International Panel: Bridging Policy and Practice
A Focus on Teacher Preparation

Cross-National Summary Tables of Pre-service and In-service Education

The following tables describe the features of in-service and pre-service education for mathematics teachers in each nation. The tables are arranged alphabetically.

Table 2: Summary of Pre-service & In-service Education in Brazil

Pre-service Requirements & Programs In-service Programs

Training leads to a university level teaching degree in mathematics.


  • Courses in mathematics (in most cases these are the same as those for future mathematicians)
  • Courses in pedagogy (in many cases these are general courses, shared with future language, geography, etc., teachers)
  • Teaching Practice (altogether, about 700 hours of supervised activity, not necessarily in classrooms)

In some institutions, but not all, a monograph is also required.

No formal provision

Usually in the form of courses for teachers in the public system. These courses are not offered on a systematic schedule.

Teachers in the public system get three paid hours per week for pedagogical meetings in school. There was a recent effort to use those hours for working groups or other forms of collaborative work.

Table 3: Summary of Pre-service & In-service Education in Egypt

Pre-service Requirements & Programs In-service Programs

There are three pre-service programs for teacher education:

  1. The bachelor degree (B.S. or B.A. in subject matter and education) to prepare secondary (preparatory and secondary) teachers.
  2. The bachelor degree to prepare primary school teachers.
  3. After one year full-time or two years part-time educational preparation, persons holding university degrees or equivalent degrees can earn a general diploma in education.

These are usually short-term programs associated with changes in curricula. There is some criticism of their planning, methods of teaching and evaluation, and some related administrative procedures. Nevertheless, some programs are exceptional. One example, which is presented later, aims to change teachers' practice in the classroom by engaging them in collaborative efforts with inspectors and by promoting reflection and critical analysis of their own classroom practice.

Table 4: Summary of Pre-service & In-service Education in France

Pre-service Requirements & Programs In-service Programs

After completing a three-year degree, prospective teachers apply for admission to the University Institute of Teacher Training (IUFM) and take the Regional Admission Test.

During year one, all elementary teacher preparation is done in the IUFM. After year one, secondary teachers specialize. They take subject matter courses in the University linked to the IUFM and pedagogical and didactical training in the IUFM.

In year two, for the entire school year they assume full responsibility for teaching a class. Each teacher-student has two pedagogical advisors who serve as mentors. One advisor is a fellow teacher in the school. The other is a pedagogical advisor, a trainer from the IUFM, who attends some of the new teacher's classes and advises the teacher-student on theoretical issues, especially those linked to the dissertation. The new teacher also attends some of the advisor's classes.

Each year, each regional educational authority issues a "plan académique de formation"/academic training framework that lists all the training sessions planned, along with criteria for teachers' application. This "plan académique" is designed cooperatively by representatives from teachers' unions and the inspectorate. The local University Institute of Teacher Training (IUFM) implements the training set out in this plan. Local authorities fund the training to the degree that they are capable.

In mathematics, Universities of Research in Mathematics Education (IREMs) play an important role. The IUFMs delegate a large part of the mathematics training to the IREMs. In addition, IREMs organize other training sessions not detailed in the official plan.

Table 5: Summary of Pre-service & In-service Education in India

Pre-service Requirements & Programs In-service Programs
The governmental school system requires prospective teachers to acquire either a Diploma in Education (D.Ed.) to teach at primary level of schooling or a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) to teach at secondary level of schooling.

In-service training of teachers is provided by:

  • The State Department of Education
  • Colleges of Education
  • Educational Societies / Associations
  • Voluntary Agencies
  • Commercial Organizations

In-service training is often conducted via short-term instructional courses, workshops, summer courses, etc. Many agencies see the need for such teacher enrichment programs. Many teachers take part in these courses, which contain a mix of mini-courses and expository lectures.

Each state has a State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) that is entrusted with the responsibility of arranging in-service training courses. Some states have dedicated State Institutes of Science Education (SISE) that arrange training courses for science and mathematics teachers. In particular, when a new curriculum is implemented, massive training programs are arranged all over the state.

District Institutes of Education and Training (DIET) undertake training courses for practicing teachers in their districts. Where DIETs are not in existence, many of the colleges of education are entrusted with the responsibility. Colleges of education have the major task of pre-service training for prospective teachers and also work towards conducting training courses for practicing teachers.

The efforts of DIETs and colleges of education are more concentrated at the Primary Level. Training of secondary level teachers is done either by SCERTs and SISEs as stated above.

Table 6: Summary of Pre-service & In-service Education in Japan

Pre-service Requirements & Programs In-service Programs

To become a teacher, the candidate must successfully complete a teacher education program. He or she must also pass an examination on math, liberal arts, psychology, etc., and an interview on the prospective teacher's perspectives or beliefs about teaching.

In Japan, the standards produced by the Personnel Training Council guide the programs in university, but the details of the programs vary.

In the case of Yokohama National University, the program integrates mathematics, mathematics education, and learning about practice throughout the 4-year program.

The program has core and optional elements. All math education majors take the same core courses regardless of the grade level they plan to teach.

There are two types of training. The first is public training for which the government or board of education pays. The second type is private training, which is paid for by the teacher, research society, or other private source.

There are three types of public training. These are new teacher training, experienced teacher training (after five years and after ten years), and dispatched training (i.e., masters courses).

In the case of Kanagawa Prefecture:
New teacher training occurs 90 times in a year. It occurs 60 times at the school site and 30 times at the board of education. Training sessions vary in length. Some are hours long, while others are days long. The lead teacher provides individual guidance to the new teachers. The training is extensive and covers various topics and provides and additional training in classroom management. It also includes lesson study.

Experienced teacher training occurs five or six times in the sixth year of teaching. Training is group-based and is devoted to themes such as classroom management, student guidance, and addressing specific problems such as bullying. In the eleventh year of experience, training occurs three to five times.

Dispatched training may be public or private. It is available to teachers who apply and gain admission. The training may involve study abroad (for comparison purposes) or training in specific skills that may be useful to the teacher (e.g., additional teaching methods, foreign language study, or uses of instructional technology). A lot of the training involves teacher collaboration.

All prefectures use lesson study to address issues in teachers' professional development, which may be a component of each type of training described above.

Table 7: Summary of Pre-service & In-service Education in Kenya

Pre-service Requirements & Programs In-service Programs

An admission exam is required to obtain permission to teach. To gain admission to the exam, prospective teachers must have completed eight years primary school (for elementary teaching) and an additional 4 years of secondary school (for secondary teaching).

During teacher training, students attend lectures and then go into groups of 5 to 8 to meet with a lecturer and discuss the lessons in more detail. The program includes courses that compare education in East African countries and some countries outside of Africa and discussion of general issues in education and issues of current importance at the time of the training. Prospective teachers also learn about the culture and beliefs of the many different ethnic groups in Kenya so that they are prepared to teach in any part of the country whether or not they belong to that culture. After completing their courses, students must successfully complete nine weeks of independent teaching and student assessment.

The Kenya Education Staff Institute (KESI) focuses mainly at the secondary school level, and provides in-service training for heads of schools or education institutions and their deputies, heads of departments in schools, and for teachers. This body has been in place for the last twenty years, and has become very active in the last five years.

For heads of schools or education institutions and their deputies, KESI has provided in-services in areas such as school management, roles and responsibilities of major stakeholders, codes of regulations for teachers, the legal provisions in education, financial management, auditing, curriculum supervision and internal inspection. KESI has also provided in-services in guidance and counseling, and the management of national examinations.

KESI has also provided in-services geared towards the heads of science, mathematics, humanities, and the heads of other departments in secondary schools.

In the primary schools, another body called Primary School Management or "PRISM" provides similar training for the school heads, deputies, and senior teachers. One in-service course for teachers is a three-week residential training course where teachers learn to conduct research and report their findings to a larger audience.

Both KESI and PRISM operate under the direction of the Ministry of Education.

Table 8: Summary of Pre-service & In-service Education in Sweden

Pre-service Requirements & Programs In-service Programs

Teacher education, including teaching practice, is part of university education. The total length of the comprehensive program is 4.5 years for teachers at the primary and secondary level. There are many options and gradually increasing freedom of choice of courses within the program. The student could choose to take extra courses and prolong the education.

All prospective teachers take one common course lasting 1.5 study years, which includes 10 credits of practice/fieldwork/ teaching (1 credit = 1 week full-time, 1 study year = 40 credits). This course contains pedagogy, psychology, the school system and its history, goals and curricula for the school, and other general topics.

The teaching subjects and the didactics of subjects are covered within one or two "orientations," each lasting for 1 study year (40 credits). An orientation could cover more than one subject at lower levels. Normally at the high school level one orientation is one subject, for instance mathematics. Each orientation contains 10 credits of teaching practice.

In addition there are "specializations" each lasting one semester (20 credits). For mathematics teachers, one option would be more mathematics with a didactical emphasis, or pure mathematics courses (which are the same as those taken by mathematics majors). Part of one specialisation must be a degree paper, often a research-like study based on the teacher's classroom experience.

Every new teacher has a mentor among his or her colleagues, and each teacher has the right and obligation to fulfil in-service training.

Teachers are expected to complete 13 days per year of in-service training, but the form of the in-service training is left to the discretion of the provider and varies from school to school.

Most of the in-service days are used for common activities at the beginning and end of the school year. Some schools make individual in-service training plans for each teacher that attempt to balance the needs and goals of the teacher with the needs and capacities of the school. Most frequently one or more teachers participate in a short course, for half a day, one day, or several days. Teachers are encouraged to share what they learned with their colleagues.

Short programs may be arranged at a local school or in the local community. Some commercial interests and teacher training departments at universities also offer such programs for teachers.

More ambitious in-service programs also exist. A teacher may choose to attend some courses at the university. If the course is relevant, completing the course may fulfill part of the 13-day in-service requirement.

Table 9: Summary of Pre-service & In-service Education in the USA

Pre-service Requirements & Programs In-service Programs

Teacher education takes place in the universities. The requirements for entering a teacher education program in the US vary by institution, but the requirements for completing the program are strongly influenced by the state certification requirements.

To teach high school mathematics, candidates typically major or minor in mathematics and complete some pedagogy classes. Program requirements vary from 20 to 40 semester hours in mathematics. In that 20+ hours students may have courses in calculus, linear algebra, probability and statistics, introduction to proof, and geometry. Some states have more requirements. For example, a major might add computer science, abstract algebra, analysis or others such as the history of math. Pedagogy would include psychology, methods, etc.

Requirements vary by state and/or district and are provided by a variety of sources including:

  • Districts
  • Universities
  • Professional Organizations

District in-service training is often mandatory. Some states require "continuing education" courses to maintain or renew teaching certificates. Many courses offered in colleges of education and university extension programs fulfill these requirements. Professional organizations often provide workshops at their annual meetings.

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