10 SES 11 D, ‘Professionalism’ and the Governance of Teacher Education across the British Isles
Education policy in the Republic of Ireland has traditionally been characterised by an emphasis on consensus, with policy developed through a partnership approach between teachers and the state. This partnership approach has developed further as the Teaching Council in Ireland has been established and increased in influence. Following the economic crisis in 2008 this partnership approach has come under pressure. Teachers have experienced significant cuts in pay and pensions, and the social partnership arrangement between the different teacher unions and the state has come under severe strain. At the same time concern in policy circles has increased in relation to Ireland’s performance in international league tables such as PISA. These linked pressures of globalised economic crisis and education reform are having a significant impact on teacher education, professional development and the development of the teacher workforce in Ireland. This paper discusses changes in teacher education and related policies in Ireland, in the context of global pressures for change, and speculates about the type of teacher, and teaching force, that will emerge in Ireland in the years ahead.
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