Teaching out-of-field: challenges for teacher education
The concept of "Teaching out-of-field" refers to a situation in which educators are assigned to instruct subjects for which they lack sufficient training and qualifications. This can encompass teaching subjects, grade levels, or school types without the required credentials, certifications, or specialization. This issue is widespread, and the emergence of out-of-field teaching results from systemic shortages of educators, uneven teacher distribution, scheduling challenges within schools, and the structure of teacher education systems in various countries, where teachers are trained as specialists rather than generalists. In certain countries, financial constraints tied to teacher-student ratios limit schools' capacity to provide the right mix of teachers for the full range of necessary classes, particularly in smaller schools. Schools looking to fill positions hire individuals who are willing to work rather than credentialed specialists. Teaching out-of-field might present hurdles for all stakeholder groups. The appropriate solution is to increase the teacher pipeline to to increase the supply of certified teachers.
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