Exploring four faces of learning in courses for beginning teachers

Year: 2001

Author: Tayler, Collette, Hanrahan, Mary, Duncan, Margot, Aspland, Tania, Ryan, Michael

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

In an environment where QUT promotes alignment of courses with desired professional outcomes in terms of graduate attributes, and prompted by critical reviews of Bachelor of Education courses, a new project team responded with a pilot action research project. With contributions from a range of stakeholders we drew up a list of the attributes, called "teacher practitioner attributes" that attempted to describe what an ideal teacher should possess at the start of their professional life. Significantly, this list was re-worked into a four-part structure describing the attributes in terms of beginning teacher's relationships with their peers, their 'clients' (eg. students and surrounding communities), their core discipline (Education) and, most importantly, themselves (as continuous, reflective learners). We then used this framework for involving students and core subject coordinators in identifying the attributes currently being addressed and how well courses as a whole covered the full range. We found firstly that there was a real need for students to have opportunities for dialogue with mentors, and secondly that a lack of communication and coordination between subject coordinators in different discipline areas meant that each was not making sufficient allowance for the contribution of others. We also found that holistic practitioner attributes were more workable as a framework for dialogue than atomistic skill groupings. Nine practical recommendations came out of the project.