Start Date

28-8-2012 10:45 AM

End Date

28-8-2012 12:00 PM

Comments

Currently the development of a national system for the ongoing enhancement of teacher professionalism across Australia is underway. The initiative led by Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) on behalf of the Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs (now SCSEEC) is progressing rapidly with a finalised set of Professional Standards for Teachers and a set of Professional Standards for Principals approved by Ministers in 2011. It is clear that there is an inextricable link between the newly proposed professional standards and the professional education of teachers and principals across Australia. Further, it is imperative that the education sector will need to work in a unified manner through ongoing consultations to ensure the standards truly reflect what teachers and principals desire of the profession, in terms of teacher preparation, professional learning and training, and professional recognition. It has been evident for some time that the federal government is keeping a close watch on teachers and educational leaders and that it has a preferred, if not popular view of the nature of teacher preparation, professional development and training. Federal policy linking economic growth and development to education has never been stronger and in many ways teachers and principals are in a prime position to reshape the future directions of this nation. However, within this opportunity is a deeply embedded discourse of regulation, one that could ostensibly threaten the autonomy of teachers and principals to independently regulate their profession. It is true that the consultative approach to developing the sets of standards for teachers and principals is high on the government’s and AITSL’s agenda and there has been plenty of opportunity for all educators to contribute to the evolving construction of the frameworks that will regulate the shape of the profession for future graduates and practising teachers and principals. Despite this commitment to collaboration, discussions across the sector have raised four serious concerns that are discussed in this paper: 1. The conceptualisation of teacher and principal training and development as linear is somewhat problematic. 2. While quality and accountability is essential to teacher and principal development, and the notion of professional standards is supported in principle, it is of concern to many educators that the complexity of professional growth, development and training has been reduced to a set of basic competencies that may not truly reflect the complex nature of teaching, the principalship, teacher education and the preparation of teachers and educational leaders for contemporary times and a challenging future. 3. Many agencies within the profession, including teachers and principals, are concerned about finding a balance between the compliance discourse that accompanies regulation and the discourse of innovation that is central to the development of rigorous and high quality teaching and educational leadership that is evidence based and context specific. 4. What must be placed at the forefront of this debate is that teachers and principals, in preparation and throughout their professional careers, require differentiated pathways through learning.

Abstract

Concurrent Session Block 3

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Aug 28th, 10:45 AM Aug 28th, 12:00 PM

Session Q - Professional practice research: ensuring teacher development through a critical approach to professional learning

Concurrent Session Block 3