This piece in University World News, http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20121031170816593, highlights a report that the German Employers Federation (BDA) advocates for changes in teacher training.
The BDA, which demands an across-the-board implementation of bachelor and masters degrees, would like to see teacher training setting out from the demands of the career itself and closely linking subject knowledge with didactics and education science. Higher education ought to incorporate practical phases in which institutions would cooperate closely with schools.
In my recent workshop with Zimbabwean educators, I learned about the “attachment period” which is mandated for all third year university students. It is supposed to be an opportunity for students to develop workforce skills that would make them more employable post-graduation. Of course, in the highly developed German economy it makes sense to see how increased cooperation in specific fields such as teaching would be viewed as an important aspect of national policy —we talk in the U.S. about the need to increase the number of students being trained in the STEM fields, but, we have no rational way to create a national policy which would tie employment prospects to university coursework and certification…Can you imagine the AFL-CIO making a statement like the BDA?