Introduction: Teacher education: an international perspective
The past 20 years has seen more changes in education than since education systems ﬁrst became formalised in the mid to late nineteenth century. These changes have been brought about partly by technological developments, partly by increased globalisation and partly by changed demographics. These three factors have created a set of circumstances where the education of all the population has become more critical to the future success of nations and has become urgent because the speed of change continues to increase as time goes by. In terms of technological developments, in just two generations we have moved from the time when the president of IBM argued that there would be a world market for ﬁve computers to a time where computers are so much part of our lives that we cannot even remember what it was like before they changed our lives. This has helped to make the world smaller, to globalise the way in which we think about things, as changes in one part of our world resonate into all parts of the world. Whereas once we thought of the local community as our marketplace, as we sold the goods we produced to our neighbours, we now have access to products and services delivered from the other side of the world as well. Some countries have grouped together, such as in the European Union, and these alliances have changed how we live because of their impact on the economies, the employment regulations and, indeed, access to a range of services, in individual countries within the union.