Presents a critique of the assumptions underlying the Teacher Training Agency (TTA) strategy of defining quality centrally and imposing its view through a power‐coercive change process. An alternative view of effective teacher education is developed, based on the contention that high quality courses result from the thinking and commitment of teacher education professionals, working with their colleagues in schools, in local settings. It is argued that the development of high quality initial teacher training (ITE) results essentially from the engagement of teacher educators with ideas drawn from teacher education practice and research. Centrally‐driven curriculum blue‐prints are unlikely to lead to the same high quality results, rather they will tend to result in mere compliance. The argument is illustrated by an example of teacher education development in one institution leading to a set of propositions about the elements which characterise high quality teacher education more generally.
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