Future Focused Initial Teacher Education
High achieving education systems take educating and inducting teachers seriously. We need new teachers to enter the workforce well-prepared for their first teaching role and with the skills to learn and adapt their practice to meet future teaching challenges.
We have redesigned how we attract, select, and educate teachers to prepare for the future of learning. The increased level of expectations for all teachers to make a difference, the growing understanding of what effective practice looks like, the changing nature of what student teachers should learn and how they learn, the increased recognition of the importance of culture and family/whānau relationships to learning, the diversity of learners, the impact of technology, and the wider changes in work and society, have raised the requirements of teachers as practising professionals.
We need to reconceive how we educate and mentor new teachers to equip them with the skills they need, and to make sure we have an education system that enables every learner to achieve their best.
We want to do everything we can to raise learner achievement, and we believe one critical way to do this is to ensure our ITE qualifications enable every graduate to meet the new Standards for the Teaching Profession (in a supported environment).
The phrase ‘in a supported environment’ recognises that a student teacher who meets the Standards at graduation has done so in an environment that is more supported (throughout the programme and on professional experience placements) than would be typical for a fully certificated teacher. It also recognises that ITE graduates have less breadth of experience than an experienced teacher. So, ITE assessments need to provide evidence not just of practice but also that graduates are equipped with the theory and reflective abilities that will enable them to practice in the unfamiliar contexts within which they might ultimately be employed. This captures two important dimensions – the supervision and support that is part of all ITE programmes, and the need for a strong theoretical and reflective base to support the graduate to take full responsibility for learners and their learning.
New Programme Requirements
The Requirements - which also outline the processes for programme approval, monitoring and review - represent a significant shift in the way teacher education programmes will need to be designed and delivered, and how student teachers are assessed. The expectation is that student teachers are learning how to use what they know to make judgements and decisions about their teaching practice so that they are ready to teach.
The Requirements change the expectation of the kind of practical experience student teachers need, the nature of the coaching and support they need and the kind of assessments that will demonstrate they meet the Standards (in a supported environment). The Requirements are primarily outcome-focused with provider discretion where appropriate, while seeking to give schools/centres and kura greater assurance that ITE graduates are well prepared to be effective beginning teachers on day one on the job. This is achieved through a focus on:
- the quality of the assessments that providers will be using to assess whether a student teacher meets the Standards (in a supported environment)
- whether a provider has established authentic partnerships with schools/centres/kura and Māori/iwi to provide genuine input into key elements of a programme, and
- enabling flexible pathways to increase diversity and grow the future workforce while safeguarding teaching quality.
The Requirements come into effect on 1 July 2019. All ITE programmes must be approved by the Teaching Council under the Requirements by no later than 1 January 2022, unless the Council has granted a programme an extension.
If you are an ITE Provider (or are seeking to be a provider) then more details of the Requirements can be found here: Download Technical Frequently Asked Questions.
AUDIO: Unpacking the new ITE Requirements
In this interview Pauline Barnes (General Manager, Teaching Council) and Alex Gunn (Chair of TEFANZ and Associate Dean of Teacher Education at the University of Otago) discuss the new requirements for initial teacher education programme approvals which were introduced in July 2019. Alex and Pauline explore why the requirements were developed, some of the ins and outs of the new approach to programme approvals, and the critical role providers and their partners have in shaping their programmes so that graduates can meet the Standards/Ngā Paerewa (in a supported environment) from day one in their new teaching career. A transcript of the interview is also available.
How the new Programme Requirements were developed
The new Requirements come from consultation starting in 2016 with the ITE sector and other key stakeholders.
We released a discussion paper in July 2016: Strategic options for developing future orientated Initial Teacher Education
We worked with Professor Roger Moltzen on an advice paper about the evidence for making ITE a postgraduate qualification: Positioning ITE as a postgraduate qualification.
We released a literature review about the features of quality practica arrangements undertaken by the New Zealand Council of Educational Research (NZCER):
Read the summary report setting out the key findings: Summary report: High quality practica and integration of theory and practice in initial teacher education.
If you are interested in learning more, read the full report: Full report: High quality practica and integration of theory and practice in initial teacher education.
We set up an initial teacher education advisory group (ITEAG) to provide us with advice and guidance on, among other things, shaping the Requirements. Read more about the ITEAG here.
In 2017, we consulted on proposals for future-focused ITE: Read a summary of our consultation findings. Later in 2017 we released our vision for the new ITE system and detailed decisions.
In July 2018, we released the draft requirements for consultation. In December 2018, we released an ITE Statement setting out what we heard, our response, and next steps: Statement: ITE Programme Approval, Monitoring and Review Requirements (2018)
We also commissioned Graeme Aitken and Claire Sinnema from University of Auckland in 2018 to develop a new assessment framework for how providers could assess whether student teachers meet the Standards (in a supported environment). They were assisted by an assessment working group. Their work was also informed by two hui with ITE providers in October 2018. The results were:
- A process for providers to use to unpack the Standards (also outlined in the Requirements as Appendix I)
- An assessment framework (outlined in the new Requirements as Appendix II).
- A sample key teaching tasks professional experience report
- Further details on how to design a Culminating Integrative Assessment
We also developed a paper outlining what we mean by an authentic partnership.