Initial Teacher Preparation (Strand I)

Effective teaching is at the heart of a successful education system and there is a growing recognition that supporting teachers’ professional learning from the beginning to the end of their career can improve student outcomes. The selection into the teaching career and teachers’ initial education are critical to ensure that new teachers are competent and prepared for their work. In addition to equipping teachers with the necessary knowledge and skills to teach in a classroom, their initial preparation should provide teachers with the foundation for a career of continuing professional growth. Using a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) policy diagnosis approach, Strand I of the TPL study therefore seeks to explore common strengths and challenges and to identify which policy environments can best support teachers’ initial preparation.

How the TPL Study looks at Initial Teacher Preparation

Strand I of the TPL study focusses on six themes, exploring how countries:

  • Attract the most suitable candidates into initial teacher education
  • Select the most suitable candidates into initial teacher education
  • Equip prospective teachers with knowledge and skills
  • Deliver initial teacher education programmes effectively
  • Support beginning teachers.

Strand I of the study covers teachers' pre-service education (i.e. the education and training provided to prospective teachers before they are qualified to teach) and their induction (i.e. activities designed to support new teachers during the first years on the job). Teachers' continuing professional learning is covered by Strand II of the study.

“A Flying Start” - Evidence from the first round of country diagnoses

The 2019 OECD report A Flying Start: Improving Initial Teacher Preparation Systems highlights common challenges, strengths and innovations in the first phase of teachers’ professional learning. It draws on a first round of country diagnoses carried out between 2016 and 2018 in Australia, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, the United States and Wales (United Kingdom) as part of the OECD’s Initial Teacher Preparation (ITP) study. The results of the ITP study are also documented on the interactive Teacher Ready! platform.

A Flying Start describes the challenges of designing and sustaining initial teacher preparation systems and proposes strategies for different levels of the system (policy, teacher education institutions and schools), based on international evidence and promising practices identified in the study. The report can therefore act as a resource for policy makers, teacher educators, educational leaders, teachers and the research community.

Country Background Reports

To prepare their TPL diagnoses, participating systems prepare a Country Background Report (CBR) on the context, goals, policies and key challenges of their initial teacher preparation systems. The CBR provides a valuable opportunity for comparative inquiry, stakeholder engagement and peer learning, building on a common framework developed by the OECD with input from participating countries. The preparation of the CBR also aims to help countries to identify and work with a wide range of national actors and stakeholders involved in initial teacher preparation and provides essential background information for the OECD team prior to their visit. You fill the completed CBRs of participating countries below:


You can find further information on the preparation of Country Background Reports on ITP in our CBR guidelines.

Promising practices in initial teacher preparation

During each of its country diagnoses, the OECD expert team identified a set of promising practices in initial teacher preparation. These practices may not be widespread or representative of any given system but – seen in their particular context and in light of the challenges they address – they may provide an opportunity to improve ITP systems and for other countries to learn from.