Teacher education accountability: What is the evidence of impact?

Year: 2018

Author: Mayer, Diane, Cotton, Wayne, Simpson, Alyson

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper examines the current policy context of initial teacher education in Australia and addresses the claims that there is little to no evidence of the impact and value of teacher education. First, we outline the policy context in Australia and internationally since 2009. We selected this year because it represents the beginning of significant federal intervention in teacher education in Australia and coincides with increasing claims about the problem of teacher education (Cochran-Smith, 2008) and the impact of neoliberal policy borrowing worldwide. We then examine the current policy context, with its calls for classroom-ready teachers and evidence of the effectiveness and impact of teacher preparation (TEMAG, 2014). Next, we examine the challenge that teacher education research provides no adequate response. We provide the findings from a systematic literature review of relevant research as a way of exploring these claims, and as a complementary critique, we also have analysed the discourses informing current policy. Through these complementary processes, we have established how the evidence of teacher education effectiveness is being framed. Finally, we provide considerations and possible directions for teacher education researchers in order that they might be able to speak back to current policy with research evidence that counts.