What should initial teacher education programmes for 2022 look like and why?

Jane Gilbert


Over the last fifteen years or so we have seen a paradigm shift in international thinking about education. Driven by an awareness of the massive social, economic, and technological changes taking place in the world outside education, the response has been to question the role and purpose of traditional forms of schooling. Today’s learners need knowledge and skills that our schools were not set up to provide. However, and more importantly, to thrive in today’s world, they need an orientation to knowledge, thinking and learning that differs from what was valued in 20th century schools.

While there is now a large research and policy literature looking at how we might go about building this new orientation to knowledge in students, work exploring the cognitive demands this makes on teachers is only just beginning.

If teachers are to design ‘21st century’ learning programmes for their students, they need a 21st century orientation to knowledge. Achieving this in teachers involves more than simply adding new knowledge and skills to their existing repertoires: it requires them to change how they think, know, and learn. This has obvious implications for the design of teacher professional learning programmes, including—and especially—initial teacher education.

This paper explores what initial teacher education should look like in 2022—if we want to continue to have a public education system, and if we want our education system to lead, rather than follow, New Zealand’s future development. 

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DOI: 10.15663/wje.v18i1.144


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© Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research, Te Kura Toi Tangata Faculty of Education, 2015