Graduate teaching performance from a Global perspective: An example from Australia.

Year: 2019

Author: Clinton, Janet, Cotton, Wayne

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This initial paper provides an introduction to the overall theme relating to TPAs globally and is followed by a discussion of Australia’s approach to understanding a PST’s classroom readiness. The development of the Assessment for Graduate Teaching (AfGT) will be used as a case study.

In the first part of this paper, a number of concerns are raised about the growing movement towards the development of more-generic TPAs. Challenges to a socially just education system such as a one-size-fits-all approach are explored and the design process for such TPAs are addressed. We consider the need for high-stakes assessment of a TPA to be valid in relation to what PSTs are actually taught on the one hand, and the desire for it not to have a reductive, marginalizing or otherwise constraining effect on coursework, on the other.

A key policy mechanism for improving initial teacher education in Australia has been to require ITE providers to demonstrate in their programs evidence of their impact on school students’ learning (Australian Government Department of Education & Training, 2015). Further, it requires that ITE providers include a final TPA as evidence of pre-service teachers meeting the Australian Professional Standards for Teachersat the Graduate level. We present a case study of the implementation of the AfGT as a response to this policy.

The AfGT is the result of comprehensive, collegial and collaborative actions of initial teacher educators from across Australia. It comprises four intricately related elements, each completed individually by the PST, to reflect teaching in its entirety. The development and trialling of the AfGT has been a large-scale project with universities, initial teacher educators, schools, parents, school students and PSTs participating.

This paper will also provide an outline of the assessment, the issues and challenges identified with such an approach. The perspectives of initial teacher educators and PSTs will be presented, which illustrate that some PSTs have found the process valuable for focusing thinking and understanding in many areas of their professional journey. Teacher educators’ perspectives of the positives and ongoing challenges are also explored.