and grade have remained unchallenged. The intention of schooling today requires a direction that provides young people with the opportunities to obtain a range of skills and knowledge to meet the conditions of new and emerging employment demands emanating from the needs of the global economy. We argue that what is needed in Australia is a new model for schooling and new directions for initial teacher education (ITE). We show that teacher education is caught between competing and complex demands; the world of regulation and surveillance on the one hand, and the world of the 21st century learner on the other.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTeacher Education Policy and Practice
Subtitle of host publicationEvidence of Impact, Impact of Evidence
EditorsJoce Nuttall, Alex Kostogriz, Mellita Jones, Jenny Martin
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherSpringer Singapore
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9789811041334
ISBN (Print)9789811041327
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2017
Externally publishedYes


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