National Graduate teacher standards: implications for professional experience policy and practice

Jackie Walkington

    Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookConference contributionpeer-review


    In 2009, Australian teacher education finally sees a series of graduate teacher standards that is
    designed as national benchmarking for those completing initial teacher education. The draft
    standards represent considerable negotiation and discourse by the various jurisdictions. They are
    being fine tuned in readiness for adoption across Australia as statements of quality and
    professionalism in teacher preparation course outcomes. Graduate teacher standards are integral
    components of a national system and form a basis for the accreditation judgments about teacher
    education to be made by local jurisdictional teacher regulatory authorities.
    This paper positions the development of national graduate teacher standards into the overall
    framework of teacher preparation in Australia, placing emphasis on what constitutes benefit for
    effective pre-service and graduate teacher learning. At the same time it acknowledges the tension
    that exists when the requirements of independent education authorities strive to agree on common
    ground to determine such ends. The paper seeks specific understanding of the impact that the
    implementation of national graduate teacher standards has on the policies and practices surrounding
    preservice teacher learning and university-school partnerships evident in the professional
    experience component of teacher education.
    To obtain this understanding, a review of the relevant literature surrounding national standards was
    undertaken with an emphasis on professional experience. Representatives of stakeholder groups
    were then consulted in focus group and individual interviews. Stakeholders were asked to consider
    how the adoption of the national graduate teacher standards would affect their particular
    relationship with the professional experience program. In summary, a range of modifications to
    professional experience policy, curriculum links, administrative and learning practices, resources
    and professional learning in partnerships were disclosed as priorities dependent on the stakeholder
    needs. While action in different jurisdictions would vary depending on what was currently in place,
    the adoption of the standards necessitates considerable modifications in order to ensure
    developmental continuity within courses, alignment with local requirements, and the informing of
    those in the teacher education partnership who would use the standards as learning and assessment
    markers of progress. Common to all of these modifications is the need for shared understandings of
    what constitutes evidence to demonstrate the achievement of graduate standards.
    The adoption of national graduate standards as shared benchmarks is as a catalyst to reviewing
    current practice. There is a renewed opportunity to work collaboratively as a profession to enhance
    learning outcomes and the quality of the teaching profession.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationTeacher Education Crossing Borders: Cultures, Contexts, Communities and Curriculum. The Annual Conference of the Australian Teacher Education Association (ATEA)
    EditorsJane Mitchell
    Place of PublicationBathurst
    Number of pages12
    ISBN (Print)9780975232446
    Publication statusPublished - 2009
    EventThe Australian Teacher Education Association (ATEA) 2009 Conference - Albury, Australia
    Duration: 26 Jun 20091 Jul 2009


    ConferenceThe Australian Teacher Education Association (ATEA) 2009 Conference


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