Norwegian teacher education programs have gone through several reforms since the early 1990’s. The latest reform entails a further expansion from 4-year programs to integrated five-year master’s programs.
Our paper explores three related questions:
- What are the levels of satisfaction among students at different types of teacher education provisions, and what explains potential differences?
- From the students’ perspective, what are the advantages and disadvantages of expanding the teacher educational degree from a 4-year to a 5-year master’s programme?
- Could cooperation between teacher education institutions provide new opportunities and increase student satisfaction in a 5-year master degree program?
To answer these questions we use the Norwegian National Student Survey, in-depth interviews, a follow-up questionnaire and literary reviews.
Responses from the National Student Survey showed that fifth year students on five-year programs were less satisfied than second year students. This could question the benefits of expanding the primary school teacher education from four years to a five-year master’s program. In this paper, we show that this might be a hasty conclusion. Some of the difference in satisfaction could be explained by the way the questions were asked. We also found evidence that indicates that at least some students at most five- or six-year programs eventually get tired of being enrolled at the same study program for so long. In the teacher education we argue that this could be solved through cooperation between the institutions. The institutions should make it possible for students to swap institutions between the third and fourth year. However, there is still one concern. The entrance competence among the primary teacher education students is lower compared to students in other subject fields with mainly five or six year integrated educational provisions. We also found that the satisfaction from the second to the fifth year of study decreased at a higher rate among students with a low entrance competence level. For the reform to be a success, we believe that the entrance competence has to improve among the teacher education students.
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