The benchmarking of teacher education programs

Year: 1996

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

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

While benchmarking is a recognised practice in industry and commerce, both in Australia and overseas, it has yet to find an equivalent place in the field of education. Recently, some Australian interest has been shown in educational benchmarking, but primarily from an economic, efficiency and effectiveness perspective, rather than for explicit and ongoing improvements in teaching and learning outcomes. This paper supports educational benchmarking as a means of developing best practice in pre-service teacher education. The theoretical background of educational benchmarking is discussed within the context of a market driven economy in Australia and where teachers are increasingly employed in a self managing school environment. A description is provided of one attempt at introducing the concept of benchmarking into a pre-service teacher education program which has as its major features, the establishment of collaborative partnership arrangements between local schools and the niversity and the incorporation of case writing by beginning teachers as a significant means of reflecting on personal practice. The research has demonstrated the authenticity of case writing as a data gathering technique and has illuminated the successful adoption of case writing across the year levels of a Bachelor of Education course. Three areas of professional discourse amongst final year Bachelor of Education beginning teachers have been identified and characterised. Work in progress between two tertiary institutions in regard to benchmarking the quality of courses across similar programs, is also reported.