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Explicit instruction is the key to improving initial teacher education | Good to Great Schools Australia

In a submission to the Australian Government’s Quality Initial Teacher Education Review, Good to Great Schools Australia has asserted that the lack of knowledge of explicit instruction in teaching is the central problem facing initial teacher education.

In its submission, Good to Great Schools Australia (GGSA) notes that while explicit and teacher-led instruction is increasingly recognised as highly effective and high-impact, it is routinely omitted from initial teacher education courses.

Focusing on the needs of remote, regional and majority-indigenous schools, GGSA’s submission also identifies four other problems that disadvantaged schools, particularly those in Indigenous communities, face:

  • high teacher and school leadership turnover
  • insufficient teacher numbers and recruitment difficulties
  • lack of preparation and experience
  • lack of continuity in school improvement and disruption caused by professional turnover.

 

Good to Great Schools Australia also argues that the specific problems of initial teacher education are:

  • university courses are not responsive to school needs
  • explicit, direct and teacher-led instruction marginalised in university teacher education courses
  • initial teacher education reviews focus too much on teachers rather than teaching whereas international evidence points to the short-term return on teaching focus.

 

Good to Great Schools Australia makes a number of proposals in order to address the problems associated with initial teacher education and regional and remote majority-indigenous schools:

  • attach initial teacher education places to schools rather than universities
  • educate and place mainstream teachers for indigenous-majority schools in a school clinic model attached to high performance schools
  • train and place Community Teachers for indigenous-majority schools in a school clinic model attached to GGSA and a university partner
  • utilise Good to Great Schools Australia’s Mastery Teaching Pathway professional learning platform to complement the theory component of initial teacher education courses.

 

Read Good to Great Schools Australia’s submission to the Initial Quality Teacher Education Review here.

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