Demonstrating achievement of the graduate teaching standards: building interconnected assessments across the elements of the AfGT.

Year: 2018

Author: Keamy, Kim, Crane, Nadine, Ziebell, Natasha, Tan, Katina, Jenny, Buckworth

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Teaching is a complex activity, which means that understanding the performance and readiness of graduating teachers is itself both complex and challenging. Four elements were designed in the Assessment for Graduate Teaching (AfGT) to provide a robust and comprehensive assessment of a pre-service teacher’s (PST’s) ‘readiness to teach’.  These four elements are: Planning for Teaching and Learning; Analysing Teaching Practice; Assessing for Impact on Student Learning and Expanding Practice.
In this presentation we describe the interconnection of the four elements, concentrating particularly on Element 4. This element is an online assessment consisting of teaching scenarios that elicit a PST’s understanding of the Australian Professional Standards. In this Element, the focus is on the pre-service teacher’s ability to make considered judgements about authentic situations and dilemmas that are faced in day-to-day work in schools and other education settings that might not be encountered in the context of their regular practicum experience. The four scenarios address teaching students from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds; teaching students with disabilities; and teaching students who may present with challenging behaviours. The scenarios are written as though the participant is an early career teacher on their first teaching appointment. In each scenario, the PST is required to read the scenario, choose one of four options and then to justify their choice (in prose) in up to 150 words.Finding ways of assessing a PST’s understanding of catering for the diversity of students represented in Australian classrooms is significant in mitigating issues associated with disadvantage and access to quality education and curriculum (Villegas, 2007). In this presentation we report on the evaluations of the implementation of the AfGT over the past two years. These data represent the perspectives of academics and PSTs in the initial trial and subsequent implementation of the online task. The data reveals that some PSTs have found the scenarios valuable for focusing thinking and understanding in the areas of diversity and inclusion. Subject coordinators and tutors who assess the online scenarios have provided feedback focusing on preparation for the task, structure and content of the test scenarios and the use of the assessment rubrics. Scenarios that reflect real-world practice and are authentic representations of the intentions of the APSTs are being continually developed, utilised, assessed and moderated. Ongoing refinement of the rubrics will further strengthen inter-rater reliability as the assessment is conducted in different sites across the nation.