As economies across the world continue to struggle, there is growing evidence that the vulnerable in society, especially children, are paying the greatest cost in terms of reduced opportunities for access to equitable life chances, the most vital of these being education. Juxtaposing the ongoing failure of education systems to address disadvantage with the widespread belief in the vital importance of the training of teachers raises another issue, namely that remarkably little is known about the effective preparation of pre-service teachers to ameliorate educational disadvantage and, additionally, that little attention appears to be given to this in most teacher preparation programmes.

This book attempts to redress this balance and is structured by three themes that focus on national policy, pre-service teacher preparation programmes and individual pre-service teachers. The book reveals a disheartening picture of complex patterns of inequality across and within individual countries, together with an incomplete understanding of the intersectional mechanisms - political, ideological, social and cultural - that link poverty and educational disadvantage. Contributions from five different countries, however, provide evidence of positive signs that interesting, innovative and intellectually sound developments are happening at a local level and offer a valuable contribution to the debate about how teacher education can create levers for change.

The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of Journal of Education for Teaching.

chapter |4 pages


Poverty discourses in teacher education: understanding policies, effects and attitudes
ByOlwen McNamara, Jane McNicholl

chapter |13 pages

Education and child poverty in times of austerity in Portugal: implications for teachers and teacher education

ByMaria Assunção Flores, Fernando Ilídio Ferreira

chapter |17 pages

Teacher prep 3.0: a vision for teacher education to impact social transformation

ByKerry Kretchmar, Ken Zeichner

chapter |17 pages

Rethinking initial teacher education: preparing teachers for schools in low socio-economic communities in New Zealand

ByLexie Grudnoff, Mavis Haigh, Mary Hill, Marilyn Cochran-Smith, Fiona Ell, Larry Ludlow