Perceptions of the NARTE for selection into initial teacher education in Queensland, 2018-2020

Year: 2021

Author: Pendergast, Donna

Type of paper: Individual Paper

Pre-recorded presentation link: 2017, the Queensland Council of Deans of Education (QCDE) collaborated with the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC) to develop an instrument as partial requirement for selection to meet national accreditation standards for program entry. Named the NARTE, (Non-Academic Requirement for Teacher Education) it is administered by QTAC to applicants with preferences for initial teacher education (ITE) programs. The original test was comprised of two written statements and in 2020 a ranking exercise was added.The QCDE conducted this research to explore the effectiveness of the NARTE to achieve its purpose in the selection of ITE students. According to AITSL, the key non-academic capabilities associated with successful teaching identified in the research are: motivation to teach; strong interpersonal and communication skills; willingness to learn; resilience; self-efficacy; conscientiousness; organisational and planning skills. An online survey was administered by each university for three years of intakes, 2018-2020, with 950 responses.  It was comprised of short response questions with Likert Scale responses, along with open-ended questions to elaborate on a number of items.  Detailed analyses reveal an array of findings, with insights related to age, gender, school leaver status particularly insightful.  As an overall understanding of the difficulty of the NARTE, around two thirds of participants felt the NARTE was either ‘Easy’ or ‘Very Easy’.  Most participants 'Agreed' or 'Strongly Agreed' with a range of statements concerning the ease and helpfulness of the NARTE, with females tending to provide a more positive response than males.The majority of participants either 'Agreed' or 'Strongly Agreed' that both ranking exercises and written exercises enabled them to reflect on why they wanted to be a teacher.  The majority of participants did not receive assistance with the NARTE however those who did found the NARTE ‘Somewhat Difficult’ across all age groups. School leavers were more likely to receive assistance compared to non-school leavers.The extensive findings over the three years 2018 to 2020 provide insights into the perceived value and difficulty of the NARTE for students wishing to undertake ITE. Ultimately, this study confirms the value of the NARTE in assessing non-academic selection criteria for  applicants to assist HEIs to assess the motivation of students to teach. Further research, from a longitudinal perspective, into the value of such a tool to identify if initial motivation to teach is a key factor for students wishing to stay in the profession for longer than five years, is required.