Better preparing teacher educators for a quality rural teaching workforce

Year: 2013

Author: White, Simone

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Abstract:

How can we then better prepare graduate teachers for a rural career and for the diversity of rural, regional and possible remote ‘places' they might work in? This key question was the catalyst for a two year Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) funded project known as Renewing Rural and Regional Teacher Education Curriculum (RRRTEC). The project took the position that teacher education could be the key to solving rural, regional and remote staffing issues and aimed to develop a new conceptual model that would inform both curriculum renewal and a set of curriculum resources housed in an on-line publicly accessible website (www.rrrtec.net.au). A further Office of Teaching and Learning Project grant was successful to investigate the professional learning needs of teacher educators as a key group identified in building a quality rural teaching workforce. The extension grant aimed to build the awareness of the RRRTEC project internationally and to examine the professional learning needs of teacher educators as a professional body. Overwhelming studies have indicated that teacher educators feel they are not equipped to prepare pre-service teachers for teaching in rural, regional and remote contexts. This paper provides details of the work of the extension project and will share the interview data of teacher educators professional learning needs; the conceptual design of the professional learning model developed and the curriculum and research professional learning strategies developed. The paper will also showcase the new social media tools developed to provide the opportunity to share with teacher educator peers resources, strategies, suggestions and to critically reflect on teaching practice.

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