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National Contexts (Ian Menter)

Teacher education systems are predominantly organised at individual country level within the UK.  Prior to the devolution settlements in 1998-9 there was much greater alignment especially between England and Wales, and also with Northern Ireland.

The new arrangements for devolution in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have therefore created some interesting questions for researchers of policy and of practice in teacher education.  The great majority of items in the bibliography relate to a specific national context.

In relation to regulatory frameworks and policy, for example, while we may see common approaches to the determination of what skills, knowledge and attributes are required in order to qualify as a teachers, through a set of standards or competences/competencies , there is some variation in the emphases within these documents.  Administrative arrangements also differ and ‘universitisation in some parts of the UK (i.e the relocation of all initial teacher education into University-led settings, as in Scotland) may contrast with increasing ‘school-basedness’ in other parts (especially in England). Furthermore, a different range of key stakeholders exists in each context and thus the policy community influencing teacher education may be very different in each jurisdiction.

Comparative study within the UK has proved very fruitful and is often referred to as a home international approach.  In contrast to more fully international comparative study, issues of translation between different languages is not a major issue.  Nevertheless such studies may need to take just as much cognisance of context sensitivity and explanatory frameworks are likely to incorporate social, cultural and historical dimensions, as well as commenting on links between teacher identity and national identity .

Such work has provided valuable insights into questions of the role of the nation state in a globalising economy and culture , through exploring such ideas as travelling and embedded policies and raising questions of whether education systems are converging or diverging .



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See Menter, I., Brisard, E. and Smith, I. (2007) Convergence or Divergence? Initial teacher education in Scotland and England , Edinburgh: Dunedin Academic Press.

Menter I. and Hulme, M. (2008) Is small beautiful? Policy-making in teacher education in Scotland, London: Routledge

McPherson, C. and Raab, C. (1988) Governing Education: a sociology of policy since 1945, Edinburgh: University Press.

Alexander, R. (2001) Culture and Pedagogy: International comparisons in primary education, Oxford: Blackwell. 

Crossley, M. and Watson, K. (2003) Comparative and International Research in Education: Globalisation, Context and Differences, London: Routledge

Phillips, D. and Schweisfurth, M. (2008) Comparative and International Education: An Introduction to Theory, Method and Practice, London: Continuum

Learning to Teach website

Menter, I. (2008) Tradition, culture and identity in the reform of teachers' work in Scotland and England: some methodological considerations Pedagogy Culture & Society, 16,1, 57-69. Routledge: London

C-TRIP bibliography

Gewirtz, S. et al (eds.) (2008) Changing Teacher Professionalism: International Trends, Challenges and Ways Forward, London: Routledge.

Anderson, B. (2006) Imagined Communities (Revised edn), London: Verso

Colley L. (2009) Britons: Forging the Nation (3rd edn.) Yale: University Press.

Rizvi, F. and Lingard, R. (2010) Globalizing Education Policy, London: Routledge.

Ozga, J. and Jones, R. (2006) Travelling and embedded policy, Journal of Education Policy, 21, 1, 1-17.






How to reference this page: Teacher Education Group (2009) The Teacher Education Bibliography. London: TLRP. Online at (accessed )

Creative Commons License TLRP Resources for Research in Education by Teaching and Learning Research Programme is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License




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