The Faculty of Teacher Education, the successor of the Teacher Training College in Zagreb, Teacher Training College, Three-year Teacher Training College, Teacher’s Academy, Faculty of Philosophy – Educational Sciences, and the Teacher Education Academy, as a constituent of the University of Zagreb was established under that name on February 2, 2006.
The founding of a two-year programme of study at the Teacher Training School in Zagreb on November 15, 1919 marked the beginning of higher education for teachers in Croatia. However, the tradition of teacher education is much older. Zagreb got its first Teacher Training School in 1849, while the first Teacher Training School in Petrinja opened on October 1, 1862 and in Čakovec in 1879. The significance of establishing the Teacher Training School lies in the purpose of that programme of study which was to prepare teachers for work in higher grades of primary school, train experts for other educational work and not merely for in initial grades of primary school.
In 1941, the school obtained status and a new name – Teacher Training College, which operated until 1945. From 1945 until 1961 it functioned as a Three-year Teacher Training College, although in the period from 1945 until 1951 it was a two-year Teacher Training College with the purpose of educating future subject area teachers in lower grades of grammar school and later on in higher grades of primary school (at first a 7-year primary school which was extended to 8-years later on).
From 1951 to 1961 the Teacher Training College in Zagreb educated future teachers in higher grades of primary school through a three-year professional programme of study. The period from 1961 until 1977 saw the emergence of teachers’ academies as distinctive institutions for the education of teaching staff for a single primary school throughout former Yugoslavia. For the first time, the programme for the education of teachers in initial grades of primary school was raised to the level of higher education but in the duration of two years. At the beginning of the 1961/1962 academic year the Teacher Training School in Zagreb started operating under the name Teachers’ Academy in Zagreb.
In 1968, the programme of study for teachers in preschool education was initiated.
In 1976, the programme of study of subject area teacher education was terminated and since then has been carried out at home faculties.
Since 1981, the Teachers’ Academy in Zagreb, together with academies in Čakovec and Petrinja are integrated with the Department of Educational Studies of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and the University Centre for Education and Research in Zagreb into an independent unit of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb known as the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences – Educational Sciences where programmes for the education of preschool teachers, classroom teachers and pedagogy are offered in addition to the pedagogical-psychological education for all teacher education faculties in Zagreb. All other programmes of study within the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences belong to a separate unit known as Humanities and Social Sciences.
It is also essential to mention the activities of the programme for psychology and pedagogy training. With the decision of the University Council of April 29, 1971, the Centre for Educational Training and Research was established as an independent university institution located at the Faculty of Philosophy. In 1981, the Centre merged with the Faculty of Philosophy – Educational Sciences. With the separation of the Faculty of Philosophy into the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Teacher Education Academy, the Centre merged with the Teacher Education Academy. In the final document on the separation on March 11, 1997 the Department of Pedagogy of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences reserved the right to carry out the programme for pedagogical-psychological training of students of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, while the Faculty of Teacher Education reserved the right to carry out the programme for the pedagogical-psychological training of students of all other teacher education faculties (“Faculty of Science, Academy of Fine Arts, Music Academy, Faculty of Special Education and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Kinesiology”) – and other statutory activities.
The succeeding period for this institution is novel in all respects, particularly as an institution with a sincere affection for the education of future teachers in Croatia. For the first time, educational sciences blended with the reality of education, leaving open doors for directing (almost leading) the education of all teaching staff. This instance brought together a core of scientists whose interests revolved around research of educational phenomena. Scientific-research work is thoughtfully approached within the framework of the Institute for Educational Research whose projects and research results are published and presented publically at organized events. Cooperation with all institutions for the education of teachers not located in Zagreb continued, as well as with affiliated professional teaching associations. In 1992, a four-year programme of study for the education of future teachers was introduced.
Over time, the flaws of such cooperation began to manifest themselves, partially due to the vague programme orientation, financial difficulties, and mostly due to subjective weaknesses. This resulted in the breakup of the Department of Educational Sciences within the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and in the establishment of four-year teachers’ colleges and the Teacher Education Academy.
The final separation, on March 11, 1997, again generated two institutions: The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Teacher Education Academy. With the Act of the Croatian Government dated April 10, 1997, the Four-year Teachers’ College in Čakovec and Four-year Teachers’ College in Petrinja were re-affirmed for organizational purposes and for carrying out professional programmes of study for the education of future primary school teachers, preschool teachers and professional associates in kindergartens. The Teacher Education Academy in Zagreb was founded by the regulation of the Croatian Government on May 21, 1998 as a Four-year Teachers’ College in Zagreb for the purpose of organization and carrying out programmes of continuous professional development of teachers, kindergarten teachers, for carrying out professional and scientific work in the area of social studies and humanities including publishing, library and IT activities to meet the needs of teaching and professional work. The Government of the Republic of Croatia transferred the founding rights to the University of Zagreb, whose Board approved, on December 21, 1998, the Statute and change of name to Teachers’ Academy. After obtaining a positive opinion of the National Committee for Higher Education, The Ministry of Science and Technology of the Republic of Croatia issued the Teachers’ Academy – member of the University of Zagreb, on September 23, 1998 a permanent licence for work. The four-year professional programme of study with a subject major is the foundation on which the present-day programme Teacher Education Studies with modules and the programme of Teacher Education Studies with English or German Language.
With obtaining the Licence for carrying out the programme Integrated Undergraduate and Graduate University Study of Primary Education and the Licence for carrying out the Professional Programme of Study of Preschool Education on June 16, 2005, the Teacher Education Academy changed its name into Faculty of Teacher Education with approval of the Academic Council on June 22, 2005.
The Faculty of Teacher Education, in addition to its constituent units: chairs, centres, institutes, library and gallery, has three academic departments: Department of Teacher Education Studies, Department of Preschool Education Studies and Department of Educational Studies. With the resolution of the University Senate of the University of Zagreb dating February 13, 2007, the Four-year Teachers’ College in Čakovec and the Four-year Teachers’ College in Petrinja merged with the Faculty of Teacher Education at first as branches and then as departments of the Faculty of Teacher Education. As such, they were developed for the purposes of organization and implementation of the programme of study away from the Central location of the Faculty of Teacher Education. Both departments carry out the work and operations under the name of the Faculty of Teacher Education and their own name.