Year: 1989

Author: Logan, Lloyd, Dempster, Neil

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

In 1963 and 1979 the Australian College of Education sponsored census studies to develop profiles of the Australian teaching force. Given the central role assigned to education, training and schooling in the current social and economic reconstruction of Australia it was considered timely: (i) to update the 1979 profile in order to provide planners and policy makers information on selected quantifiable characteristics of the nation's school teachers in a single source; and (ii) to chart shifts in the composition and qualifications of the teaching force over twenty-five years and (iii) to identify trends in nominal and professional characteristics. To those ends the current study was designed to collect data from a representative sample of government, catholic and other non-government school personnel on: current position, preservice teaching qualifications, professional qualifications, teaching experience, further professional development, and membership of community and professional associations. The study was sponsored by a consortium of agencies - The Australian College of Education, the Brisbane College of Advanced Education, the Department of Employment, Education and Training and The University of Queensland. A team of researchers from higher education and government and non-government schooling sectors was formed to carry out the research. This team has developed diachronic and synchronic profiles of the Australian teaching force using the data from this study together with those from the 1979 and 1963 studies. A full report will be completed by March, 1990. This paper is based on the data collected through the eight items on the questionnaire concerned with award and non-award inservice education activities undertaken by teachers1 during 1987 - 1988 (see Appendix 1 for a description of the items in question). Information was gathered on aspects of enrolment in award courses at higher education institutions, and aspects of non-award activities: location, focus, special topics, timing, locus of responsibility and total participation time. The data are presented in tabular form followed by a brief comment on significant points. A discussion section draws out implications for the policy and practice of professional development. Since no data were collected on inservice education in the 1963 study, which is a significant comment in itself, comparisons in this paper are possible only with the 1979 study.