Access to initial teacher training in Europe: policies and research

Inmaculada Egido Gálvez


In recent years, the number of European education systems that have established selection procedures prior to entry into initial teacher training institutions has continued to increase, following the recommendations of international organizations, such as the OECD and the European Union. Through a document review, this paper presents the systems of access to teacher training institutions in force in Europe and synthesizes the results of the main national and international studies that have deepened this issue. The review shows the existence of three major models of access to teacher training in Europe and point at how the attractiveness of the teaching profession in each country conditions the results of such access systems. The conclusion is that studies of international scope are essential for the analysis of this topic, since they provide variability in relation to the working conditions of teaching, such as salaries or social prestige, which cannot be captured in national studies. However, it is necessary to deepen in this issue through authentic comparative research, which allows us to advance beyond the results provided by the international large-scale educational assessments. Those comparative research would make it possible to consider the different socio-educational realities of each context to analyse and interpret concrete models of access to teacher training. Likewise, they could contribute to overcoming the simplistic messages of many of the recommendations on teacher selection policies aimed at imitating the best-performing education systems.


Teacher education; Admission requirements; Initial training; Europe; Educational policy; Comparative research


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