MPs are recommending that teenagers should be put in charge of school lessons to encourage them to train as teachers.
The Commons education committee says "teaching taster classes" should be offered to sixth-formers and undergraduates to give them a feel for the profession.
A report from the committee says people considering going into teaching should be observed in the classroom before they are offered a training place to make sure they are suitable.
The report looks at the best ways to recruit and retain top teachers. It says the best teachers boost pupils' grades and make a significant difference to their future earnings.
It argues that allowing young people to try out teaching could improve the quality of applicants and lead to a lower drop-out rate.
The MPs say the government should consider developing a formal "internship" system, similar to one run in Singapore, to allow youngsters to experience the "content, benefits and career potential" of teaching before committing to it.
These "taster sessions" should include actual teaching, rather than just observing lessons, the committee said, with students given feedback afterwards.
"Applying to do teacher training is a 'high stakes' decision and the purpose of these sessions is to give people a chance to try out their own aptitude before committing," the report says.
"We believe this approach could help both deter some people who are not best suited to teaching and persuade others to consider it."
The committee also calls for teacher trainers to observe potential recruits in lessons before offering them a training place. "Our evidence was clear that teacher quality cannot be fully established without observing a candidate actually teach."
The report backs ministers' plans to create "teaching schools" to train teachers, but warns that reducing universities' role in training would bring "considerable demerits".
13 January 2012
13 January 2012
16 June 2011