Attending to out-of-field teaching: implications of and for education policy

Colleen Vale, Pat Drake

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


In this chapter we argue that policy should take account of teaching-out-of-field because it is systemic. Rather than being a product of poor teacher retention, we show that teachers teaching out-of-field has consequences for teacher retention. We illustrate opportunities for providing differentiated professional learning for people working in schools. Research, reports and commentary on education poli-cy regarding the incidence of, perceptions of, and responses to out-of-field teach-ing in secondary education, with a particular focus on STEM disciplines are re-viewed. Whilst education systems and policies differ between, and within coun-tries, the review identifies policies and practices that impact incidence of, and responses to, out-of-field teaching. Scenarios taken from particular studies will be used to illustrate contexts, policies and practices. The review explores who takes responsibility within the education systems and jurisdictions for attending to the issue of teaching across specialisms, who is undertaking what actions, and what further steps are needed by the various policy makers and implementers to respond appropriately.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExamining the Phenomenon of “Teaching Out-of-field”
Subtitle of host publicationInternational Perspectives on Teaching as a Non-specialist
EditorsLinda Hobbs, Günter Törner
Place of PublicationSingapore Singapore
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9789811333668
ISBN (Print)9789811333651
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • retention
  • recruitment
  • teaching out-of-field policy

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