Action Now Report: How can we improve the quality of teacher education?

National teaching standards are weakly applied, recent graduates are poorly supported, teacher education providers and schools are not working together effectively, and Australians are not confident in the quality of student teachers.

These are just some of the key findings of the Action Now: Classroom Ready Teachers Report.

“The evidence is clear: enhancing the capability of teachers is vital to raising the overall quality of Australia’s school system and lifting student outcomes,” the report says. “Action to improve the quality of teachers in Australian schools must begin when they are first prepared for the profession.”

What are the next steps?

The report identifies four fundamental principles of high quality initial teacher education:

  • Integration: Initial teacher education providers, teacher employers and schools must share a commitment to improve initial teacher education and work in partnership to achieve strong graduate and student outcomes
  • Assurance: A relentless focus on quality assurance and improvement across all elements of initial teacher education is vital in assuring the quality of teachers and the education they deliver
  • Evidence: Evidence must underpin all elements of initial teacher education, from the design and delivery of programs to the teaching practices taught within programs
  • Transparency: Pre-service teachers should be provided with a clear understanding of what to expect from initial teacher education and, in turn, what is expected of them throughout their course

Based on these principles, the report made the following proposals:

  1. A strengthened national quality assurance process
  2. Sophisticated and transparent selection for entry to teaching
  3. Integration of theory and practice
  4. Robust assurance of classroom readiness
  5. National research capability

The Report will overhaul how Australia’s graduate teachers are educated – with course content, assessment and placement programs set to change.