Initial Teacher Education: Roles and Possibilities for Preparing Capable Teachers

  • Coral CampbellEmail author
  • Raphaela Porsch
  • Linda Hobbs


This chapter explores the role of initial teacher education in preparing teachers who can rise to the challenge of teaching out-of-field. While some teachers manage the transition into a new subject well, others can struggle to the point of exiting from teaching all together. Early career teachers are in particular danger of feeling the negative effects of teaching out-of-field as they are more likely than their experienced colleagues to teach out-of-field. However, the journey of a teacher begins before they assume their first teaching position. Initial teacher education is a foundational time for teachers as they begin to develop their teaching identity as they gain an understanding of what it means to be a teacher. This includes their appreciation of the likelihood of having to teach out-of-field, which, in many Australian and German schools, has become a commonly accepted practice. While teacher education programmes are not required to prepare teachers to teach out-of-field, they do have the challenge of preparing well-informed, capable teachers. Critical to our understanding of how to approach out-of-field teaching in initial teacher education is identifying the types of activities and actions that can be used to ensure teachers are adequately prepared for the challenge of teaching out-of-field. This chapter will draw on studies from Germany and Australia and explore the different situations of pre-service teachers with regard to their preparedness of teaching out-of-field during their initial teaching education. The chapter closes with thoughts about the degree to which, and in what ways, teachers can be ‘prepared’ for teaching subjects for which they have no background.


Out-of-field teaching Initial teacher education Germany Australia 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Deakin UniversityGeelongAustralia
  2. 2.University of MünsterMünsterGermany

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