Changing practices in ITE: Insights into implementation and reflection

Year: 2018

Author: Dargusch, Joanne, Ambrosetti, Angelina, Busch, Gillian

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The implementation of the Graduate Teacher Performance Assessment (GTPA) presented an opportunity to consider the ways in which participating ITE institutions prepare and support students to demonstrate their ability to engage with the full cycle of teaching practice in their final year. Affordances of a collective response to this inquiry included the collaborative professionalism that informed and supported the implementation processes at institutional levels.
This paper presents the experiences of Teacher Educators at CQUniversity who have been closely involved in the implementation of the GTPA across all ITE programs. Emphasis is given to the way in which the GTPA has been used as a framework for reviewing and strengthening our existing practices. 
Within our institution, the GTPA focus on the role of assessment in enabling Pre-Service Teachers (PSTs) to demonstrate impact on their students’ learning provoked us to review the ways in which we supported PSTs’ assessment capability across our programs. The GTPA provided a framework for examining how and when opportunities were provided for PSTs to develop the language and practices of assessment throughout their degree, with the end view of ensuring they have opportunities to practise and develop the skills associated with demonstrating their classroom readiness.
In this paper, we will provide insights into the review process, and the adjustments made at program and individual unit levels to embed types of assessment tasks and theoretical perspectives. In particular, changes were made to assessment and reporting units and the final professional placement unit that was the site of the GTPA. This included a restructuring of the placement and a stronger connection between theory and practice. Drawing on data from unit sites, content analysis is used to identify resources designed to support students in completing the GTPA across programs.
This paper then presents excerpts from student work samples to demonstrate a growing confidence in both assessment and the full cycle of teaching practice. It becomes clear that the pre-service teachers use the language of assessment, but also apply their growing assessment capabilities in practical ways that impact on student learning.  
Finally, Teacher Educators’ reflections demonstrate that work within the collective has strengthened collaboration within our institution. Reflections on our experience in the trial have led to the identification of further work to be done to support and strengthen our students’ assessment capabilities.