Stan­dards are sci­ence, but teach­ing still an art

Cru­cial to find the right blend

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - with Greg Whitby

IT IS safe to say we all feel more con­fi­dent know­ing those who share the road with us are li­censed to drive.

That is, we each have sat­is­fied the min­i­mum re­quire­ments nec­es­sary to be a pro­fi­cient driver as well as recog­nise what it is to be a good road user.

In a sim­i­lar way, the teach­ing pro­fes­sion has de­vel­oped its own stan­dards de­signed to en­hance the pro­fes­sion.

The Aus­tralian Pro­fes­sional Stan­dards for Teach­ers out­lines the min­i­mum re­quire­ments, de­fines what good learn­ing and teach­ing looks like and the nec­es­sary steps to be­com­ing a highly ac­com­plished or lead teacher.

Ev­ery grad­u­ate teacher em­ployed since 2005 has al­ready en­gaged with the stan­dards.

And in 2018, ev­ery teacher work­ing in a NSW school will need to un­der­stand and ap­ply the frame­work to their teach­ing prac­tice.

Teach­ers will know what is con­sis­tently ex­pected of them such as meet­ing the needs of each learner, hav­ing a high level of con­tent knowl­edge, en­gag­ing pro­fes­sion­ally with col- leagues, and un­der­tak­ing reg­u­lar pro­fes­sional learn­ing and com­mu­ni­cat­ing ef­fec­tively.

Of course, many teach­ers will al­ready be fol­low­ing this.

The value, though, in hav­ing this frame­work is all teach­ers can work to­wards the same stan­dards and re­ceive sim­i­lar recog­ni­tion for their pro­fes­sional stand­ing.

Teach­ers must demon­strate their pro­fi­ciency ev­ery five years to teach.

If they are un­able to do so, then sup­port will be pro­vided and in place to en­sure they re­turn to a pro­fi­cient level.

While the stan­dards are nec­es­sary for the pro­fes­sion, we need to ac­knowl­edge they are not suf­fi­cient in cap­tur­ing the re­la­tional side of teach­ing and the per­sonal qual­i­ties that individual teach­ers bring to their work.

The mark of a ma­ture pro­fes­sion will be re­flected in how well we can bal­ance the sci­ence of teach­ing, as mea­sured by the stan­dards, with the art of teach­ing as demon­strated by a rel­e­vant and shared view of what it means to be an ex­cep­tional teacher.

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