Author: Corrigan, Deborah, Cherednichenko, Brenda, Hooley, Neil, Kruger, Tony, Leece, Christine
Type of paper: Abstract refereed
Benchmarking is usually associated with a systematic and cyclical process utilised by industrial and commercial institutions to improve their economic performance, increasingly with a global perspective. The process assumes an emerging strategic plan for change and can include a focus mix of management vision, consultation with the workforce and clients, integration of latest technologies, improved training programs and more adaptable and responsive administrative structures. Benchmarking can be undertaken within the enterprise itself, with other similar organisations nationally or internationally, or against generic best practice processes wherever they exist in quite disparate situations. While economic benchmarking can be found in some higher education institutions in Australia, a coherent approach to educational benchmarking in regard to the quality of teaching and learning outcomes is not yet established. Throughout 1997, Monash University and Victoria University of Technology, Melbourne, embarked upon a five-step change process of educational benchmarking as a means of reviewing the quality of pre-service teacher education courses. The central feature of this process is the construction of a philosophical and reflective teaching portfolio by all student teachers. A description of the portfolio benchmarking implementation procedure is given, together with a discussion of findings and proposals for a continuing research program.