In 2016 our newest Emeritus Prof Fehring r was part of an Australian Council of Deans of Education (ACDE) commissioned project to map the selection processes and procedures of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) providers. The study, Choosing our Best, has now been released on the ACDE website.
Heather has provided the following summary:
The study focussed on alternative entry ITE students, i.e. not based on Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR). A mixed methods approach involving a questionnaire to Australian Deans of Education and individual semi-structured interviews with a sub-sample of Deans and 13 pre-service and recent graduates. The data gathered indicated a variety of entry strategies were employed across Australia: ATAR scores, ITE interviews, ITE personal statements and school principal letters of recommendation. In addition, some ITE providers had explicit goals to attract marginalised and disadvantaged cohorts into teacher education. Data from the pre-service teachers and graduate interviews documented a variety of previous life and work experiences. The interviewees articulated several attributes which they considered contributed to their ITE pre-service success: an interest and commitment to learning, maturity accompanied by independence and confidence, time management skills, positive approaches to work and colleagues, an ambition to contribute to society, and previous work experience with children. In summary, some of the generic themes documented in this study were a balance of academic and non-academic selection strategies into ITE were perceived as important, graduate standards were seen as more important than ITE entry standards, many participants commented on the unreliability of written evidence like personal statement, applications, and references. Furthermore, the conflict of interests between processes supporting best candidate selection with institutional costs and time demands factors were recognised by participants.
If anyone is interested in obtaining further information regarding the study results, please feel free to contact EP Heather Fehring firstname.lastname@example.org