Unpacking Teacher Quality: Key Issues for Early Career Teachers
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Teacher quality is seen as a key factor influencing the quality of education. However, while there is consensus on the importance of quality teachers for improving teaching and learning in schools, there is less agreement on how to define and assess quality. The aim of the chapter is twofold: (i) to identify and contrast the ways in which teacher quality has been defined internationally and (ii) to analyse (and deconstruct) the term “quality”, drawing upon empirical evidence from diverse stakeholders. Teacher quality has often been defined narrowly and related to standards, performativity and managerialism. However, it is also possible to identify more comprehensive understandings of teacher quality which take into account contextual, professional, political and personal dimensions. Contradictory trends may be identified in the ways in which teacher professionalism has been defined as well as in real conditions of teachers’ work in schools and classrooms. The chapter discusses the view of teachers as leaders of learning and its core dimensions, namely, motivation, resilience, innovation of practice and committed professionalism, and it concludes with key issues for early career teachers.
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