Constructing the problem of initial teacher education in Aotearoa New Zealand: policy formation and risk, 2010-2018


  • Alexandra C. Gunn University of Otago
  • Helen Trevethan University of Otago



Initial Teacher Education, Policy development


This paper reports findings from an interpretive policy and discourse analysis of documents informing contemporary initial teacher education (ITE) policy development in Aotearoa New Zealand. The study first asks: what is the problem of teacher education as constituted in policy and associated documents in the period 2010-2018? We then compare the problems, suggested solutions, and recent evidence about the work of teacher education in New Zealand, to discuss the policy discourse, and theorise about the potential utility of solutions to address the problems raised. Our comparative analysis of the problems of ITE and proposed policy solutions with research evidence of teacher education work underscores the imperative of engagement with local and relevant evidence-based knowledge as a basis for informed policy decision making.



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Author Biographies

Alexandra C. Gunn, University of Otago

Alexandra C. Gunn works at the University of Otago College of Education as an Associate Professor and Associate Dean. She conducts research and teaches in the areas of: early childhood education, inclusion, assessment, curriculum, teachers’ beliefs and practices and the professional practices of teaching (teacher education).

Helen Trevethan, University of Otago

Helen Trevethan is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Otago College of Education. She has a long history in initial teacher education and currently teaches in undergraduate and postgraduate teacher education programmes. Her main research interests are beginning teaching, mentoring and student teacher professional practice.