Towards initial teacher education quality: epistemological considerations

Paul Adams, Carrie McLennan

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Initial Teacher Education quality is often judged through the auspices of audit-style mechanisms designed to facilitate the identification of matters pertaining to the ‘readiness’ of student teachers to enter the world of the classroom as fully qualified. In this regard, quality of programmes is often determined by the knowledge and skills student teachers demonstrate. Whilst ontological aspects are not necessarily elided, they are often ignored in favour of such epistemological matters. While such knowledge-based positions do not describe the totality of ITE quality evaluation they do predominate. This paper identifies a tripartite heuristic for the identification of ITE epistemology that explicitly refers to, and is requiring of, ontological matters in the development of student teachers: identifying teaching, doing teaching, knowing teaching. Whilst it is the result of a Scottish project, Measuring the Quality of Initial Teacher Education (MQuITE), its emphasis is notable for other countries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)644-654
Number of pages11
JournalEducational Philosophy and Theory
Issue number6
Early online date16 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2021


  • initial teacher education
  • epistemology
  • ontology
  • quality
  • Measuring the Quality of Initial Teacher Education (MQuITE)


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