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PETE: The Political Economy of Teacher Education

The Political Economy of Teacher Education project seeks to understand the inter-relationships between economic factors and political ideas in the cultural-historical contexts of teacher education internationally. Key themes include privatisation and the shadow state; the relationships between policies, institutions and pedagogies; the rhetorics of reform and the playfulness of policy entrepreneurs; financial negotiation (bargaining) and changing relationships; the meaning of ‘value’ with respect to novelty and scale in teacher education innovations; and teacher education as academic work.

Principal investigators

  • Professor Viv Ellis, King's College London
  • Professor David Spendlove, University of Manchester
  • Professor Tom Are Trippestad, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences
  • Associate Professor Lauren Gatti, University of Nebraska, Lincoln


  • Warwick Mansell, Education Uncovered
  • Sarah Steadman, King's College London


As a cluster of related projects, PETE has multiple aims, including but not limited to:

  • Understanding the rhetorical production of reform ideas and how these create funding opportunities for policy entrepreneurs
  • Examining the relationship between privatisation policies framed through discourses of equity and justice, the pedagogies of teacher education and professional identity of the school teacher
  • Analysing the emergence of new relationships of co-production between the state and teacher education enterprises, including the co-creation of shadow state structures
  • Theorising questions of novelty, scale and value in teacher education innovations internationally

Our Partners

University logo

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences

Nebraska Lincoln N logo

University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Education Uncovered logo

Education Uncovered

Project status: Ongoing


Funding Body: Centre for Innovation in Teacher Education and Development

Amount: N/A

Period: January 2018 - January 2021