To maximise the impact of teaching upon student learning, we need to have more teachers in the profession who are able to teach like the best, writes Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) General Manager, Edmund Misson. Achieving this boost in professional capability will require an increasing emphasis on the education of Australia’s future teachers.
The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) has just released its second annual Initial Teacher Education: Data Report 2014, which contains a range of data that informs the current debate on teacher preparation.
The Report looks at 2012 data on initial teacher education (ITE) programs, the students commencing and completing ITE programs and data on ITE graduates.
The data collated for the Report highlights both the diversity and scale of initial teacher education in Australia. Over 78,000 students were enrolled in ITE in 2012, in over 400 courses at 48 providers. They study on campus and online, full-time and part-time, and at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Students come to initial teacher education through diverse pathways and graduate into employment across the range of Australian schools.
The report shows 30,457 students commenced a teacher education program in 2012. Most of these were female, studying full-time, on-campus and at the undergraduate level. Online or external attendance is growing in popularity with significant increases in recent years in students studying externally.
These students take a broad range of paths into initial teacher education. Of the 30,457 commencing students, around 20% were domestic, undergraduate students who entered their course on the basis of their school education and had an ATAR recorded. Of these, 56% had an ATAR between 61 and 80 while 31% had an ATAR 81 and over. In the lower bands, 13% had an ATAR between 30 and 60. Survey data from the 2013 Staff in Australia’s Schools survey indicates that the most common activities for a student prior to entering a teacher education course was full-time employment, followed by higher education.
Employment upon graduation is a critical outcome from initial teacher education. Responses to the Graduate Destinations Survey indicate that around half of graduates find full-time employment in schools within four months of graduation. For those graduates employed part-time in schools more than half are seeking full-time employment.
The report makes a number of additional findings across the different data categories. An infographic snapshot of findings is replicated below. A full listing of findings and copies of the report are available on the AITSL website.
The annual AITSL Initial Teacher Education Data Report will contribute to our knowledge base about teacher education in Australian and allow for a more informed debate.