A new report, published today (10 November) by the ESRI and the Teaching Council, provides new information on the profiles of entrants to undergraduate (concurrent) and postgraduate (consecutive) courses of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) in Ireland. The report was commissioned by the Teaching Council to inform its advice to the Minister regarding the minimum requirements for entry to programmes of initial teacher education.
Entry to Programmes of Initial Teacher Education, by Dr. Merike Darmody and Prof. Emer Smyth (ESRI), draws on a number of data sources including data from the State Examinations Commission; the Central Applications Office; the Postgraduate Applications Centre and individual higher education institutions.
The findings of the study can be grouped under three main headings: demand for college places on teacher education courses, the profile of entrants into ITE, and requirements for entry. With regard to the latter, the specific focus of the research was on:
How popular are teacher education courses?
What is the profile of student teachers?
Requirements for entry
One of the report authors, Dr Merike Darmody, said:
“Despite challenges experienced by the teaching profession in recent years, teaching as a profession continues to be popular among young people in Ireland and entrants are generally high achievers. However, there is a need to consider entry routes that recognise the current lack of diversity in the teaching profession in Ireland and promote this career path among members of communities that are traditionally under-represented in teaching.”
Tomás O Ruairc, Director of the Teaching Council said:
“As the professional standards body for teaching in Ireland, we very much welcome the findings in this report which highlight the fact that teaching remains an attractive profession with a high calibre of entrant We acknowledge however the questions that the findings raise in relation to the diversity of the teaching profession. This report can help us ensure that we maintain the highest of standards in teaching and learning, while fostering an inclusive and diverse profession.”
The ESRI works towards a national vision of ‘Informed policy for a better Ireland’. This means producing high-quality analysis to provide robust evidence for policymaking, with the goals of research excellence and policy impact.
The ESRI produces research that contributes to understanding economic and social change in the new international context and that informs public policymaking and civil society in Ireland.