Attending to Out-of-Field Teaching: Implications of and for Education Policy

  • Colleen ValeEmail author
  • Pat Drake


In this chapter, we argue that policy should take account of teaching out of field because it is systemic. Rather than being a product of poor teacher retention, we show that teachers teaching out of field has consequences for teacher retention. We illustrate opportunities for providing differentiated professional learning for people working in schools. Research, reports and commentary on education policy regarding the incidence of, perceptions of and responses to out-of-field teaching in secondary education with a particular focus on STEM disciplines are reviewed. Whilst education systems and policies differ between, and within countries, the review identifies policies and practices that impact incidence of and responses to out-of-field teaching. Scenarios taken from particular studies will be used to illustrate contexts, policies and practices. The review explores who takes responsibility within the education systems and jurisdictions for attending to the issue of teaching across specialisms, who is undertaking what actions, and what further steps are needed by the various policymakers and implementers to respond appropriately.


Retention Recruitment Teaching out-of-field policy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Monash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Victoria UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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