CATE Nordic Study
The Coherence and Assignments in Teacher Education (CATE) Nordic Study is a quantitative study, investigating the quality of program design and instructional practices in teacher education in the Nordic countries. The project targets teacher candidates’ perceptions of their teacher preparation in five programs in Denmark (1), Iceland (2) and Norway (2).
Researchers increasingly agree that strong teacher education programs promote a clear vision of teachers and teaching; such programs must be coherent, reflecting a shared understanding of teaching and learning among faculty; and they must provide prospective teachers with opportunities to learn (OTL) that are grounded in the actual work of teaching. For programs to be coherent, OTL in both schools and teacher education institution must be aligned. Although increased agreement exists about what constitutes strong teacher education, research and evaluations in the Nordic countries steadily find that not all programs reflect these key elements. Many key questions about the preparation of Nordic teachers thus remain unexplored, and the CATE Nordic study investigates the quality of program design and instructional practices in selected teacher education programs in Denmark, Iceland and Norway.
The specific research aims guiding the study are:
- To contribute with knowledge about program design and pedagogical practices in teacher education across the Nordic countries, in particular those practices that will enable candidates’ opportunities to learn that are grounded in practice;
- To further develop a survey instrument for looking at quality in teacher education in the Nordic countries (i) to look across coursework and fieldwork, and (ii) adapted to the Nordic countries;
- To identify similarities and differences across the Nordic countries.
The call for larger-scale studies in the field of research on teacher education invites efficient research designs but also the reuse of data in our field. The CATE Nordic study builds on, and further develops, a previous study that found distinct patterns of variation across programs and countries related to the characteristics of program coherence, as well as the provision of OTL that are grounded in practice. CATE Nordic extends the scope to include OTL during fieldwork in teacher preparation, and is adapted to the Nordic countries. In order to examine the nature of teacher preparation in these different contexts, we focus on the vision and coherence of each teacher education program, as well as on the opportunities offered to students to study and enact practice – both during coursework and in their fieldwork in schools. We collect candidate survey data to help us examine candidates’ perceptions of their teacher education. The survey instrument has been further developed from a previous CATE survey instrument, and validated in the Nordic context.
Associate Professor Inga Staal Jenset
University of Oslo