How might the TPA be a vehicle for professional learning in partnership?

Year: 2018

Author: Ludecke, Michelle, Grimmett, Helen

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Within the context of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leaning’s (AITSL) requirement that Initial Teacher Education (ITE) providers deliver a Teaching Performance Assessment (TPA) from 2018 we recognised the opportunity to research the impact the TPA has on the relationship between ITE providers and teachers in schools to increase knowledge for and about teaching practices, and use this knowledge to enhance our practices and related fields.
We situate our research within the broader practices of educational reform in Australia in such as Action Now: Classroom Ready Teachers, and the Report of the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools. This climate shapes practices that focus on teacher education as a continuum of professional learning in partnerships. We draw on our previous work in Teaching Academies of Professional Practice (TAPPs) - designed for the purpose of improving initial teacher education - where significant professional learning was recognised, and positive shifts in perceptions of the work of mentoring pre-service teachers were highlighted. Continuing this work we aim to find and fund the time and space to come together as school- and university-based teacher educators to look at teacher education from many perspectives, which is central to powerful partnership work. In creating a shared field of professional learning and understanding, we aim to provide the opportunity for teacher educators to collaboratively interrogate our practices around the TPA. By reimagining school-based personnel as fellow teacher educators, all parties become invested in acting in ways that best support the learning and development of pre-service teachers, and in turn, one another.
We take a practice approach to understanding teacher educators’ professional learning, that involves changing existing states of affairs in “sayings”, “doings”, and “relatings”. The field of practice is our work around the TPA. The subject matter is the experiences of teacher educators, the symbolic structures of knowledge they develop and ascribe to, and how their practice is reflexively transformed as a result of these experiences. We take the view of practice that recognises extra-individual features such as material-economic contexts: in this instance, educational reform.
In this paper, we will report on the generation of survey data and initial findings from the analysis of this data around teachers’ practices of professional learning through mentoring a pre-service teacher undertaking the Monash TPA.