The Quality of Vocational Teachers: Teacher Education, Institutional Roles and Professional Reality

Dec. 22, 2008

Source: European Educational Research Journal, Volume 7 Number 4, pages 535-547. 2008.

What are quality vocational teachers? The paper analyzes the different factors exerting an influence on the professional knowledge, practices and performance of teaching staff involved in technical and vocational education and training (TVET).

The international variety of vocational teacher education patterns, profiles and recruitment practices is presented. Any assessment of the quality of teachers’ work, be it in theory or practice, needs to be considered against the background of the institutional environment in which they practice. Hence, some common trends of institutional change within vocational education are introduced.

The author focuses particularly on the professional reality of vocational teachers as made manifest in the conjoined elements of the knowledge of teachers and professional cultures. In doing so, he draws on some empirical exemplars.

The author shows how closely teacher education and the institutional contexts are entwined in the minds of teachers as well as in professional cultures. Finally, some conclusions are drawn as to what this implies for high-quality vocational teacher education and recruitment.

Updated: Mar. 09, 2009