Teacher Education and the Teaching Career in an Era of Lifelong Learning
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This paper attempts to position the teaching career within the context of the changing policy paradigm of lifelong learning. The paper locates the emergence of this policy within some of the fundamental social and economic changes which are re-shaping contemporary society. It emphasises that society’s requirement of a highly educated, well trained, committed and effective teaching force was never more urgent. While the demands being made of teachers have been increasing greatly, there are disturbing indications that in some countries key factors needed to underpin a qualitative teaching profession are under stress. The paper reviews problems, trends and developments in key areas affecting teacher education and the teaching career, from recruitment to conditions of work. The final section of the paper proposes guidelines for action to ensure that a systematic and coherent policy prevails to support the teaching career into the future. The paper concludes that a robust and comprehensive policy for the teaching career needs to be a priority for governments, and that the teaching profession should be consulted on policy formulation and implementation.