Science teachers are developing their own standards

Year: 1999

Author: Ingvarson, Lawrence, Wright, Jane

Type of paper: Refereed paper

The ASTA Teaching Standards Project is the latest stage in a process that began back in the early 1990s when ASTA Council first discussed whether the Association should get involved in developing teaching standards. Since those Advanced Skills Teacher days, there has been increasing activity around the development of standards across all states and territories. Until now, most of this work has been done by state government agencies, not teachers' own professional associations, for the purposes of personnel decisions. Most important, these standards and assessments have little capacity to promote professional development.

Things are changing. Dr Kemp the Commonwealth Minister for Education has strongly advocated that teachers should play a stronger role in articulating their own standards and promoting excellence in teaching (1996). And A Class Act, the 1998 report of the Senate Inquiry into the Status of Teachers, recommended that the Commonwealth Government facilitate the development of a national professional teaching standards and registration body to certify teachers who had "attained advanced standing in the profession".

The long aim of the ASTA/Monash Project is to support the development of a national voluntary system to provide professional certification to teachers whose practice has attained high standards set by the profession. This paper outlines the main stages in the project and the approach to developing and researching the standards and the performance assessments.