Symposium: "Benchmarking, Competencies and Teacher Education"

Year: 1995

Author: Cherednichenko, Brenda, Hooley, Neil, Kruger, Tony, Mulraney, Rose

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Innovations such as Total Quality Management, Competencies and Benchmarking, which have their genesis in industry, have received a circumspect reception in education. One of the main objections to the application of `benchmarking' to education is its treatment of teaching and learning as unproblematic and technical activities. Another interpretation of benchmarking is possible, however, one which commences from a recognition of the richness and complexity of teaching and learning. Benchmarking, in that view, makes explicit the connection between`successful' teaching and learning, and enables comparison of the ways in which teaching and learning occur in different locations. This symposium will report on the introductory work within the undergraduate program in Education at Victoria University of Technology to construct an approach to benchmarking the competence of graduating teachers within the context of the Draft National Teaching Competencies. The graduating teacher at Victoria University provides two (related) kinds of evidence of teaching competence: in the development of competent teaching practices; and in the acquiring of a professional discourse appropriate for the competent beginning teacher. The symposium will report on graduating teachers' demonstrations of the acquisition of `benchmark practices' and `benchmark discourses', in part through case writing within the structure of the Draft National Teaching Competencies. Case writing allows the graduating teacher to construct a personal representation of competence which includes both the formality of a demonstration of readiness to teach as well as an opportunity for the teacher to express personal interests and commitments. One outcome of the symposium might be that Australian university education faculties might agree to participate in a collaborative benchmarking of pre-service teacher education.