The form and structure of teacher training throughout much of Europe is changing in response to a range of pressures including increasing problems with teacher retention, a greater role for schools in training, growing concern with quality management and government austerity. France, Germany and England have very different conceptions of the position of the teacher as regards key issues such as styles of teaching, ability to adapt the curriculum and pastoral care. Do the changes in teacher training in England encourage the development of a radically different kind of teacher from the old model, do such changes take the form of a convergence on a new model moving away from old patterns or are the distinctive old models simply adapted to the changed teacher-training environment?
To address these critically important questions my research examines the changes to the structure and content of ITE programmes to gauge their impact on the quality of teacher training in each country. In each country the method of inquiry is semi-structured interviews with key personnel in three teacher training institutions, in France, in Germany and in England: the programme director in each institution with overall responsibility for the quality and effectiveness of the training, and teacher trainers, in charge of teaching methods and pedagogy for cohorts of students training to be teachers either at primary or at secondary level. Teacher training institutions in all three countries are faced with similar problems such as teacher retention and attrition, shortage subject areas, the perception of teaching as a profession. The drive for raising the attainment of school pupils in each country has led to a plethora of government initiatives in schools, and scrutiny of the effectiveness of teacher training.