Teacher Education in Europe; Main Characteristics and Developments

Marco Snoek, Irēna Žogla

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterProfessional

15 Citations (Scopus)


Teachers in Europe are educated in a wide variety of institutes and by a wide range of curriculum models. The main aim of teacher education is the same throughout Europe – the education of teachers – but the underlying ideas and the contexts differ, leading to significant differences between teacher education curricula Eurydice, 2002). Nevertheless, the teacher education institutes in the various European countries face similar challenges, like how to support the development of teacher identity, how to bridge the gap between theory and practice, how to find the balance between subject studies and pedagogical studies, how to contribute to a higher status of teachers and how to prepare teachers for the needs of pupils in the 21st century (European Commission, 2007a). Both the academic discourse and the exchange of examples of good practice show that in most countries, the national debates focus on similar issues (see, e.g., OECD, 2005). The curriculum designs of European countries differ, as they are based on different national contexts such as different education systems, political choices and underlying mental models, for example, with respect to the expected level of knowledge and skills of teachers. Reflection on these differences can stimulate discussions and help to identify alternatives, find new perspectives and raise awareness of national presuppositions. It is impossible within the context of this chapter to make a thorough comparison of all systems of teacher education in Europe. Chapter 2 offers a more detailed description of teacher education in the United Kingdom, Israel and the Netherlands. In this chapter, we reflect on some of the issues that define teacher education, and we try to identify choices that are made in different countries and the differences and similarities in structures and approaches that are a result of these choices. To structure our reflections, we use a comparative framework focusing on: The system of teacher education ; The content of teacher education
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBecoming a Teacher Educator
Subtitle of host publicationTheory and Practice for Teacher Educators
EditorsAnja Swennen, Marcel van der Klink
Place of PublicationDordrecht
ISBN (Electronic)9781402088742
ISBN (Print)9781402088735
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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