National and international education policies acknowledge the importance of the quality of teachers. Research literature emphasises the teacher profession as an dynamic and extended profession, driven by a moral perspective and a collaborative identity across the profession. In this paper the question is raised to what extent this understanding is reflected in the way in which teacher quality is defined within the Dutch policy context. The Dutch narrative describes how the debate on teacher quality over the past 20 years has led to an image of a static, fragmented, narrow and instrumentalized profession. This creates a dilemma for teacher education institutes, balancing between the narrow formal expectations and the extended profession as derived from research. Creating space for that wider and innovative identity of teachers will require a process of redefining teacher quality in which all stakeholders need to play an active role.