Conceptualising the impact of initial teacher education

  • Fiona EllEmail author
  • Alyson Simpson
  • Diane Mayer
  • Larissa McLean Davies
  • Janet Clinton
  • Georgia Dawson


In the current context, where global comparative education testing plays an increasing role in education policy and teacher quality is identified as a key to economic performance, initial teacher education has become a focus of concern and reform. Questions are asked about the impact of university-based teacher preparation, and ‘alternate routes’ into teaching emerge. Currently, in Anglophone countries, there is a turn towards practice and away from preparation that is seen as overly theoretical. In this paper, we propose a conceptual model of initial teacher education impact that examines the breadth of ways in which university-based teacher education impacts on the education system, positioning initial teacher education as more than just a source of newly qualified teachers. Using a complexity thinking framework, this paper offers a nuanced way to conceptualise initial teacher education impact that acknowledges the integrated nature of the education system and the way in which all stakeholders work together to improve student learning.


Initial teacher education Student learning Complexity theory 


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Copyright information

© The Australian Association for Research in Education, Inc. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.The University of SydneySydneyAustralia
  3. 3.The University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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