Alternate Routes in Initial Teacher Education: A Critical Review of the Research and Policy Implications for Hong Kong

Nov. 28, 2008

Source: Journal of Education for Teaching, Volume 34, Issue 4 November 2008 , pages 261 - 275

The authors use Hong Kong's policy on initial teacher training as a case study of the interplay between international trends and local policy. Traditionally initial teacher preparation in most countries has been based in higher education institutions. In recent years, alternative routes for initial teacher education have proliferated in the United States and the United Kingdom. Meanwhile university-based pathways to teacher certification have been criticized as deterring talented candidates from entering the profession. The authors claim that these trends have had significant impact on Hong Kong's policies for initial teacher preparation. In Hong Kong untrained teachers have served as a convenient buffer to meet teacher demand for many decades. It was only in 1997 that the new Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government announced the policy objective of requiring all new teachers to be degree holders and professionally trained. However, this policy was short-lived. There is substantial evidence that government policy has been influenced by the development of alternative routes of teacher preparation elsewhere. This case study can provide useful insights for policy formation elsewhere.

Updated: Mar. 02, 2009