Paper 4: A new socially just world of teacher education: the significance of teacher candidature selection

Year: 2019

Author: Clinton, Janet

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This final section of the symposium consolidates the findings from the preceding papers to consider the impact of pre-service teachers (PST) selection procedures globally. The paper will present a reflection on the three case studies from Finland, Australia and USA while comparing and contrasting the characteristics of PSTs in relation to the different programs and teacher education approaches globally.

Focusing on pre-service teachers, this paper utilises data from the Teacher Capability Assessment Tool (TCAT) database to examine the needs of PST from the USA and Australia. A cohort of 300 PSTs from three groups of candidates sat the TCAT assessment; first, incoming applicants to the program who also completed the current entrance interview. Second, candidates who are in their first semester of the program and; finally, those who are in the third semester of the program. The data and student demographics were analysed to describe the candidates’ cognitive and non-cognitive characteristics. Comparisons are made across the groups and with the TCAT database. Furthermore, analysis of student progress and available interview data provides a rich back drop to the pre-service teachers’ professional learning journeys.

Faced with the global challenge of teacher shortage and high attrition rates, this paper contends that selection methods play a critical role, not only in ensuring the quality of teachers today, but also in promoting teacher efficacy and the different skills required by our teachers tomorrow. This requires a collective impetus towards fair, appropriate and rigorous methods of teacher candidature selection.