Introduction: The Challenges of Teacher Effectiveness and Quality Worldwide

Gerald K. LeTendre, Alexander W. Wiseman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Teacher effectiveness and teacher quality have become the focus of intense international attention and national concern. Dozens of nations are implementing a diverse set of strategies that aim to improve the quality of education by improving the quality of teachers. These efforts have not been well coordinated, and as the authors in this volume show, core constructs of quality have not been well defined. In this introductory chapter, we discuss why teachers are now "under the microscope" of policymaker's attention and elaborate how the chapters in this volume identify particularly fruitful avenues for further study. The assembled chapters address two complex questions: (1) what existing crossnational measures of teacher effectiveness and teacher quality are most promising and how can these be aligned to maximize their research potential? and (2) what core constructs of teacher quality or effectiveness are missing from the evidence-base, and how can cross-national comparative research help refine these? To investigate these questions, the chapters in this volume address different aspects of "quality." While quality may be politically contested, there is a significant need to continue to articulate a truly global perspective on teacher quality. The authors look at a wide range of aspects of quality in order to advance thinking about teacher education, instructional quality and workforce or organizational conditions that affect quality; to analyze instruments, tools, or measures used to assess quality; and identify what measures need to be developed further. We also note how scholarly study of the spread of transnational teacher reforms has failed to keep pace with national policy changes regarding teacher quality, and advance a more general theory of the forces affecting national policymakers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-38
Number of pages38
JournalInternational Perspectives on Education and Society
Volume27
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science

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