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The scholarly discussion regarding admission policies in teacher education focuses on enrollment and teacher future performance effects. This study, in contrast, examines the foundations and mechanisms stated in these policies for the last 20 years in Chile, using a qualitative content analysis of documents. Findings identify foundations, problems, and solutions promoted in three time periods. Conclusions distinguish as elements of continuity questioning teacher education quality and promoting solutions for the admission of students with high academic performance. They also point out a shift from mechanisms for incentivizing the demand to mechanisms for regulating teacher preparation program provision, as well as a shift in equity perspectives from “mobility contest” to “sponsored mobility” (Guinier, 2003). The study discusses the risk of these policies for reducing diversity in the teaching workforce in contexts of inequity and suggests diversifying the admission criteria, including non-academic aspects, and enhancing inclusive entry pathways and policies to support students’ diverse academic trajectories. These recommendations are relevant in contexts, where admission policies for improving the academic profile of student teachers are being designed or implemented.
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