The teacher is central to the teaching — learning process, whatever a school’s policies, whether private or public, whatever board it has chosen to adopt. The teacher is an essential component of the success of the process. This being the case it is essential to consider what ‘creates’ a good, effective teacher and what sustains her and , through her, the framework of the school. This Issue is aimed at not only teachers and teacher-educators, but also policy makers and observers, in short, anyone with an interest in education. The focus articles deal with the policy and practice of teacher development and suggests alternatives while two more examine gender sensitisation and pre-service teacher preparation discussing in considerable detail the curriculum and its realities. This is followed by articles from practitioners across the field, from both private and public institutions. Teachers have recounted their experiences on the ground. There are critiques of the present system holding up practices against the light of theory, while some teachers have described their positive encounters, testifying to the dedication of colleagues working with enthusiasm and vigour in remote areas, without the help of sophisticated teaching aids.