A friend of mine is currently writing her thesis in teaching methodology of mathematics. We are searching for an appropriate translation for the German word 'Lehramtsstudierender'. This is a person who is studying at university to become a teacher, but hasn't graduated yet. We found several expressions like 'student teacher', 'teacher student' and 'teacher trainee' and got the impression that a teacher trainee has already graduated. Is there a difference between a student teacher and a teacher student?

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    How about teaching assistant? – Nagarajan Shanmuganathan Dec 6 '17 at 11:10
  • In the US the academic discipline is usually 'Education', so 'education student'. – StoneyB Dec 6 '17 at 11:52
  • I agree with teaching assistant (or [post-]graduate teaching assistant, if the person has got their first degree). – Mick Dec 6 '17 at 11:58
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    @NagarajanShanmuganathan In Australia, the term teaching assistant refers to someone working in a classroom (to assist a teacher), not to a person studying to be a teacher. The person might be doing both, but the assistant title doesn't address the student part. – Lawrence Dec 6 '17 at 15:42
  • "Student teacher" was very common in US elementary and secondary schools until an increasing number of teacher-preparation programs sought to euphemize the apprenticeship with labels like "teaching intern" or "pre-professional." (As an aside, I've had about 30 of them over the years, and changing the title hasn't made them any smarter...) – Rob_Ster Dec 6 '17 at 16:08

In Canada the term "education student" is used to describe a person taking courses at a university in a recognized program to become a teacher. "Student teacher" is such a student during a practicum in a classroom.


teacher trainer is a person who teaches others to become teachers.

The student is called a trainee teacher or just trainee.

A student teacher is when the trainee actually steps into the classroom, is not yet a teacher and learns by doing.

Both in BrE and AmE.

teacher trainer

  • I've not heard this before in America and I know quite a few teachers and am married to a woman who was to start such a program this year but didn't. – Azor Ahai Jan 5 '18 at 18:20
  • Well, you better start googling then. It is completely AmE. – Lambie Jan 5 '18 at 23:42
  • No need to be sassy. I didn't say you're wrong. Just adding information that it's maybe not that widespread. – Azor Ahai Jan 6 '18 at 0:02

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