Preparing new Teachers for the 21st Century: the New Zealand response

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  • 1. Preparing New Teachers for the 21st Century A New Zealand Response
  • 2. Challenges for Teacher Education The OECD fundamental challenge Challenges for research universities Challenges for governments Challenges for the teaching profession The measurement of quality
  • 3. The OECD fundamental challenge Teaching is not yet a research-led profession and to deliver the educational results required it should be. OECD (2005) Teachers Matter: Attracting, Developing and Retaining Effective Teachers, OECD, Paris, page 14.
  • 4. Research on the characteristics of effective professional development indicates that teachers need to be active agents in analysing their own practice in the light of professional standards, and their own students progress in the light of standards for student learning.
  • 5. Teaching remains largely unchanged as other forms of work have been dramatically transformed. Many other professionals commence their working lives with a sense that they are entering a role that has been shaped by past research and that will be transformed during their working lives by future research. That is an excitement that teaching has not yet offered. There are signs of change in some countries, with teachers developing a research role alongside their teaching role; with teachers engaging more actively with new knowledge; and with professional development focused on the evidence-base for improved practice. OECD (2005) Teachers Matter: Attracting, Developing and Retaining Effective Teachers, OECD, Paris, page 14.
  • 6. Challenges for research universities Ensuring that Faculties of Education have the same research ethos and level of activity as other Faculties (e.g. Science) Ensuring that teacher education is research-led and taught by those active in research Ensuring that academic staff are involved in the practicum, and see it as an opportunity for research
  • 7. Challenges for programmes Meeting professional standards Meeting immediate needs of schools while ensuring graduates can adapt to the needs of schools in the future Involving teachers and schools in the training of teachers while making sure graduates can innovate and use research for ongoing development
  • 8. Challenges for governments Ensuring an adequate supply of qualified teachers in all subjects and at all levels Demonstrating improvements in student achievement Controlling costs and relative costs Managing incentives around teacher education and teaching as a career Establishing effective mechanisms for ensuring that teachers respond to new curriculum initiatives
  • 9. Challenges for the teaching profession Moving from a craft-based to a research-led profession Developing systems to recognise and encourage innovation Becoming evidence-based in their practice Maintaining standards and controlling membership of the profession in a principled way
  • 10. The measurement of quality Entry standards Graduation standards Performance in teaching Assessment of principal or supervising teachers Evidence of student achievement changes caused by new teacher Adjusting for student background Focus on provision of rich learning opportunities
  • 11. Challenges for research universities: Our response Teacher education staff are expected to be research active, to publish in books and in quality assured journals, and to use their research in their teaching Teaching methods are similar to those in other research-led disciplines All academic staff do some supervision and assessment of the practicum; some is done by experienced teachers recruited for the purpose We recruit high quality students, mostly graduates, who have demonstrated an aptitude for self-directed learning and who can interpret and apply research findings to their developing teaching skills
  • 12. Challenges for programmes: Our response Assessment both of coursework and of the practicum is based on Graduating Teacher Standards set by the New Zealand Teachers Council Graduates must have demonstrated an ability to evaluate their teaching performance on the basis of evidence of student learning, and an ability to understand and use relevant research Our programmes are based around two seven-week practicum placements in schools, and advisory groups of teachers help us set performance criteria. Co-operating teachers provide evidence that is used in assessment of students on the practicum
  • 13. Challenges for governments: Our response Policies to date have not matched graduate numbers to demand from schools. Funding incentives produce too many narrowly trained primary teachers, and can lower entry standards Government scholarships have attracted more secondary mathematics, science, and technology teachers Government is rightly concerned about the spread of student achievement in schools, but lacks the commitment to making teaching the kind of research- led profession that could find ways to reduce disparity of achievement Teacher unions are powerful, and resist any attempts to pay teachers on the basis of their effectiveness.
  • 14. Challenges for governments: Our response Pay rates are centrally determined and while employment decisions are made by schools, pay and movements within the pay scale are rigidly prescribed. This may discourage the recognition of excellence among teachers Our graduates have the motivation and intellectual skill to improve their practice continuously on the basis of evidence and new research. The New Zealand Teachers Councils Graduating Teacher Standards do not emphasise this in a way that would ensure it is the case across all programmes
  • 15. Challenges for the teaching profession Our response Strong adherence to craft-based ideals remain. Many experienced teachers are still highly sceptical of the place and benefits of research and evidence-based practice Strong commitment to the idea of recognising excellence in teaching, but no agreement on how to do this There is a slow increase in the number of teachers and schools that are strongly evidence-based in their practices. There are robust processes for dealing with incompetence and highly unethical behaviour. Systems for ensuring strong professional standards are less well developed
  • 16. The measurement of quality: Our response We require a degree with at least a B average to enter our graduate diploma (one-year) early childhood, primary, and secondary programmes. Strong secondary school qualifications are needed to enter an undergraduate degree Graduation standards are set nationally by the New Zealand Teachers Council. In addition to these we set higher university standards that require an ability to operate as an evidence-based teacher We currently involve co-operating teachers in the assessment of students on the practicum and student performance is linked to the quality of the programme
  • 17. The measurement of quality: Our response (continued) We use an independent research company to ask teachers and principals how well our graduates are performing. Several samples of the results follow this slide What we are still working on is reliable ways to: Measure the ability of new graduates to provide rich learning opportunities for all students Measure the quality of graduates by their students achievement after adjusting for student background
  • 18. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement? The PRT is capable of managing the classroom effectively Teacher 9 68 23 91 Supervisor 14 50 36 86 20 0 20 40 60 80 100 Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree Base: All respondents
  • 19. To what extent do you agree that