What's in and what's out about who's in and who's out: a panel discussion on the selection of teacher candidates to education and teaching courses (Part 2)

Year: 2013

Author: Bowles, Terence, Hattie, John, Dinham, Stephen, Scull, Janet, Clinton, Janet

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The ongoing debate about teacher entry requirements and its link to training has been topical for over a decade. In some countries testing is occurring at exit from formal degree and diploma teacher training education programs to ensure teacher quality. Other countries opt for a comprehensive assessment at entry for selection into a course. Over the past two years in Australia there have been significant debates about these and other questions relevant to teacher entry and candidature, including the literacy and numeracy standard of candidates and the establishment of benchmarks for general and curriculum specific areas. Further, the government has made firm commitments and comments relating to standards, teacher candidature and selection as part of a strategic process of school improvement and reform. Against this context there are deeper issues impacting these decisions related to budgetary constraints and who should decide on selection for training and selection into teaching. The response from universities and training institutions has varied widely with some applauding rigorous entry testing as an adjunct to testing through the teaching course. Other institutions have argued that such selection procedures are disadvantageous and diminish the role of the institution to select using a less rigorous approach and create teachers of high quality at graduation.
In this symposium we aim to address many of these issues and debate them. The symposium will begin with a brief outline of one comprehensive selection process currently being implemented for identifying and selecting teacher candidates. A panel discussion will follow involving academic leaders from various areas of interest incorporating research, leadership policy and implementation, evaluation, curriculum and teacher intervention. The panel members will present a brief statement and rationale about two key issues about selection that deserve consideration and discussion in the symposium. The remainder of the symposium will be given to discussion of the issues.