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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 12 Hansard (20 November) . . Page.. 4531 ..

Teacher quality practices

(Question No 1039)

Mr Pratt asked the Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, upon notice,

22 October 2003:

In relation to teacher quality practices:

(1) Is the Minister aware of the work of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) in the United States;

(2) Is there a similar organisation established in Australia to ensure professional teaching standards across the board, if so, does the ACT participate in any aspect of this board's work. If not, would such a board be a good addition to the education system to ensure teachers are pedagogically competent;

(3) In the ACT education system how do you currently ensure that teachers are pedagogically competent and does this involve regular checks;

(4) What else is being done within the ACT education system to recognise teachers who may not be pedagogically competent and help them improve.

Ms Gallagher

: The answer to Mr Pratt's question is:

(1) Yes.

(2) No. However, the ACT participates on the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs Taskforce on Quality Teaching and Learning that is currently developing national standards.

(3) The department has a rigorous teacher selection process for government schools. Applicants are required to address detailed selection criteria concerning teaching practice and pedagogy. A team of trained teaching professionals evaluates the responses; all applicants are interviewed and referee checks, including police checks, are made. This thorough process ensures that the highest quality recruits are available for teaching in government schools. In the first year of teaching, all new teachers are required to complete a detailed assessment process as part of their probation. This includes senior teaching staff observing and providing feedback on teaching skills, lesson preparation, behaviour management and professional learning commitment.

(4) All teachers in ACT government schools undertake an annual teacher appraisal called Professional Pathways. Teachers establish goals and priorities linked to system and school development priorities, as well as personal professional goals. Teachers meet three times per year to determine and review their Professional Pathways goals. The professional Pathways process addresses areas of pedagogy needing improvement through structured planning and professional development.

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