This article presents the results of a comparative study of the content in selected teacher education programmes for primary and lower secondary teachers in Canada, Denmark, Finland and Singapore. First and foremost, the study is a comparison between teacher education programmes in, on the one hand, Canada, Finland and Singapore, all of which score highly in international comparisons such as PISA and TIMMS, and on the other hand Denmark, which receives average scores, but it also functions as a comparison between all four countries. The study covers the following subjects: pedagogy and mathematics. The study does not offer proof of any clear difference between the Danish teacher education programmes and those found in the top-performing countries. Two main findings are: (1) philosophically based professional knowledge, much of which is normative in character, forms an extensive part of the body of professional knowledge within the Danish teacher education programmes, which is not true of the programmes in the Top-3 countries and (2) the programmes in Canada and Singapore more frequently employ literature combining research-based knowledge with practical guidance and experiences, while the programmes in Denmark and Finland keep these knowledge forms separate.
Journal of Curriculum Studies, 2014, Vol 46, Issue 6, p. 798-818