Comparative teacher education research: Global perspectives in teacher education past, present and future

20th May 2019 : 17:00 - 18:30

Category: Public Seminar

Speaker: Maria Teresa Tatto, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College & Arizona State University

Location: Department of Education, Seminar Rooms G/H

Convener: Diane Mayer

This seminar is number five in an eight-part public seminar series on ‘Future directions in teacher education research, practice and policy’, led by the Department of Education and convened by Diane Mayer (Professor of Education (Teacher Education)) and Alis Oancea (Professor of Philosophy of Education and Research Policy and Director of Research).

Events in the series are free to attend and aimed at academics, researchers, teachers, head teachers, government members, policy-makers and students, although anyone with an interest in the topic is welcome to attend.

Registration is required.


This public seminar series considers teacher education reforms around the world in order to tease out future directions and possibilities for the relationships between teacher education policy, research and practice.  The series marks 100 years since the passing of a statute creating what was known in 1919 as the University Department for the Training of Teachers. Join us this term as we mark the Oxford University Department of Education’s  100th anniversary through this series of public events that pay particular tribute to our contributions in the field of teacher education today.


The significance of teacher education has increased globally over recent decades.  From international reports through to political manifestoes in many countries, teacher education is seen as crucial in the development of successful education systems.  Within a globalized world, therefore, teacher education has become a key plank of economic and social development. The character and worth of teacher education nevertheless are contested in some contexts resulting in significant variations in how global influences have interacted with specific trajectories in different nation states. Comparative research on teacher education reveals important paradoxes. While the importance of preparing highly qualified teachers is widely recognized, lack of common definitions and prevailing assumptions about what it means to learn to teach affect in significant ways the structure, the curriculum and the pedagogy of teacher education globally. Views on the knowledge, skills and dispositions that teachers need to be effective and how to acquire them are highly variable and result in significant differences in their ability to teach an increasingly complex curriculum to diverse learners. As many nations attempt to increase the supply of qualified teachers as a prerequisite to accomplish UNESCO’s Sustainable Development Goals, engagement in comparative education research may help to re-imagine the teacher education project and to reconstruct a fragmented professional field.


Maria Teresa Tatto is the Southwest Borderlands Professor of Comparative Education at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, and Professor in the Division of Educational Leadership and Innovation at Arizona State University, in the U.S. She is widely known nationally and internationally for her comparative scholarship on policy and practice in teaching and teacher education. Professor Tatto is deeply committed to developing research capacity in education as an approach to produce useable knowledge to support inquiry-based teaching and teacher education with the aim of increasing access to opportunities to learn for underserved populations.

She is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Oxford Department of Education and a Visiting Professor at Bath Spa University. She leads the World Educational Research Association (WERA), International Research Network (IRN): Learning to Teach: Building Global Research Capacity for Evidence-Based Decision Making. She has served as the principal investigator for two large scale international comparative research projects, the Teacher Education and Development Study in Mathematics, and the First Five Years of Mathematics Teaching Study. Both projects funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, have contributed to the comparative study of the connections between pre-service teacher education and what is learned on the job during the first years of teaching.

Professor Tatto is a former President of the Comparative and International Education Society. She was recently nominated for the American Research Association Fellow Award, and received the 2018 Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College Excellence in Research Achievement Award, a recognition based on work in the field of international comparative education policy and its impact on educational systems. She has published sixteen books, more than 100 articles, chapters and research monographs in English and Spanish, and is a frequent keynote speaker in global fora.

Her most recent publications include:

Tatto, M.T., and Menter I. (Eds.). (2019). Knowledge, Policy and Practice in Learning to Teach: A Cross-National Study. London: Bloomsbury Academic.
Tatto, M.T., Burn, K., Menter, I., Mutton, T., & Thompson, I. (2018). Learning to teach in England and the United States: The evolution of policy and practice. Abingdon, England: Routledge.
Tatto, M.T., Rodriguez, M., Smith, W., Reckase, M., & Bankov, K. (Eds.) (2018). Exploring the Mathematics Education of Teachers using TEDS-M Data. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer.
Tatto, M.T. (2018). Constructing research impact in teacher education through international collaboration and capacity building. Research Intelligence, 135, 27-33.


To view all events in this series see here.

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To discover more about our 100th anniversary see here.