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					             Bachelor of Education
                                and
Bachelor of Education with Honours
               Self Review Report




               Faculty of Education
             University of Tasmania



                  Report prepared by
                     Dr Kim Beswick
                       Tammy Jones

                        August, 2008
Contents
LIST OF TABLES ........................................................................................................................ 4
LIST OF FIGURES ....................................................................................................................... 5

LIST OF APPENDIXES ................................................................................................................. 6

ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS ............................................................................................ 7
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ............................................................................................................. 8
TERMS OF REFERENCE ............................................................................................................. 9
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ........................................................................................................... 10
      AIMS OF THE COURSE ........................................................................................................... 10
      FACULTY, UNIVERSITY AND NATIONAL PRIORITIES ........................................................... 10
      COURSE DEVELOPMENT ....................................................................................................... 11
      PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE ................................................................................................ 11
      STUDENT LITERACY AND NUMERACY ................................................................................. 12
      RESEARCH AND TEACHING .................................................................................................. 12
      QUALITY ASSURANCE AND ONGOING IMPROVEMENT ......................................................... 13
SELF REVIEW REPORT ................................................................................................................. 15
      INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................................... 15
      STRUCTURE OF THE SELF REVIEW REPORT ......................................................................... 15
      BACKGROUND ...................................................................................................................... 15
             THE UNIVERSITY ........................................................................................................................ 15
             THE FACULTY ............................................................................................................................ 17
             THE COURSES UNDER REVIEW .................................................................................................... 18
                    BACHELOR OF EDUCATION ................................................................................................ 18
                    BACHELOR OF EDUCATION WITH HONOURS ................................................................ 19
             REFLECTIONS OF THE 2002 REVIEW ............................................................................ 20
             RATIONALISATION OF HONOURS COURSES 2008-2009 ............................................... 20
      THE SELF REVIEW PROCESS ................................................................................................ 21
      FINDINGS IN RELATION TO THE TERMS OF REFERENCE ...................................................... 22
             1. THE PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES OF THE COURSE .................................................. 22
             2. THE STRUCTURE, CONTENT AND METHODS OF DELIVERY ................................... 26
                          LIBERAL STUDIES ........................................................................................................ 29
                          EDUCATION STUDIES ................................................................................................... 30
                          PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE ........................................................................................ 31
                          CURRICULUM STUDIES ................................................................................................. 33
                          PREPARATION FOR EMPLOYMENT ................................................................................ 37
                          PREPARATION FOR FURTHER STUDY..................................................................... 38




                                                                                                                                                  2
3. THE STRUCTURE, CONTENT … NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL BEST
   PRACTICE ............................................................................................................... 38
4. THE QUALITY OF THE COURSE .............................................................................. 44
5. THE SUITABILITY OF THE COURSE ........................................................................ 47
           EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION .................................................................................. 48
           PRIMARY SCHOOLING .................................................................................................. 49
           MIDDLE SCHOOLING .................................................................................................... 49
           SECONDARY SCHOOLING ............................................................................................. 50
           RELIEF TEACHING ........................................................................................................ 50
           NATIONAL CONTEXTS .................................................................................................. 50
           INTERNATIONAL CONTEXTS ......................................................................................... 52
                ACADEMIC STUDY EXCHANGE EXPERIENCE........................................................... 52
                PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE AND EXCHANGE OVERSEAS ....................................... 52
                SUPPORT FOR INTERNATIONAL LINKS..................................................................... 53
6. THE APPROPRIATENESS OF TEACHING AND LEARNING PROCESSES ..................... 54
7. THE QUALITY OF STUDENTS ENTERING AND COMPLETING ................................... 58
8. THE IMPLEMENTATION OF CURRENT POLICY ........................................................ 63
9. STUDENT DEMAND ................................................................................................ 66
10. COLLABORATIVE ARRANGEMENTS BETWEEN COURSES....................................... 70
11. THE NUMBER AND QUALIFICATIONS OF ACADEMIC STAFF .................................. 71
12. THE GENERAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND RESOURCES .............................................. 74
           BUILDINGS, TEACHING AND LABORATORY EQUIPMENT............................................... 74
           COMPUTING FACILITIES ............................................................................................... 74
           FACULTY AND OTHER SUPPORT SERVICES ................................................................... 74
                ORIENTATION OF STUDENTS ................................................................................... 74
                INDUCTION OF STAFF .............................................................................................. 74
                PROFESSIONAL LEARNING ...................................................................................... 74
                LIBRARY ...................................................................................................... 75
13. THE HONOURS PROGRAM AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO THE B. ED. ........................ 77
14. THE FACULTY’S PLANS AND PROCEDURES FOR IMPROVING THE COURSE ........... 79
15. ANY OTHER ISSUES ............................................................................................... 80
           LEADERSHIP ISSUES ..................................................................................................... 80
           COMMUNICATION ISSUES ............................................................................................. 81
                COMMUNICATION WITHIN THE FACULTY ................................................................ 81
                COMMUNICATION WITH STUDENTS......................................................................... 81
                COMMUNICATION WITH STAKEHOLDERS ................................................................ 81
           WORKLOAD ISSUES ...................................................................................................... 82
           RECOGNITION OF AND REWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE ............................................... 83




                                                                                                                                3
List of Tables

Table 1    Student enrolments (2007) ................................................................................. 16
Table 2    Staff numbers (2007).......................................................................................... 16
Table 3    Operating finances (2006) ................................................................................. 16
Table 4    UTas student load, by faculty and location (2007)............................................ 17
Table 5    UTas course completions, by faculty and gender (2006)................................... 17
Table 6    UTas staff numbers, by faculty and campus (2007)........................................... 18
Table 7    Bachelor of Education completions (2000–2006) ............................................. 18
Table 8    Weightings of Bachelor of Education course components................................. 19
Table 9    Bachelor of Education with Honours completions (2000–2006)....................... 19
Table 10   Weightings of Bachelor of Education with Honours course requirements........ 20
Table 11   Map of B. Ed. objectives against the University and Faculty strategic plans ... 24
Table 12   Bachelor of Education course weightings, by year and strand ......................... 27
Table 13   Bachelor of Education elective units (EPC352, EPC451 and EPC452) ........... 37
Table 14   Comparison between the University of Sydney B. Ed. (Primary) and UTas’s B.
           Ed. ...................................................................................................................... 40
Table 15   International student enrolments in the Bachelor of Education (2001–2007)... 46
Table 16   Unit and teaching SETL data for Bachelor of Education units (2007).............. 54
Table 17   Unit SETL data for individual B. Ed. units (2007) ............................................ 55
Table 18   B. Ed. CEQ Good Teaching, Generic Skills and Overall Satisfaction results
           (2002–2007)....................................................................................................... 56
Table 19   Bachelor of Education median and mean Entrance ITI (1999–2007)............... 59
Table 20   B. Ed. Graduate Destination Survey results – Employment Indicator (for those
           available for employment) ................................................................................. 62
Table 21   Grade distribution for semester 1 units, 2007 ................................................... 63
Table 22   Grade distribution for semester 2 units (2007).................................................. 64
Table 23   Grade distribution for semester 1 units (2008).................................................. 65
Table 24   Bachelor of Education student enrolments by age categories ........................... 67
Table 25   Bases of entry of students into the Bachelor of Education program.................. 67
Table 26   Student demand for the Bachelor of Education (2002–2007)............................ 67
Table 27   B. Ed. staff by title, campus, position, employment status and qualification..... 72
Table 28   Weightings of Bachelor of Education with Honours course components.......... 77
Table 29   Bachelor of Education with Honours graduate capabilities.............................. 77
Table 30   Bachelor of Education with Honours CEQ Good Teaching, Generic Skills and
           Overall Satisfaction results (2002–2007) .......................................................... 78
Table 31   Bachelor of Education with Honours student:staff ratio (2002–2007) ............. 78
Table 32   Bachelor of Education student and staff loads, and student:staff ratios (2002–
           2007) .................................................................................................................. 82




                                                                                                                                     4
List of Figures

Figure 1   Faculty of Education CEQ data related to generic skills .................................. 26
Figure 2   Faculty of Education CEQ Good Teaching results (2002–2006)...................... 56
Figure 3   Bachelor of Education median and mean Entrance ITI (1999–2007)............... 59
Figure 4   Bachelor of Education student demand ratios (2002–2007) ............................. 68
Figure 5   Faculty of Education student and staff loads, and student:staff ratios (2002–
           2006) .................................................................................................................. 82




                                                                                                                                   5
List of Appendixes

A        A summary of staff discussion around each of ten themes (prepared by Peter
         Davson-Galle).

B        The 41 recommendations of the 2002 review, the Faculty’s response to each, a
         summary of actions taken and the current situation.

C        Proposal for Rationalising the Delivery of Honours Courses 2008–2009.

D        The University of Tasmania Strategic Plan 2008–2010.

E        The Faculty of Education Strategic Plan.

F        Generic Attributes of Graduates of the University of Tasmania.

G1–G4 A mapping of each of the 4 years of the course against the University Generic At-
      tributes.

H        A mapping of course content that would ideally precede each of the Professional
         Experience placements.

I        Dr Andrew Fluck’s historical mapping of the changes to ICT delivery within the
         Bachelor of Education course from 2001–2007, the extent to which integration
         across KLAs has occurred, and a list of recommendations.

J1–J4    Maps of topics, learning outcomes and assessments for all units in each semester of
         the course.

K1–K4 Maps of assessment types and deadlines for all units in each semester of the course.

L        2007 B. Ed. Course report.

M        A Library Resource and Access Statement in relation to the Bachelor of Education.




                                                                                             6
Abbreviations and Acronyms

AIST      Association of Independent Schools Tasmania
AUQA      Australian Universities Quality Agency
CAC       Course Advisory Committee
CALT      Centre for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching (formerly the Flexible
          Education Unit)
CEO       Catholic Education Office
ECE       Early Childhood Education
Ed.D.     Doctor of Education
EDGE      UTas’s ‘EDGE Agenda’: Excellence, Distinctiveness, Growth and Engage-
          ment
DoE       Department of Education
GPA       Grade Point Average
HREC      Human Research Ethics Committee
ICT       Information and Communication Technology
ITI       Interstate Transfer Index
KLAs      Key Learning Areas
LOTE      Languages Other Than English
M.Ed.     Master of Education
Ph.D.     Doctor of Philosophy
PM        Performance Management
PLT       Professional Learning Team
SETL      Student Evaluation of Teaching and Learning
SITE      The Standard for Initial Teacher Education, General Teaching Council for
          Scotland
SOSE      Studies of Society and Environment
SUPP      School University Partnership Program
TES       Tertiary Entrance Score
TESOL     Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages
TIRTLE    The Tasmanian Institute for Research in Teaching and Learning Environ-
          ments
T&L       Teaching and Learning
TCE       Tasmanian Certificate of Education
ToR       Term(s) of Reference
TRB       Teachers Registration Board
UTas      The University of Tasmania
UT&LC     University Teaching and Learning Committee




                                                                                   7
Acknowledgments
Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Education with Honours staff are to be commended
for their willingness to contribute to this review in a variety of ways. In particular Peter
Davson-Galle and Julie Porteus provided helpful reminders of previous work and advice con-
cerning procedures for this review. Peter also generously drafted various discussion and
summary documents and, with Dr Tim Moss, developed the form of words used to express
the agreed objectives of the course in this document. A small group of staff (Kim Beswick,
Peter Davson-Galle, Tammy Jones, Tim Moss, Bronwyn Reynolds and Helen Yost) jointly
planned the review day on June 18 and the efforts of all in attendance at that event produced
findings around ten themes, many of which are incorporated throughout this report. A sum-
mary of the discussion around each of the themes, prepared by Peter Davson-Galle is pro-
vided in Appendix A. Many staff made individual submissions in various forms. Belinda
Vella, the then Program Support Officer for the B. Ed. provided invaluable support including
the preparation of assessment maps across the course. The authors of this report are grateful
for the guidance provided throughout the process by the Head of School, Associate Professor
Geraldine Castleton, and Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning), Associate Professor
Sharon Fraser.




                                                                                           8
Terms of Reference (ToR)
  1.    The purpose and objectives of the course and the extent to which the stated objec-
        tives contribute to the Faculty and University objectives as set out in their respec-
        tive strategic plans;
  2.    The structure, content and methods of delivery of the course with reference to the
        extent to which they meet the objectives of the course, result in the development
        of appropriate knowledge and skill bases, and provide appropriate preparation for
        employment or further study;
  3.    The structure, content and methods of delivery of the course with reference to the
        extent to which they relate to national and international best practice in teacher
        education;
  4.    The quality of the course, and disciplines included in the course, in relation to the
        perceptions of peers in the Australian and International scholarly communities;
  5.    The suitability of the course to address teacher education for early childhood,
        primary and middle schooling contexts in Tasmania, nationally, and internation-
        ally;
  6.    The appropriateness of teaching and learning processes including methods of as-
        sessment within the course in relation to the course objectives;
  7.    The quality of students entering and completing the course;
  8.    The implementation of current policy for monitoring and evaluating quality and
        the adequacy of the current methods;
  9.    Student demand;
  10.   Collaborative arrangements between the course and teaching within other courses
        and Schools/Faculties, other educational institutions and relevant business, indus-
        try and professions;
  11.   The number and qualifications of academic staff teaching the course;
  12.   The general infrastructure and resources required for the course including the
        buildings, teaching and laboratory equipment, computing facilities, Faculty and
        other support services, and the library;
  13.   The Honours program and its relationship to the Bachelor of Education program
        in terms of: learning to teach, learning to research; research methods preparation;
        coursework load;
  14.   The Faculty’s plans and procedures for improving the course;
  15.   Any other issues.




                                                                                            9
Executive Summary
The Self Review was undertaken in a short time frame. Nevertheless, the review is based on
rich data from representatives of all stakeholder groups. There was considerable agreement
between the views expressed in submissions from diverse perspectives.

Overall, the program is well regarded. Many of the issues raised appear, at least in part, to
arise from insufficiently explicit documentation. It is also clear that instability in the Faculty’s
leadership, and staffing generally, in recent years has worked against the development and
maintenance of coherent quality assurance and improvement processes and undermined con-
tinuity and collaboration in relation to teaching. In spite of these difficulties, staff have suc-
cessfully provided students with a course that increasingly sees graduates taking a diversity of
career paths locally, nationally and internationally. There is considerable optimism in relation
to the directions that the Faculty appears to be taking under the new leadership team.

The major outcome of this review is a set of 27 recommendations. Although some could be
considered to be implied by others and there is overlap between some this reflects the order in
which they emerged from the data and the relative emphases that the various issues received.
They are presented here grouped according to themes that emerged from the data. The num-
bering of the recommendations reflects the order in which they appear in the main body of the
report, which is structured around the Terms of Reference of the review. To assist with cross
referencing this Executive Summary with the main report, the Term of Reference in relation
to which each of the recommendations arose is also provided.


Aims of the course
Staff engaged in considered and valuable discussion of the existing aims of the Bachelor of
Education and arrived at a new version of these that reflects the priorities of current staff. It
was agreed that such statements can and should provide an overarching framework for all de-
cision making in relation to the course and hence should receive greater prominence than has
been the case in the past. To that end we recommend:
RECOMMENDATION 1: That the current objectives are given greater prominence than has
previously been the case. In particular, it is suggested that they could be available to staff,
students, and external stakeholders via the Faculty website, included in staff induction proc-
esses and materials, and explicitly considered in ongoing year and unit reviews.      (ToR 1)


Faculty, university and national priorities
This review has been undertaken at a time of substantial change both within the Faculty and
in education generally. The major external agenda that will necessarily drive change to
courses in the Faculty concern national teacher education course accreditation, while univer-
sity imperatives including growing enrolments, and initiatives such as the move to Criterion
Referenced Assessment, are also reflected in Faculty priorities. The review revealed broad
support for developments in line with these priorities but there was also recognition of some
inherent tensions. One such tension exists between the Faculty’s status as the sole teacher
education provider located within the state and the fact that it prepares teachers for the na-
tional market. In the view of some local stakeholders the course is insufficiently responsive to
local needs in that it prepares more primary teachers than required by Tasmanian schools. Re-
commendation 25 addresses this concern in part. Other recommendations in this group reflect
recognition of the need to shape the Faculty’s courses to meet external challenges.




                                                                                                 10
RECOMMENDATION 5: That the Faculty continue to support the development of units of-
fered in multiple modes                                                   (ToR 2)

RECOMMENDATION 13: That the Faculty move towards greater alignment among courses
and the use of more shared units across courses delivered in multiple modes (ToR 2)

RECOMMENDATION 16: That consideration is given to changing the Bachelor of Educa-
tion in ways that are consistent with national comparator courses, data collected for this re-
view, and the objectives of the Bachelor of Education.                              (ToR 3)

RECOMMENDATION 20: That the Faculty review the nature and range of specialisations
offered and pursue course rationalisation in such a way that all ongoing and future speciali-
sations are of sufficient quality to ensure national accreditation.                 (ToR 5)

RECOMMENDATION 21: That the Faculty review its international programs and its sup-
port of them with a view to developing a clear vision and plan for development of this area.
                                                                                   (ToR 5)

RECOMMENDATION 25: That the Faculty provide students with more information about
the range of possible careers options open to education graduates.      (ToR 9)


Course development
Particular aspects of the existing Bachelor of Education course were highlighted as in need of
greater attention, and particular weaknesses in terms of the naming of units and development
of intellectual demands made of students across the four years of the course were also raised.
These gave rise to the following recommendations that are also consistent with broader agen-
das, including those mentioned in the previous section:

RECOMMENDATION 4: That the course include more attention to issues of student diver-
sity.                                                                      (ToR 2)

RECOMMENDATION 10: That appropriate development in learning outcomes and assess-
ment demands is incorporated in all units of the course including curriculum units that are
introductory in content but that occur in later years of the course.              (ToR 2)

RECOMMENDATION 11: That teaching relating to planning and assessment is explicitly
documented across the course and its treatment reviewed to ensure appropriate development
in expectations from year to year.                                               (ToR 2)

RECOMMENDATION 12: That wherever possible unit titles are amended to reflect the con-
tent of units and that restructuring of course content is undertaken with a view to facilitating
this wherever possible.                                                               (ToR 2)

RECOMMENDATION 14: That earlier and greater emphasis on assessment and planning is
considered in any restructuring of the course.                           (ToR 2)

RECOMMENDATION 17: That Aboriginal Studies be included in the course at least to the
extent required for conformity with national accreditation requirements.   (ToR 3)


Professional Experience
A considerable amount of external stakeholder feedback related to Professional Experience
(PE). This is unsurprising given that PE is the principle context in which these stakeholders


                                                                                             11
encounter students in the course. Two of the recommendations (Recommendations 7 and 8)
concerning PE highlight the need for ongoing efforts to enable communication with schools
and systems, whereas Recommendations 6 and 9 concern the teaching directly related to Pro-
fessional Experience and the alignment of course content more broadly with the demands of
Professional Experience. This broader issue of coherence between various elements of the
course is also addressed by several of the recommendations discussed in this Executive sum-
mary in relation to Quality assurance and ongoing improvement.

RECOMMENDATION 6: That course content is structured consistently with demands made
of students on successive Professional Experience placements.              (ToR 2)

RECOMMENDATION 7: That ongoing communication with schools includes clarification
of the supervisory role of colleague teachers including in relation to pre-service teachers un-
dertaking their final placement.                                                       (ToR 2)

RECOMMENDATION 8: That continued effort is made to inform stakeholders of the proc-
esses that ensue when a “fail” recommendation is made by a colleague teacher. (ToR 2)
RECOMMENDATION 9: That the on-campus teaching components of Professional Experi-
ence are reviewed in terms of their content and structure in order to provide appropriate
preparation for each placement and opportunities for debriefing after each placement. Such a
review should be conducted with a view to providing guidelines that apply across courses and
that place demands on students’ time in proportion to the weightings of the units concerned.
                                                                                          (ToR 2)

Student literacy and numeracy
Considerable concern was expressed across the range of contributors to the review, with the
poor personal literacy, numeracy and ICT usage skills of many students entering the course.
External stakeholders were particularly scathing of what they acknowledged was a minority
of students with significant deficits particularly in relation to literacy. In addition, national ac-
creditation requirements will add impetus to addressing this issue which was seen as being in
tension with the university’s growth agenda. It is recommended:

RECOMMENDATION 3: That the Faculty develops a plan for assessing the relevant cur-
riculum knowledge of entering and graduating students, particularly in relation to literacy
and numeracy, and ensuring that courses meet the needs of students in terms of the develop-
ment of that knowledge.                                                            (ToR 2)

RECOMMENDATION 23: That the Faculty develop a plan to ensure that graduates of its
preservice teacher education courses are proficient in terms of their personal literacy, nu-
meracy and ability to use ICT.                                                      (ToR 7)


Research and teaching
Preparing graduates able to engage with and in research as it relates to their teaching practice
and possibly for further research studies is an important aim of the course that was perceived
as having received insufficient emphasis to date. More broadly there were also concerns to
improve the attractiveness of the course to high achievers and to strengthen the course in rela-
tion to developing graduates’ capacities for critical thinking. The resulting recommendations
are:




                                                                                                  12
RECOMMENDATION 15: That students’ capacity to participate in research within the pro-
fession and possibly to progress to further research training is explicitly addressed through-
out the course.                                                                       (ToR 2)

RECOMMENDATION 18: That the Faculty continue its emphasis on scholarship as the ba-
sis of teaching and research and that, as far as is possible and appropriate, staff teaching re-
sponsibilities are aligned with their research interests.                              (ToR 3)

RECOMMENDATION 26: That the Bachelor of Education include earlier and more exten-
sive opportunities for students’ to learn about research as it relates to the practice of teaching
and that capable students be made aware of research pathways and provided opportunities to
engage with research concepts in addition to those associated with the Honours program.
                                                                                          (ToR 9)


Quality assurance and ongoing improvement
The considerable work that is currently being done to improve quality assurance procedures
and their documentation was acknowledged. The self review process has contributed to the
development of a range of course mappings of the kind referred to in Recommendation 2. It is
imperative that the development of such maps continues, that they account for national ac-
creditation requirements, that they are maintained, and that they are readily accessible to all
staff.

A range of difficulties encountered by staff, particularly new and sessional staff, arise from a
lack of clearly documented and readily accessible unit materials and information. Addressing
this issue will also help staff better to coordinate teaching in various units and to work col-
laboratively on issues at each year level, and in terms of strands running across years. Unit
and course portfolios will be helpful in addressing these issues.

In recent years staffing arrangements and hence allocations of teaching responsibilities have
routinely been finalised just in time for the start of semesters. This has had the effect of mak-
ing it impossible effectively to apply quality assurance procedures, which have notionally
been in place for some time, in relation to unit outlines. Recommendation 24 addresses this
issue.

Recommendation 27 emphasises the need for opportunities to collaborate with colleagues in
addition to the availability of resources that might assist or arise from such collaboration.

RECOMMENDATION 2: That the course is accompanied by detailed mappings against
both the University Generic Attributes, Tasmanian Teaching Standards Framework, and fu-
ture national accreditation standards                                         (ToR 2)

RECOMMENDATION 19: That a systematic plan for regular external reviews of course
materials be developed and implemented.                                 (ToR 4)

RECOMMENDATION 22: That the Faculty pursue its plans to develop course and unit
portfolios, along with processes for their maintenance and associated professional learning
for staff.                                                                         (ToR 6)

RECOMMENDATION 24: That the Faculty develop and implement as a matter of urgency
processes in relation to the allocation of teaching responsibilities that facilitate the timely
preparation of unit outlines and the implementation of quality assurance procedures in rela-
tion to these.                                                                         (ToR 8)




                                                                                               13
RECOMMENDATION 27: That efforts, including with respect to timetabling and provision
for travel, are made to facilitate greater staff collaboration, including face-to-face interac-
tion, across campuses.                                                               (ToR 10)




                                                                                            14
Self Review Report
Introduction
This report details the findings of the Faculty of Education’s Self Review of two courses: the
Bachelor of Education and the Bachelor of Education with Honours. The Self Review process
was informed by the Terms of Reference. The process provided for substantial input from
staff, students and stakeholders, and allowed for the identification of some of the challenges,
strengths and opportunities for further development in the courses under review.

This Self Review may be submitted by the Faculty of Education to the 2008 External Review
Committee. The University of Tasmania conducts cyclical reviews intended to involve each
course at least once every 4–5 years as described in the University’s Teaching and Learning
Quality Assurance Manual.1 The previous Review of the Bachelor of Education and Bachelor
of Education with Honours was undertaken in 2002.


Structure of the Self Review Report
The report begins with an extended discussion of the background of the Bachelor of Educa-
tion and Bachelor of Education with Honours, and the location of these courses in the Univer-
sity of Tasmania’s (UTas) Faculty of Education. This discussion also includes: a reflection on
the 2002 Report of the Course Review Panel for the Bachelor of Education; and an outline of
the processes undertaken to generate feedback from staff, students and stakeholders for the
current 2008 Self Review. Each of the 15 Terms of Reference is then responded to in turn.

UTas’s Teaching and Learning Quality Assurance Manual on Cyclic Course Reviews rec-
ommends that the self-review phase will result in a report which makes a critical assessment
of the strengths and weaknesses of the course, as well as suggestions for improvement. Con-
sistent with this recommendation, an attempt is made throughout this report to affirm both the
successes of the Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Education with Honours, as well as to
identify some possible changes that might help these courses better to meet their potential.


Background

The University
The University of Tasmania was officially founded in January 1890, making it the fourth old-
est university in Australia. In 1991, a year after its centenary, the University merged with the
Tasmanian State Institute of Technology in Newnham, Launceston, to form a ‘new’ Univer-
sity of Tasmania (UTas). In 1995, the university extended its state-wide representation when
it opened the Cradle Coast Campus in Burnie.

UTas employs more than 2,150 academic and general staff (excluding casual staff) and has a
student population of about 20,280, including more than 3,400 postgraduates. This moderate
size enables coursework and other activities to be conducted with attention to the individual
needs of students. UTas has 6 faculties (comprising 31 schools): Arts; Business; Education;
Health Science; Law; and Science, Engineering and Technology, as well as two institutes:
The Menzies Research Institute and the Australian Maritime College. As a research-led uni-
versity, UTas has a range of major research centres and institutes grouped under 6 thematic
areas: Antarctic and Marine Studies; Community, Place and Change; Environment; Frontier

1
    Available at http://www.utas.edu.au/tlqam/docs/Course_Discipline_Reviews_External_Sept07.pdf


                                                                                                   15
Technologies; Population and Health; and Sustainable Primary Production. Student enrolment
data for 2007 are provided in Table 1.
Table 1
Student enrolments (2007)
    Student Enrolments 2007                               Number of Enrolments
                                                                        Cradle
                                         Launceston   Hobart Off-shore   Coast            Other     Total
    Total                                     5653      11451        1958           599       623   20284
      Commencing                              2772      4981             608        354       343   9058
       Women                                  3651      6231             905        421       422   11630
       Men                                    2002      5220         1053           178       201   8654
       Full-time                              3274      6117              29        241       228   9889
       Part-time                              2379      5334         1929           358       395   10395
       Full-fee Overseas                       507      1770         1958             5        58   4298
    Level of Course
      Higher Degree research                   234       947               0         19        91   1291
       Higher Degree coursework                242       877               5          4        17   1145
       Other Postgraduate                      305       628               0         11        26    970
       Undergraduate                          4185      8258         1939           402       409   15193
       Non-award, Enabling                     687       741              14        163        80   1685

    Table 2 provides data on University staff in 2007, and Table 3 reports operating finances for
    2006.

    Table 2
    Staff numbers (2007)
    Staff Numbers 2007                     Launceston           Hobart         Cradle Coast         Total
    Total (excluding casual)                      570             1501                  83          2154
            Academic                              244              665                  42           951
            General                               326              836                  41          1203
            Full-time (FT)                        397             1058                  51          1506
            Fractional full-time (FFT)            173              443                  32           648
            Tenure or Continuing                  376              835                  15          1226
            Fixed term                            194              666                  68           928
            Women                                 341              777                  50          1168
            Men                                   229              724                  33           986

    Table 3
    Operating finances (2006)
    Finance 2006
    Total Operating Revenues                             313,079,000
    Total Operating Expenses                             266,662,000


In 2005, the Australian Universities Quality Agency facilitated a quality audit of UTas. The
audit outcomes were presented in the Report of an Audit of the University of Tasmania, No-
vember 2005 (‘the AUQA audit’).2 The AUQA audit included a number of commendations


2
 Ensuing reports from the AUQA Audit include: Australian Universities Quality Agency: Report of an
Audit of the University of Tasmania (November 2005); the UTas 2005 AUQA Audit Implementation


                                                                                                     16
which were submitted for inclusion in AUQA’s Good Practice Database. These commenda-
tions related to: the inclusive development and wide ownership of the EDGE (Excellence,
Distinctiveness, Growth and Engagement) agenda; planning and review processes related to
teaching and learning; the Student Evaluation of Teaching and Learning (SETL) instrument;
mechanisms for supporting, enhancing and rewarding good teaching practices; management
and development programs for Heads of Schools; the linkage of the performance management
system to other human resource processes; and positive engagement initiatives with the Tas-
manian community. The AUQA audit also affirmed UTas’s attempts to: further embed and
evaluate the graduate attributes; improve educational development opportunities and some as-
pects of Teaching and Learning (T&L) technology for flexible learning; and pay further atten-
tion to the induction and training of tutors and sessional staff.

The University’s strategic plan for 2008–2010, EDGE2, outlines how the achievements of the
previous planning period driven by the original EDGE agenda, will be built upon and ex-
tended. In particular the University’s focus will be on the development of the Excellence and
Distinctiveness.

The Faculty
The University of Tasmania’s Faculty of Education is a single-school Faculty. The School of
Education is the largest school within the University. It offers five degree courses for pre-
service teachers, namely the Bachelor of Education, the Bachelor of Education (In-Service),
the Bachelor of Human Movement, the Bachelor of Teaching, the Bachelor of Adult and Vo-
cational Education, and the Bachelor of Education and Care (Early Years). A Master of Edu-
cation (coursework) is also offered as well as three research higher degrees (M.Ed., Ed.D.,
Ph.D.). The data below provide a comparison between the Faculty and other UTas Faculties
in regards to student load, course completions and staff numbers.

The appointment to the Faculty of a new Dean along with new Associate Deans (Teaching &
Learning, and Research) and a new Head of School have all occurred within the past year.
Under their leadership the Faculty is entering a phase of renewal and it is in this context that
the self review was conducted. Tables 4 to 6 provide the most recent available data on student
load, course completions, and staff numbers for each of the university’s faculties.
Table 4
UTas student load, by faculty and location (2007)
                                                                  Cradle
 Student Load 2007          Launceston     Hobart    Off-shore    Coast       Other       Total

 Arts                              792        1994           0          73         82          2942
 Business                          297        1516         922          36         12          2782
 Education                         995         402           0          77         73          1546
 Health Science                    964         819           0          48        185          2015
 Law                                14         528          57           4          6           609
 Science, Engin. & Tech            751        2110         263          34         35          3192
 Outside Faculties                 128         196           0          49          8           381
 Faculty Total                    3940        7564        1242         320        401         13467

 Table 5
 UTas course completions, by faculty and gender (2006)
 Course Completions for 2006               Women                 Men                  Total
 Arts                                       599                  312                   911


Plan (5 May 2006); UTas Quality Improvement Progress Report 2005-2007 (submitted to the Austra-
lian Universities Quality Agency June 2007). Available at: http://www.utas.edu.au/qualityaudit/.


                                                                                               17
                                                                     Cradle
 Student Load 2007              Launceston   Hobart     Off-shore    Coast       Other        Total
 Business                                      502                  495                  997
 Education                                     401                  173                  574
 Health Science                                359                   97                  456
 Law                                           130                   52                  182
 Science, Engin. & Tech                        309                  562                  871
 University Total                              2300                 1691                 3991

 Table 6
 UTas staff numbers, by faculty and campus (2007)
 Staff Numbers 2007
 (excluding casual)                  Launceston        Hobart         NW Centre           Total
 Arts                                   50.9            142.8           3.9               197.5
 Business                               21.9             77.0           0.0                98.9
 Education                              55.7             52.8           2.5               111.0
 Health Science                         87.4            100.0           19.9               207.3
 Law                                     0.0             24.1            0.0                24.1
 Science, Engin. & Tech                 91.3            407.3           21.0              519.6
 Faculty Total (Excl. casual)          307.6            872.4           47.3              1227.4

The Courses Under Review

Bachelor of Education
The Faculty of Education’s current Bachelor of Education course was introduced in 1998 as a
4-year program of teacher preparation, replacing an earlier model. The Bachelor of Education
prepares students for teaching appointments in Early Childhood and Primary classes. The
course is available full-time and part-time and is offered at the Launceston and Cradle Coast
campuses (Years 1–3 were taught on the Cradle Coast campus in 2008 and this will be ex-
tended to Year 4 in 2009). Some focus on the Middle Years of schooling has also been intro-
duced via elective elements in the course. Specific reference to the Middle Years was in-
cluded in the Terms of Reference (ToR 5) of this review in order to gauge the extent of
support for strengthening this aspect of the course. Table 7 shows the numbers of B. Ed. com-
pletions for the period 2000-2006.
Table 7
Bachelor of Education completions (2000–2006)
                              Bachelor of Education: Completions
                       Completing Year           Female             Male                Total
                                    2000           83                28                 111
                                    2001          107                24                 131
                                    2002          125                18                 143
                                    2003          126                23                 149
                                    2004          112                27                 139
                                    2005          116                29                 145
                                    2006          108                40                 148
Notes: This shows the number of course completions. This is compiled in May from research and
coursework course completions in the previous year. Numbers actually graduating in any year may be
lower than those completing due to outstanding fines, etc.

The course prepares the beginning teacher for the early years of teaching and lays a founda-
tion for further professional learning and development in both the theory and practice of edu-
cation. No subject prerequisites are required for entry to the course.




                                                                                                18
The Bachelor of Education is made up of four compulsory strands; Liberal Studies, Education
Studies, Curriculum Studies, and Professional Experience. Students elect to specialise in ei-
ther Early Childhood or Primary education and are required to complete these strands over 4
years full-time (with a 100% loading per year), or up to 9 years part-time. Liberal studies
comprise half of the first year and 25% of the second year, and students select from units out-
side of the B. Ed. course. Education Studies include: the social context of education, child and
adolescent development, values and reasoning in relation to schooling, inclusion in education,
assessment, behaviour management, legal issues and preparing to enter the profession. The
Curriculum Studies units involve study of all eight Key Learning Areas (KLAs): literacy,
mathematics, science, studies of society and environment, the arts (music, visual art and
drama), design and technology, health and physical education, and ICT. The weightings of
each of the four strands are shown in Table 8.
Table 8
Weightings of Bachelor of Education course components
Bachelor of Education                                                    Weight (out of 400%)
Liberal Studies                                                                    75
Education Studies                                                                 87.5
Curriculum Studies                                                                162.5
Professional Experience                                                            75
Professional Experience is undertaken in each year of the course. Students undertake 10 days
of supervised Professional Experience in Year 1, 15 days in Year 2, and 35 days in each of
Years 3 and 4 of the course. The 90 days are completed in primary and/or early childhood
educational settings under the supervision of a registered teacher.


Bachelor of Education with Honours
The Faculty of Education’s Bachelor of Education with Honours is an alternative final year
course option available to selected Bachelor of Education students. The Honours course has
traditionally been offered only at the Launceston campus, but from 2009 will also be available
to students on the Cradle Coast campus. It is one of six Honours programs in the Faculty.

Candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Education with Honours are qualified for entry by
attaining a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 3.50 (out of 5) on their complete Year 3 re-
sults as well as demonstrating high proficiency in teaching practice. In addition, students must
gain at least a credit grade in the Year 3 unit ESP318, Research Methods. Table 9 shows
numbers of B. Ed. with Honours completion from in the years 2000-2006.
Table 9
Bachelor of Education with Honours completions (2000–2006)
                        Bachelor of Education with Honours: Completions
                         Completing Year        Female             Male               Total
                                    2000           9                 1                 10
                                    2001           7                 0                  7
                                    2002           8                 3                 11
                                    2003           8                 1                  9
                                    2004          13                 3                 16
                                    2005           6                 0                  6
                                    2006           4                 2                  6
Notes: This shows the number of course completions compiled in May from coursework completions
in the previous year. Numbers actually graduating in any year may be lower than those completing
due to outstanding fines, etc.


The Bachelor of Education with Honours integrates Honours units with other coursework. It
requires students to complete a semester 1 Honours Dissertation Part A unit (12.5%) and se-



                                                                                              19
mester 2 Honours Dissertation Part B (25%) unit. Table 10 shows weightings of the various
components of the honours program, including the prerequisite Research Methods unit under-
taken in third year.
Table 10
Weightings of Bachelor of Education with Honours course requirements
Bachelor of Education with Honours                                           Weight (out of 112.5%)
Education Studies                                                                    37.5%
Professional Experience                                                               25%
Curriculum Studies (including ESP318 Research Methods)                               12.5%
Honours (Dissertation Part A and Dissertation Part B)                                37.5%
Both the Bachelor of Education and the Bachelor of Education with Honours are designed for
students who wish to become teachers. However, there is a range of other professional careers
available to graduates. An Honours degree may lead to further opportunities in research, both
in terms of teacher-as-researcher and reflective practitioner in the classroom and/or school,
and in postgraduate study (M.Ed., Ed.D., and Ph.D.). The University’s Teaching and Learn-
ing Plan, 2008-2010 3 includes an initiative to promote postgraduate study as a normal exten-
sion of students’ university education. In response to this the Faculty of Education plans to
increase enrolments in postgraduate education by 10% in 2009.

Reflections on the 2002 Review of the Bachelor of Education
The Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Education with Honours were reviewed in late
2002 in tandem with the Bachelor of Education (In-service) and Bachelor of Education (In-
service) with Honours courses. The membership of the two external review panels differed
but they shared a chair. The reports were received in early 2003.

The review made few substantive recommendations about the content of the course and con-
fined itself to broader matters at the faculty level and to operational and procedural matters.
Prior to the external panel’s deliberation, the then academic staff of the course had carried out
a comprehensive internal review for submission to the external panel. This included the col-
lection of statistics and soliciting stakeholders’ views, but importantly it included a thorough
and iterated examination by staff of the current course in comparison to a set of agreed aims
that emerged from extensive staff discussion and debate. The external panel commended us
upon these aims.

The 41 recommendations of the 2002 review, the Faculty’s response to each and a summary
of actions taken and the current situation are provided in Appendix B. In many cases, initial
actions in response to recommendations were made but not followed through. Over the past 2
years, however, efforts have been renewed and have gathered pace and momentum in 2008 as
a result of the Faculty’s new leadership. All of the recommendations have been or are being
addressed, many having been subsumed into broader agendas that have emerged in interven-
ing years at the Faculty and University level.

Rationalisation of Honours Courses 2008–2009
In February 2008,4 a proposal was put forward to rationalise the delivery of ‘with Honours’
courses within the Faculty of Education (see Appendix C). This proposal addressed issues in
regard to the content, administration and expectations of these courses. As a result of this pro-
posal, the structure, content and requirements for the Bachelor of Education with Honours
units have been refined to ensure consistency across the Faculty in undergraduate ‘with Hon-


3
    Available at http://www.utas.edu.au/policy/tlp08.pdf
4
    This proposal built upon and extended a draft proposal produced in December, 2007.


                                                                                                 20
ours’ courses. Teaching and learning arrangements have also been redesigned to enable cross-
course and cross-campus delivery.

The Bachelor of Education with Honours course and its relationship to the Bachelor of Educa-
tion program in terms of learning to teach, learning to research, research methods preparation
and coursework load are more fully discussed in ToR 13.


The Self Review Process
The research undertaken for the self review was conducted during the period May 26-July 31
2008. The processes involved, and the numbers of informants, were as follows:
    1. Current students enrolled in the Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Education
       with Honours degrees were supplied with the Terms of Reference of the self-review
       as well as a number of focus questions and invited to offer confidential feedback:
            In the form of a written submission; or
            By participating in a focus group interview.
       Written submissions were received from 6 students (by e-mail), and three focus group
       interviews were conducted with 9 students from Launceston campus, and 3 students
       from Cradle Coast campus. This sample included 6 student representatives from
       Years 1, 2 and 4, and 1 student representative from the Cradle Coast campus. Other
       student participants volunteered to be interviewed.
       It must be noted that the sample of students who participated in interviews is not rep-
       resentative of the general student population, in that there were disproportionately
       more males and mature age students interviewed than are currently enrolled in the
       B.Ed. course. This overrepresentation resulted from the current practice of providing
       one male and one female student representative from each year group. Additionally,
       students who volunteered to be interviewed were all mature aged. Most of the volun-
       teers indicated that they were considering undertaking an Honours year, so that these
       students may be amongst the course’s higher achievers.
    2. Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Education with Honours staff members were
       invited to contribute confidential feedback for the self review:
            In the form of a written submission; or
            By participating in a semi-structured interview.
       Written submissions were received from 2 staff members (by e-mail). Face-to-face
       semi-structured interviews were conducted with 13 staff members from the
       Launceston campus. Staff members from the Cradle Coast campus were invited to
       participate in individual or small group face-to-face interviews, but none chose to be
       interviewed. One staff member requested the transcript of her/his interview and heav-
       ily edited this prior to authorising its use. Two of the interviewed staff subsequently
       withdrew their interviews, with one of these substituting a written submission.
    3. The President of the Tasmanian Principals’ Association, the Director of Catholic Edu-
       cation Office, and the President of Association of Independent Schools Tasmania
       were contacted by e-mail and asked to distribute information on the review process
       (including the Terms of Reference) to appropriate members of their organisations.
       This information included an invitation for principals to contribute to the review
       process. Additionally, principals of schools who accepted 5 or more students on B.Ed.
       practicum placement during 2007 were personally contacted by e-mail and supplied
       with the Terms of Reference and a series of focus questions. These principals were
       invited to contribute to the review process, either:
            In the form of a written submission; or
            By participating in a semi-structured interview.
       Jointly, these processes resulted in semi-structured telephone interviews with 2 school
       principals, and written submissions being received from another 9. The principals



                                                                                           21
         who contributed to the review represented all school sectors (government, Catholic
         and independent) from across the state.
    4.   Department of Education Learning Services Branch Managers in each of the four re-
         gions of the state were contacted by e-mail and asked to distribute information on the
         review to relevant people in their districts. These stakeholders were invited to con-
         tribute to the review process, either:
             In the form of a written submission; or
             By participating in a semi-structured interview.
         This process resulted in semi-structured interviews with 1 Learning Services Branch
         Manager, 2 members of Learning Services staff and 2 people working as Department
         of Education support personnel (representing two of the four DoE regions).
    5.   The UTas Alumni Office’s Raiser’s Edge database was accessed to obtain the contact
         details of Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Education with Honours graduates
         for the years ending 2005, 2006 and 2007. Most contacts still recorded UTas e-mail
         addresses. In an attempt to contact every fifth person on the list, a name search was
         conducted of the Tasmanian Government Directory,5 and, in this way, over 70 alumni
         were able to be contacted. These alumni were sent information about the review, the
         Terms of Reference and a series of focus questions, and invited to contribute to the
         review process by making a written submission. This process resulted in the receipt of
         7 written submissions.
    6.   This review was also informed by discussions held by Faculty leadership and Bache-
         lor of Education staff during Faculty meetings, regular B.Ed. staff meetings, B.Ed.
         year group end-of-semester meetings, one FETLC meeting, and a retreat day for all
         B.Ed. staff on June 18, 2008.
    7.   Additional information relevant to the review was sought directly from members of
         Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Education with Honours staff by e-mail re-
         quest. These requests were either sent as blanket e-mails to all B.Ed. staff or to tar-
         geted individual staff members when it was known that these individuals had direct
         knowledge of a particular issue.
It should be noted that the earliest weeks allocated to data generation coincided with univer-
sity mid-year break, and school holidays, and this may have reduced the numbers of written
submissions received and interviews conducted. However, data were generated from a diverse
range of participants, themes identified within the data were consistent, and saturation ap-
peared to have been reached.


Findings in Relation to the Terms of Reference

1. The purpose and objectives of the course and the extent to
which the stated objectives contribute to the Faculty and Univer-
sity objectives as set out in their respective strategic plans

ToR 1 requires a comparison between the stated objectives and strategic plans of the Bachelor
of Education course on the one hand, and those of the Faculty of Education and UTas on the
other. Appendix D provides the University of Tasmania Strategic Plan 2008–2010.6 Appendix
E provides the strategic plan of the Faculty of Education,7 which has been mapped against the
Longer Term Goals identified in the University of Tasmania Plan 2008–2010 later in this ToR
in Table 11.



5
  http://www.directory.tas.gov.au/cgi/access.pl
6
  Available at: http://www.utas.edu.au/universitycouncil/uniplan2005_07.pdf
7
  Available at: http://www.educ.utas.edu.au/Staff/information/Strategic_Plan_2007.pdf


                                                                                             22
The on-line Course and Units 2008 guide for the Faculty of Education outlines the broad ob-
jectives of the Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Education with Honours in the follow-
ing statements:8
      The Bachelor of Education prepares students for teaching appointments in early
      childhood (kindergarten, prep, grade 1 and 2), and primary (grades 3-6) situations.

      The Bachelor of Education with Honours prepares students for teaching in either the
      early childhood or primary specialisation. The course provides students with the op-
      portunity to engage in educational research at an appropriate level as preparation for
      future higher degree study.
These objectives of the Bachelor of Education and the Bachelor of Education with Honours
are generally consistent with the stated objectives of the Faculty of Education and UTas.

In addition, in 2002, staff involved in the Bachelor of Education and the Bachelor of Educa-
tion with Honours worked collaboratively and at some length to agree on a more detailed set
of objectives for the courses. These were grouped under two major headings, the first of
which described the capacities of graduates that contribute to them being competent educa-
tional practitioners (now and with the basis for being so in the future). By this was meant that
our graduates should be beginning teachers capable of performing the tasks set them by an
employing authority and with a framework of knowledge and skill to form the basis of con-
tinuing competence in changing professional circumstances.

The second group of objectives concerned the capacities necessary for graduates of the
courses to be critical agents of change. By this we had in mind a conception of teachers as
more than sub-professional “hired hands”. Our graduates should not just be competent to do
what is expected of them, but, in addition, should have the capacity to reflect upon the status
quo and appraise it critically.

As part of this self review, these objectives have been revisited by the current staff with a
view to ensuring that they:
    1. reflect the views of the current staff;
    2. are consistent with University Graduate Attributes as exemplified for education by
       the recent review of the Bachelor Teaching course; and
    3. are consistent with the Graduate standard of the Tasmanian Professional Standards
       Framework (described in greater detail in relation to ToR 2.
This exercise resulted in the formulation of objectives for the Bachelor of Education and
Bachelor of Education (with Honours) as follows:

The University of Tasmania Bachelor of Education Program will develop graduates who are
both competent practitioners and potential agents of educational change.
A1 Our graduates should be competent educational practitioners with knowledge of, under-
    standing of, and capacity to engage with and/or apply:
   (a) theory and practice concerning processes of teaching and learning;
   (b) the essential content, curricula, appropriate pedagogies and student learning in dis-
         cipline areas relevant to K-6 education;
   (c) communication and pedagogical skills


8
 Available at:
http://courses.utas.edu.au/portal/page?_pageid=53,32959&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL&P_COU
RSE_CODE=E3A&P_YEAR=2008 and
http://courses.utas.edu.au/portal/page?_pageid=53,32959&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL&P_COU
RSE_CODE=E4A&P_YEAR=2008


                                                                                               23
    (d)    positive interactions and relationships with a variety of educational stakeholders, in-
           cluding specific interactions and relationships within educational settings that reflect
           recognition of inclusion and cultural diversity;
    (e)    critical reflection on their practice and to seek and value continual improvement;
    (f)    knowledge, skills, and dispositions to maximise student learning; and
    (g)    legal and ethical obligations of the teaching profession and the nature of profes-
           sional behaviour.

A2 Our graduates should continue to be competent educational practitioners throughout
    their professional lives. This involves graduates having:
   (a) a general body of educational thought within which to place future knowledge;
   (b) the capacity to acquire, analyse and incorporate into their belief systems, new pro-
         fessional knowledge; and
   (c) commitment to professional renewal.

A3 Our graduates should have the potential to evaluate a range of educational issues and
    contribute to collaborative action as appropriate. This involves graduates having the ca-
    pacity to:
   (a) think critically about the ethical legitimacy and comparative importance of various
         educational aims and the means to their achievement;
   (b) analyse the bases of existing and alternative practices and policies and to evaluate
         their relative efficiency and effectiveness in relation to the achievement of educa-
         tional aims; and
   (c) identify critical issues in particular disciplines or areas of professional activity;
   (d) participate in decision-making in schools and the wider educational community.

A4 Our graduates should have developed their capacity to participate in research within the
   profession and to progress to further research training if desired.
These objectives, expressed in terms of graduate capabilities, embody the intent of Bachelor
of Education and Bachelor of Education with Honours staff to go beyond meeting minimum
standards in this regard. In so doing they align with the University’s Priority A, Fully embed a
high performance culture. Each of the objectives is mapped against the University Plan:
EDGE2, 2008-2010 (Appendix D) and the Faculty of Education Strategic Plan for 2008 (Ap-
pendix E) in Table 11.
Table 11
Map of B.Ed. objectives against the University and Faculty strategic plans
B.Ed. Objective             University strategic plan      Faculty strategic plan
A1 Our graduates            Priority D: 26: Review         26, 1: Identify partnership opportuni-
should be competent         major partnerships with        ties with a variety of Government De-
educational practitio-      State Government and in-       partments on a range of mutual priori-
ners with knowledge of,     dustry and develop new         ties, including ongoing emphasis on
understanding of, and       partnerships with the pri-     Department of Education collabora-
capacity to engage with     vate sector in order to dis-   tion.
and/or apply:               cover shared strengths
                            and opportunities, as well
                            as recurring weaknesses
                            and challenges.
A2 Our graduates            Priority B: 14: Expand         11, 2: Implementation of a distinctive
should continue to be       postgraduate coursework        program for years 3 and 4 of the
competent educational       programs for continuing        Bachelor of Education on the Cradle
practitioners through-      professional development       Coast Campus that is aligned with the
out their professional      and career startup.            provision of education in regional en-



                                                                                                24
B.Ed. Objective              University strategic plan      Faculty strategic plan
lives. This involves         17: Ensure that academic,      vironments and which leverages off
graduates having:            personal and administra-       other cross-faculty offerings at that
                             tive support services are      campus, wherever possible.
A3 Our graduates
should have the poten-       responsive to student          14, 1: Complete the restructure of the
tial to evaluate a range     needs.                         Post Graduate Coursework program
of educational issues        Priority D: 26: Review         to more effectively meet professional
and contribute to col-       major partnerships with        needs and increase its attractiveness
laborative action as ap-     State Government and in-       to national and international markets.
propriate. This involves     dustry and develop new         17, 1: The Faculty will develop a
graduates having the         partnerships with the pri-     comprehensive careers website to
capacity to:                 vate sector in order to dis-   provide easy access to information on
                             cover shared strengths         a range of both school-based and
                             and opportunities, as well     broader career options and opportuni-
                             as recurring weaknesses        ties for graduates, as a strategy to
                             and challenges.                identify a broad range of career op-
                                                            tions for Education graduates.
                                                            26, 1: Identify partnership opportuni-
                                                            ties with a variety of Government De-
                                                            partments on a range of mutual priori-
                                                            ties, including ongoing emphasis on
                                                            Department of Education collabora-
                                                            tion.
A4 Our graduates             Priority A: 1 Strengthen       1, 1: In accordance with the Univer-
should have developed        high-achiever programs         sity College development, the Faculty
their capacity to partici-   and pathways to attract        will develop pathways for the top
pate in research within      and support the top eche-      echelon of students.
the profession and to        lon of local, national and
                                                            Target:
progress to further re-      international students.
search training if de-                                      Creation of a faculty-wide Honours
                             Priority C: 20: Increase
sired.                                                      program that provides a coherent high
                             the scale and focus of re-
                                                            performance learning pathway to high
                             search to achieve critical
                                                            achieving commencing students.
                             mass by clustering activ-
                             ity into groups, centres       20, 1: The Faculty will establish the
                             and institutes.                Tasmanian Institute for Research in
                                                            Teaching and Learning Environments
                                                            (TIRTLE), a Launceston Blueprint
                                                            initiative. This will support the devel-
                                                            opment of a strong and vibrant re-
                                                            search culture in the Faculty and in
                                                            Launceston. It will build on areas of
                                                            current strengths, as identified
                                                            through the RQF process, as well as
                                                            identify emergent opportunities, par-
                                                            ticularly in partnership with the State
                                                            Government and other community or-
                                                            ganisations.

RECOMMENDATION 1: That the current objectives are given greater prominence than has
previously been the case. In particular, it is suggested that they could be available to staff,
students, and external stakeholders via the Faculty website, included in staff induction proc-
esses and materials, and explicitly considered in ongoing year and unit reviews.


                                                                                                 25
The Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Education with Honours are currently contribut-
ing to the achievement of the University’s Generic Graduate Attributes (see Appendix F) as
illustrated in Figure 1.

                                          Faculty of Ed Generic Skills Scale by Course

                         60.00


                         50.00
  Scoes (-100 to +100)




                         40.00                                                                        2002
                                                                                                      2003
                         30.00                                                                        2004
                                                                                                      2005
                         20.00                                                                        2006


                         10.00


                          0.00
                                    BEd     BTeach   BEd (IS)   BAVE    BHM     Faculty    National
                                                                                          Education


                                 Figure 1. Faculty of Education CEQ data related to generic skills
Some individual units within the course already show in their Unit Outline the specific rela-
tionship between components of the unit and each of the Graduate Attributes. However a
course-wide mapping, summarising all of the units covered in the course, and the ways in
which they intend to foster the graduate attributes, would offer a clearer picture of the rela-
tionship between UTas’s goals and those of the Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Edu-
cation with Honours. This mapping exercise has begun and will demonstrate to current and
potential staff, students and stakeholders that graduates of these courses will have well-
developed generic skills and will have achieved learning outcomes directly related to their
professional area of study.

2. The structure, content and methods of delivery of the course
with reference to the extent to which they meet the objectives of
the course, result in the development of appropriate knowledge
and skill bases, and provide appropriate preparation for employ-
ment or further study

Within the two specialisations in the Bachelor of Education, students undertake a course of
study that includes the following elements:
            Liberal Studies within which there is a program of study for 2 years (50% in year 1 and
            25% in year 2);
            Education Studies;
            Curriculum Studies; and
            Professional Experience.
A student who completes the first 3 years of the course with sufficient merit may apply and be
admitted to continue into the fourth year as an Honours candidate. Such a student will com-
plete many of the normal coursework requirements of the degree in Year 4, together with an
Honours dissertation.


                                                                                                             26
Candidates for the degree shall complete requirements in not more than 9 years from the time
of first enrolment.

The Bachelor of Education is made up of four compulsory strands of study. Students in both
streams (ECE and Primary) are required to complete these strands over the 4 years full-time
(100% per year) (or up to 9 years part-time). The units that comprise each of the strands,
along with the weighting of each and the years of the course in which they appear, are shown
in Table 12.
Table 12
Bachelor of Education course weightings, by year and strand
Bachelor of Education                                     Weight (out of 400%)
                                              Total     Year 1   Year 2     Year 3     Year 4
Liberal Studies                                75%       50%      25%
Education Studies                             87.5%
         Education 1A                                    12.5%
         Education 1B                                    12.5%
         Education 2                                               12.5%
         Education 3A                                                        12.5%
         Education 3B                                                        12.5%
         Education 4                                                                   12.5%
         Education 5                                                                   12.5%
Curriculum Studies                            162.5%
         Curriculum Studies 1                            12.5%
         Curriculum Studies 2A                                     12.5%
         Curriculum Studies 2B                                     12.5%
         Curriculum Studies 2C                                     12.5%
         Curriculum Studies 2D                                     12.5%
         Curriculum Studies 3A                                               12.5%
         Contemporary Curriculum Develop-
         ments A                                                             12.5%
         Curriculum Investigations A                                         12.5%
         Modes of Curriculum Inquiry A                                       12.5%
         Curriculum Studies 4A                                                         12.5%
         Contemporary Curriculum Develop-
         ment B                                                                        12.5%
         Curriculum Investigations B                                                   12.5%
         Modes of Curriculum Inquiry B                                                 12.5%
Professional Experience                       75.0%
         Professional Experience 1                       12.5%
         Professional Experience 2                                 12.5%
         Professional Experience 3                                           25.0%
         Professional Experience 4                                                     25.0%
ToR 2 requires mapping each of the four compulsory strands in the Bachelor of Education
against criteria which specify the appropriate knowledge and skills bases required for begin-
ning teachers, employment, and/or further study. The criteria used to specify these bases are
drawn from three sources: the Tasmanian Professional Teaching Standards Framework; A
Proposal for a National System for the Accreditation of Pre-Service Teacher Education; and
the Generic Attributes of Graduates of the University of Tasmania. Further details of these
source documents, and the criteria drawn from each of them, are provided below.

1. The Tasmanian Professional Teaching Standards Framework endorsed by the Teachers
Registration Board of Tasmania (2007).9



9
 The Tasmanian Professional Teaching Standards Framework (Teachers Registrations Board of Tas-
mania 2007). Available at: http://www.trb.tas.gov.au/teaching_standards.htm


                                                                                           27
This Framework was developed with funding from the Australian Government Department of
Education, Science and Training and was commended by key stakeholders from: the Catholic
Education Office Hobart; the Association of Independent Schools of Tasmania; the Depart-
ment of Education, Tasmania; the Tasmanian Principals’ Association; the University of Tas-
mania, Faculty of Education; the Tasmanian State School Parents and Friends Inc; and Tas-
manian teachers across all sectors. The Framework aligns with the National Framework for
Professional Standards of Teaching endorsed by The Ministerial Council for Education, Em-
ployment and Youth Affairs (2003).

The ‘Graduate’ dimension of this Framework describes the standards that graduate teachers,
having completed their pre-service course, will be expected to meet. These standards require
graduates, within the context of an approved pre-service teacher education course and super-
vised internships, to develop the following capacities:
     A. Professional Knowledge. Graduates will demonstrate current professional knowledge
        and understanding in teaching practice.
     B. Professional Relationships. Graduates will understand the importance of and demon-
        strate a capacity to develop effective professional relationships within the school and
        pre-service communities.
     C. Professional Practice. Graduates will assess, plan, and teach for the learning needs of
        a range of students.
     D. Professional Practice. Graduates will demonstrate the ability to plan for and maintain
        a safe, inclusive and supportive learning environment.

2. A Proposal for a National System for the Accreditation of Pre-Service Teacher Educa-
tion published by Teaching Australia (2007).10
In June 2007, Teaching Australia, the national body for the teaching profession, released de-
tails of a proposed system for national accreditation of pre-service teacher education pro-
grams. The proposed system is designed to achieve consistently high quality in teacher prepa-
ration programs, and set rigorous benchmarks for the content and delivery of programs.
Graduate Standards proposed by Teaching Australia include the following capabilities:
     1. Professional knowledge. Teaching graduates should …
           a. Have a high level of literacy and numeracy
           b. Know the content of the subjects they teach
           c. Know how students learn and how to teach them effectively
           d. Know their students
     2. Professional practice. Teaching graduates should …
           a. Plan for effective learning
           b. Assess and report for effective learning
           c. Create and maintain productive learning environments
     3. Professional commitment. Teaching graduates should …
           a. Develop a capacity for reflective practice
           b. Engage in professional development
           c. Become members of a professional community. (p. 8)

3. Generic Attributes of Graduates of the University of Tasmania



10
  A Proposal for a National System for the Accreditations of Pre-Service Teacher Education (Teaching
Australia: Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership 2007). Available at:
http://www.teachingaustralia.edu.au/ta/webdav/site/tasite/shared/AccreditationProposal21Jun07.pdf
Teaching Australia is also endorsed by Top of the Class: Report on the Inquiry into Teacher Education
(House of Representatives, Standing Committee on Education and Vocational Training, February 2007.
Available at: http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/evt/teachereduc/report.htm


                                                                                                  28
UTas’s policy on the Generic Attributes of Graduates of the University of Tasmania (Appen-
dix F) states that generic attributes are those qualities UTas aims to foster in graduates irre-
spective of the courses they complete. UTas has identified and articulated five core attributes
which are intended to serve graduates well in employment and further lifelong learning:
    Knowledge.
    Communication Skills.
    Problem-solving Skills.
    Global Perspective.
    Social Responsibility.
Appendixes G1–G4 present a mapping of each of the 4 years of the course against the Univer-
sity Generic Attributes. A similar detailed mapping in relation to the Tasmanian Professional
Teaching Standards Framework is also needed. The objectives of the course presented in rela-
tion to ToR 1 were framed cognisant of both of these documents. The requirement of the pro-
posed National System for the Accreditation of Pre-Service Teacher Education that graduates
possess high levels of literacy and numeracy, and know the content of the subjects they teach
presents some challenges to the course. There is a need to implement appropriate assessment
and support mechanisms and possibly to reconsider the current time allocation to key curricu-
lum areas. The issue of students’ personal literacy and numeracy is considered in relation to
ToR 7 and is the subject of Recommendation 23.

RECOMMENDATION 2: That the course is accompanied by detailed mappings against
both the University Generic Attributes, Tasmanian Teaching Standards Framework, and fu-
ture national accreditation standards.

RECOMMENDATION 3: That the Faculty develops a plan for assessing the relevant cur-
riculum knowledge of entering and graduating students, particularly in relation to literacy
and numeracy, and ensuring that courses meet the needs of students in terms of the develop-
ment of that knowledge.

The following discussion provides a more in-depth qualitative analysis of each of the strands
and the extent to which they contribute towards graduates’ preparation for teaching, employ-
ment and further study.


Liberal studies
On acceptance into the course, the Faculty supplies students with a selected list of liberal
studies known to be timetabled so that Bachelor of Education students may meet the atten-
dance requirements of both their chosen liberal study/studies and their teacher education
course.

Liberal studies provide the opportunity for students to undertake academic studies for 2 years
(usually Years 1 and 2) in two subjects (6 units) of their own choice. These studies can be re-
garded as a continuation of Tasmanian Certificate of Education (TCE) subjects. Liberal stud-
ies are undertaken in courses other than the Bachelor of Education and classes usually attract
students from several degree courses. Students who have previously undertaken university (or
other equivalent) study are able to apply to receive credit for some or all liberal studies.

Feedback on the university requirement for students to undertake liberal studies was mixed,
but with a bias towards negative feedback. A number of students and alumni were convinced
that this requirement resulted in them “wasting” time that they believed could be better spent
on studying content more relevant to their teaching degree. Other students had chosen liberal
studies that they believed would add to their subject content knowledge. These students
seemed more readily to be prepared to see an inherent value in this university impost. One
student who had received credit for liberal studies had considered enrolling in a liberal study


                                                                                             29
unit as an overload. Cradle Coast students noted that only a limited selection of liberal studies
is available to them at that campus.

There was some confusion amongst students and staff about the variety of subjects that stu-
dents are able to choose as liberal studies, and the faculties from which these could be chosen.

The University’s move to a Common Course Structure in 2010 will reduce the liberal studies
component of the course from 6 units to no more than 4 units should address a number of
concerns raised in relation to this strand of the course.


Education Studies (ES)
Education Studies involves a theoretical and practical exploration of teacher identity and
teacher professionalism. The strand is designed to assist students to develop a theoretical and
practical understanding of profession. Over the 4 years of the course, the Education Studies
strand moves from a focus on the student, their own learning and developing identity as a
teacher, to consideration of their role as a teacher and broader educational issues.

Topics covered in Education Studies include: educational theory, philosophy and psychology;
reflective practice; teacher professionalism; teacher identity; relationships with students, par-
ents, colleagues and other stakeholders; the nature of teachers’ work; child development in
relation to education; lesson planning and classroom organisation; pedagogical practice;
teacher ethics; inclusive practice; learning and motivation; positive behaviour support; legal
responsibilities of teachers; the purposes and nature of schooling; school and student diver-
sity; assessment; policy; and inclusive and supportive learning environments.

Submissions to this review identified a need for greater emphasis on strategies for catering for
the diversity of students typically encountered in classrooms. This included both students with
high support needs and gifted and talented students. The course currently contains a unit de-
voted to inclusion but its placement in a semester shared with a 7-week practicum has resulted
in difficulties scheduling the standard contact time for a 12.5% unit. In addition, it may be
possible to more explicitly address issues of diversity within particular curriculum subjects.

The course is slowly moving towards more flexible delivery options, in recognition of the fact
that many students now need to work in order to afford university study. Additionally, the
growing numbers of students who are parents require either delivery that is flexible or time-
tabling that is predictable in order to fit in with childcare arrangements. As flexible delivery
options increase, it was suggested that delivery needs to be kept simple, and may still need to
be paper-based, or available via CD, for those students who cannot access broadband. Flexi-
ble modes of delivery also have the potential to assist in addressing problems such as that
identified in relation to scheduling adequate face-to-face time in some units.

RECOMMENDATION 4: That the course include more attention to issues of student diver-
sity.

RECOMMENDATION 5: That the Faculty continue to support the development of units of-
fered in multiple modes.

It was suggested that some content needs to be reorganised in terms of timing within the
course. For example, the delivery of the lectures on legal matters to Year 4 students by the
Australian Education Union (AEU) would benefit students earlier in the course. Similarly
some respondents pointed to instances of a lack of alignment between the timing of various
aspects of the course and the expectations of Professional Experience. These related primarily
to assessment and planning which were widely regarded as receiving insufficient attention
and too late in the course. The Director of Practicum has recently undertaken a mapping of


                                                                                              30
course content that would ideally precede each of the Professional Experience placements. It
is included as Appendix H.

RECOMMENDATION 6: That course content is structured consistently with demands made
of students on successive Professional Experience placements.


Professional Experience (PE)
As stated on the Faculty’s Professional Experience website,11 “Professional Experience pro-
vides essential opportunities to connect theory with practice and develop the knowledge, dis-
positions, understandings and competencies of a graduate teacher under the guidance of ex-
perienced professionals.” The majority of this strand is made up of four sequential placements
in schools, but each unit also includes a series of preparatory lectures and/or tutorials, and, in
most cases in recent years, an opportunity for students to debrief on their return to university.
The number of weeks and weighting of each of the Professional Experience units are as fol-
lows:
     Professional Experience 1 (PE1): 2 weeks                12.5%
     Professional Experience 2 (PE2): 3 weeks                12.5%
     Professional Experience 3 (PE3): 7 weeks                25%
     Professional Experience 4 (PE4): 7 weeks                25%
Each unit is assessed as an ungraded pass based primarily on the report of the colleague
teacher against criteria related to each of the four aspects of graduate competence identified
by the Tasmanian Teachers Registration Board which were listed earlier in relation to this
ToR. An overview of assessment criteria and indicators is available on the Professional Ex-
perience website12 along with all of the relevant forms that are used in the Bachelor of Educa-
tion and across the Faculty.

Submissions to this review from students and principals strongly supported the importance of
time in schools. Feedback from external stakeholders suggests that more needs to be done to
inform leaders in schools of the responsibilities expected for the supervision of students while
on PE, and that this needs to be done face-to-face. The faculty has undertaken an extensive
process of dissemination of the new Professional Experience guidelines and procedures and
these efforts are ongoing. Information sessions for colleague teachers are part of this strategy,
and while these have been regarded positively by those who have attended, submissions to
this review underline the importance of continuing to offer such sessions and to ensure that
they target school personnel involved in the management and oversight of Professional Ex-
perience as well as colleague teachers.

The Australian Government has mandated a minimum of 80 days of supervised Professional
Experience in 4-year programs such as the Bachelor of Education. The B.Ed. currently in-
cludes a total of 95 such days, but it is proposed that this be reduced to 85 days in 2009. This
is still than more than the minimum requirement but is, nevertheless, in opposition to the
views of students and external stakeholders who contributed to this review.

Placing students for Professional Experience is an ongoing challenge that applies to all of the
Faculty’s pre-service teacher courses. Placing the large numbers of students involved places
considerable impost upon Tasmanian schools. Students, principals and other stakeholders
suggest that students need to experience a range of schools during their Professional Experi-
ence placements, particularly including low-SES, remote, and small schools. According to
feedback from DoE Learning Services personnel, these are the types of schools that are most

11
  Available at http://www.educ.utas.edu.au/profexp/
12
  Assessment information available at
http://www.educ.utas.edu.au/profexp/pre_service_teachers/essential/essential.html


                                                                                               31
likely to employ graduates in the state’s current employment climate. Some students were
concerned that they have not experienced a range of placement types. The appointment of a
Director of Practicum (2007) has lead to much greater consistency in procedures across pro-
grams, and the guidelines now in place include that, to the extent that it is possible, students
are provided with a range of school experience placements.

Other concerns related to Professional Experience that were raised by external stakeholders
included the limited guidance and mentoring available to fourth year students, as a result of
colleague teachers often not being present in classrooms for extended periods of time due to
their engagement with other duties in schools. This situation also led to concerns in relation to
the possibilities of inadequate assessment by colleague teachers who are off-class, and who
therefore have limited exposure to students’ classroom teaching. It was believed that, in some
instances, this situation has led to students who need additional support not receiving it, and
some who should perhaps fail the Professional Experience not being failed. Duty of care con-
cerns were raised about the legality of leaving unqualified students in charge of a class. The
recent agreement between the Faculty and the AEU provides for the payment of colleague
teachers for all of the days in which pre-service teachers undertake Professional Experience,
including the final placement. This measure highlights the school’s responsibility to ensure
that school students are supervised by a registered teacher and not a pre-service teacher and
that preservice teachers operate under the supervision of a registered teacher at all times.

RECOMMENDATION 7: That ongoing communication with schools includes clarification
of the supervisory role of colleague teachers including in relation to pre-service teachers un-
dertaking their final placement.

Year 3 students commented favourably about the introduction of new assessment forms, and
colleague teacher information sessions for Professional Experience. New processes have also
been implemented regarding students undertaking Professional Experience who are consid-
ered by their colleague teacher to be at risk of failure. Five Year 3 students from the
Launceston campus, and approximately 5 students from the Cradle Coast campus, were
placed on the At Risk Register in semester 1 of this year – the first semester of the operation
of this new procedure. The reason for disproportionately more students from the Cradle Coast
campus being placed on the register is unknown. The new system is reported to be effective,
although for one student the form was not forwarded to the University until late in the practi-
cum.

There appears to have been inadequate and/or ineffective communication between the Faculty
and external stakeholders in relation to the processes involved in failing students on Profes-
sional Experience. Several external stakeholders reported their grave concerns that after a col-
league teachers’ recommendation that a student fail Professional Experience the student was
placed in another school, and/or eventually graduated as a qualified teacher. This situation
was seen as a blatant disregard of the professional opinion of the colleague teacher, and had
led some colleague teachers/schools to decline further student placements. None of these
stakeholders was aware that students were entitled to a second attempt at Professional Experi-
ence, just as they are any other university unit. Once this university requirement was ex-
plained, stakeholders were surprised that they had not previously been apprised of this situa-
tion.

RECOMMENDATION 8: That continued effort is made to inform stakeholders of the proc-
esses that ensue when a “fail” recommendation is made by a colleague teacher

Additionally, it was suggested that by the end of Year 2, students who were not “up to
scratch” in terms of their ability to operate effectively in classroom situations and who would
later be a “management issue” within an education system, should be counselled out of the B.
Ed. and suggested alternative career options more appropriate for their abilities. Clearly there


                                                                                              32
are issues around who makes such a judgement and on what basis, and ultimately such a
change in direction must be the student’s choice. Nevertheless, it is important that the course
continues to include opportunities for students to experience classrooms relatively early in or-
der that they have an opportunity to reflect on the realities of a teaching career.

Both students and staff raised the issue that there needs to be specific debriefing sessions fol-
lowing each Professional Experience placement. It was noted by staff that there is no specific
planning for the Year 4 Professional Experience during semester one, and there is not enough
time allocated to the unit. This is an issue as students have reported to staff that they are con-
fused about planning issues. At present all of the Professional Experience units in the B. Ed.
include some preparation and most include a debriefing opportunity but the content and struc-
ture of these sessions is insufficiently documented and unlikely to provide a coherent se-
quence for students.

RECOMMENDATION 9: That the on-campus teaching components of Professional Experi-
ence are reviewed in terms of their content and structure in order to provide appropriate
preparation for each placement and opportunities for debriefing after each placement. Such a
review should be conducted with a view to providing guidelines that apply across courses and
that place demands on students’ time in proportion to the weightings of the units concerned.

In 2008, the AEU has taken the Faculty to task over the issue of the rate of payment made to
colleague teachers undertaking the colleague teacher role. The union was also insistent that all
practicum days be paid. This is a national issue that appears to be being pursued as a test case
within Tasmania, and has presented a “significant challenge” to the Faculty’s resources.13 A
goodwill offer of a 10% increase in pay rates was rejected, as was a 20% increase initially.
Agreement has recently been reached to increase the rate of payment by 20% and to pay all
days. It is planned that the increased cost will be offset to some extend by reductions in the
numbers of practicum days to levels that still meet or, in the case of the B.Ed., exceed mini-
mum requirements. This matter may be taken up in the Review of Higher Education (Bradley
Review). Bans on practicum supervision imposed by the AEU bans led to a degree of student
stress regarding their Professional Experience placements. There were some reports from stu-
dents that one cohort had been quite outspoken to the media and had been “harassing” lectur-
ers over this matter, however students generally appreciated that, once they were aware of the
level of student concern, Faculty staff and leadership had made every effort to keep students
informed of the issues, and the processes being undertaken to resolve them. Students would,
however, have appreciated knowing the facts earlier, as rumours about the situation had
abounded.

For a discussion regarding the quality of the relationship between the course and schools, see
ToR 8.


Curriculum Studies (CS)
The Curriculum Studies strand has the largest weighting in the B. Ed. course. All students un-
dertake modules (half 12.5% units) in each of Studies of Society and Environment (SOSE),
Science, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), Visual Arts, Drama, Music,
and Health and Physical Education, as well as four such modules (one in each year of the
course) in each of languages and mathematics. Of the four language modules, three are de-
voted to literacy and one to Languages other than English (LOTE). All of the other curricu-
lum modules addressing Key Learning Areas occur in second year, with the exception of ICT
and Design and Technology (EPC353) which occur in third year.



13
     Professor Ian Hay, School/Faculty meeting, July 11, 2008.


                                                                                               33
Student submissions to the review indicate that students appreciate the practical nature of
many of the second year units after a very theoretical first year experience. They expressed
disappointment that they have so little exposure to many of the curriculum areas. This sentient
has been echoed by some staff. Evidence presented in relation to ToR 3 suggests that increas-
ing the weighting of Key Learning Areas is justified and may become a requirement for na-
tional accreditation of the course. Recommendations in relation to this issue are made there.
Some comments from staff and students indicate that a couple of units may have been over-
taught and over-assessed. Awareness of these issues, as a result of a recent assessment audit,
has led to plans to implement changes prior to teaching these units again.

There is some concern from students and staff that the curriculum time allocation for some
areas is inequitable. It was observed, for example, that students are given greater exposure to
language and mathematics than to other curriculum areas. Some contributors to this review
were under the impression that Dance is compulsory in the B. Ed. (In-Service) and this is a
required to comply with Victorian teacher registration requirements. The fact that neither is
the case highlights the importance of improving both the Faculty’s documentation of its
courses, and the availability of that documentation to staff. This is taken up in relation to ToR
6, and addressed in Recommendation 22.

Despite the relatively strong emphasis on language, overwhelming stakeholder feedback sug-
gests that students’ and graduates’ demonstrated understanding of certain areas of the Lan-
guage curriculum is scant. In particular, it was suggested that they need to know how to teach
reading. That is they need to know “what to do” rather than just the theory behind the activity.
This suggestion was supported by two DoE speech pathologists who regularly find that be-
ginning teachers are stressed because of their lack of understanding of early language devel-
opment. They recommended that students undertake a unit in oral language development and
facilitation, which includes understanding the crucial relationship between oral language and
literacy development, knowledge about phonological awareness, and performing phonological
awareness screening (e.g. using the Astronaut Invented Spelling Test14) and other testing to
determine students’ language development, and the types of interventions students need when
development falls outside the normal range. Additionally, such a unit should include instruc-
tion in determining areas on which to focus language teaching, grammar, vocabulary and
etymology. It was suggested that many beginning teachers do not understand the importance
of including oral literacy in the literacy block (but they may need support in doing this, as this
was believed to be a systemic issue). Further feedback reported that graduates neither know
how to teach spelling and handwriting, nor realise their importance.

The mathematics curriculum to which students are exposed is regarded as comprehensive.
Generally, however, students who have chosen an early childhood specialisation do not see
the relevance to them of some of the content of this course. The rationale for insisting that all
students are equipped to teach the whole of the K–6 mathematics curriculum is based on the
fact that students cannot be guaranteed that they will gain employment in their chosen area of
specialisation,15 and that all teachers should be able to demonstrate at least the numeracy com-
petence of a capable primary school student.

Another issue in relation to mathematics education related to students who have failed the
mathematics unit needing to repeat the unit. There have been instances of these students start-
ing their Professional Experience placement prior to sitting their exam, only to fail and then


14
   For more information, see http://www.speech-language-therapy.com/spat.htm.
15
   See Beswick, K. & Dole, S. (2008). Recollections of mathematics education: Approaching gradua-
tion and 5 years later. In M. Goos, R. Brown & K. Makar (Eds.). Navigating current and charting di-
rections: Proceedings of the 31st annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of
Australasia. Sydney: MERGA


                                                                                                 34
be withdrawn from the placement. A procedure that ensured later placements for these stu-
dents would alleviate this situation.

Two other compulsory Curriculum Studies units are undertaken by B. Ed. students – one in
third year and the other in fourth year. One of these, EPC351 Contemporary Curriculum De-
velopments, is a critical unit which builds on students’ prior knowledge and understanding
about curriculum design and implementation, particularly in regard to Tasmania, but also
elsewhere. As the course is presently structured, it is the only compulsory unit in which stu-
dents are divided according to their choice of specialisation in early childhood or primary
education. The final Curriculum Studies unit, EPC453, is offered in the final semester of the
course and, from this year, culminates in a student conference. In preparation for the confer-
ence, students build on previous Curriculum Studies units, including elective units undertaken
in semester 1. The unit requires considerable ability to work independently, and to draw upon
staff expertise as required. The conference will be an important opportunity for students to
showcase their learning developed throughout the entire course.

Curriculum documents appropriate to the particular disciplines are introduced in Curriculum
Studies units and there is no standard approach to lesson/unit planning across the course.
Similarly there is no evidence from unit documentation of development in terms of cognitive
demands of curriculum units across the years of the program. Some students suggested that
there be separate units on planning and assessment. In general, data gathered for this review
suggest that coverage of these foundational aspects of education is ad hoc rather than sequen-
tial. This issue is taken up in relation to ToR 3.

There has been increasing recognition of the importance, in introducing students to curricu-
lum documents, and lesson/unit planning, of including a comparative analysis of a variety of
approaches, rather than an exclusive emphasis on those associated with the Tasmanian De-
partment of Education. This is consistent with stakeholder feedback which suggests that the
course introduce students to a variety of national and international perspectives. Stakeholder
feedback suggests that consideration be given to further integrating comparative analyses of
other national and international curriculum documents in assessment tasks.

The ongoing concerns with students’ abilities to plan learning experiences is in spite of efforts
made in response to similar concerns raised in the 2002 review. The changes implemented in-
cluded a specific focus on planning in EPC351 as well as in the various curriculum areas. The
staff review of course materials conducted on June 18 suggested that planning was well cov-
ered in the course, although perhaps not made sufficiently explicit. A lack of explicitness in
unit outlines made it difficult to be sure of the comprehensiveness of coverage or the extent of
any repetition.

RECOMMENDATION 10: That appropriate development in learning outcomes and assess-
ment demands is incorporated in all units of the course including in curriculum units that are
introductory in content but that occur in later years of the course.

RECOMMENDATION 11: That teaching relating to planning and assessment is explicitly
documented across the course and its treatment reviewed to ensure appropriate development
in expectations from year to year.

In 2004, in addition to the operational ICT skills component of Education 1 (EPF150), an at-
tempt was made to integrate pedagogical ICT skills into each of the Key Learning Areas stud-
ied within Curriculum Studies units.16 In 2006, as part of a restructuring of the units offered to

16
  Dr Andrew Fluck has performed an historical mapping of the changes to ICT delivery within the
Bachelor of Education course from 2001–2007, and the extent to which integration across KLAs has
occurred. Dr Fluck has provided a list of recommendations and these are included as Appendix I.


                                                                                               35
first year students, the operational ICT skills component of the Education 1 (EPF150) unit
was removed. At that time, a non-compulsory test of students’ operational ICT skills was in-
troduced at the beginning of Year 1. Unfortunately, any assumption that students (either col-
lege-leaving or mature aged) entering the Bachelor of Education course are ICT literate
proved to be false. In 2006, for example, 45% of students were assessed as requiring ICT
remediation, which was received as part of the course. Students who needed remediation were
found to be struggling with the basic operational ICT skills required of Bachelor of Education
students, including accessing e-mail and MyLO, and the use of word-processing software in
the preparation of assignments. In 2007, the testing of students’ operational ICT skills became
compulsory. However, recent changes mean that students’ first formal ICT experience in the
course is a competency test in Year 3, and students who fail this test are no longer able to re-
ceive remedial support as part of their course, but are advised to seek assistance from else-
where (e.g., via international computer drivers’ license through the library, TAFE, or Adult
Education courses) to improve their skills. Faculty resources are no longer available to sup-
port students’ learning in this critical area. As delivery of the course comes to rely more heav-
ily on ICT, adequate computing skills are essential to the satisfactory progress of students
through the course. If students are accepted into the course, then it would seem incumbent
upon the university/faculty to ensure that they are given reasonable support to successfully
complete the course. This concern is addressed in Recommendation 23.
It is not only personal ICT skills, however, that are of concern. Dr Fluck and a school princi-
pal expressed their concern that graduates need the skills to have students in their classes use
computers effectively as a learning device. Increasingly, students in primary classes will have
access to ICT and graduates will need to build on students’ knowledge in its use, and not sim-
ply be attempting to keep up with students in this area. According to Dr Fluck there is evi-
dence that suggests that students may even need skills in online delivery of courses, such as
with MyLO, and the course currently does not prepare them for this.
Staff submissions to the review included concerns that some Curriculum Studies units and
module options do not necessarily fit neatly into the time allocated to them, and there were
suggestions that some of these classes be delivered more flexibly (in terms of time allocation
between lectures and tutorials) than has been the case. These comments apply particularly to
third and fourth year units delivered in semesters that include many weeks devoted to Profes-
sional Experience. There were some difficulties relating to the timetabling of certain classes at
Cradle Coast campus, meaning that a lecturer was to experience 1 hour of work in one week,
and 4 hours in the next. This particular issue did not in fact eventuate.

Three other Curriculum Studies units (EPC352, EPC451 and EPC452) are in fact suites of
elective units. Changes will be made so that from 2009 these ‘units’ will have unique codes
and titles. These codes and titles will then be on student transcripts and give a better indica-
tion of the range of curriculum content students have chosen to study. The problem of unit ti-
tles not reflecting unit content is relevant to the many other units in the course, including but
not limited to the majority of Curriculum Studies units that comprise two disparate modules.

RECOMMENDATION 12: That wherever possible unit titles are amended to reflect the con-
tent of units and that restructuring of course content is undertaken with a view to facilitating
this wherever possible.

The units offered in 2008 under the codes EPC352, EPC451 and EPC452 are shown in Table
13.

Table 13
Bachelor of Education elective units (EPC352, EPC451 and EPC452)
EPC352                            EPC451                          EPC452
*Differentiating the curriculum   Art Moves in the Classroom      Kalahari School of Driving &


                                                                                              36
EPC352                            EPC451                            EPC452
                                                                    Computing
*Teacher as Leader                Embodied Learning                 Education Outdoors
#Middle Schooling                 Guitar Skills for the Classroom   Young Children Learning
Teaching in Remote Locations      LOTE/ESL                          Classroom Environment
Global Education                  Primary Science in Practice       Thinking Globally
Digital Classrooms                                                  Maths for Middle School
Drama as Pedagogy
We Learn Together
**Research Methods (ESP318)
*    Offered only on Cradle Coast Campus
**   Offered on both campuses
#    Did not run in 2008 due to insufficient numbers
Smaller cohorts in recent years have limited the number, and hence range, of electives that
have been offered under these codes, and has adversely affected the extent to which students
have been able to pursue their preferred specialisations. For 2008, this has impacted the third
year electives (EPC352). One unit, Kindergarten Curriculum was not offered and another,
Middle Schooling, did not run due to insufficient numbers. There is potential to address this
issue through increased use of Faculty-wide units (such as Research Methods) and flexible
delivery modes.

RECOMMENDATION 13: That the Faculty move towards greater alignment among courses
and the use of more shared units across courses delivered in multiple modes.


Preparation for employment
The Bachelor of Education currently emphasises the preparation of teachers for schools, to the
exclusion of the preparation of teachers for non-school settings. The shortage of employment
opportunities in Tasmanian primary schools, at least in preferred locations, and public percep-
tions of the University’s ethical responsibility not to prepare students for jobs that do not ex-
ist, has resulted in the emergence of this issue as a theme in stakeholder, staff and student
feedback for this Self Review. It was suggested that to address this concern, an attempt could
be made to emphasise the possibilities of graduates teaching in non-school settings and com-
munity contexts, and in education settings beyond Tasmania. This might involve: staff col-
laborating to compile a valid list of other professional activities that for which graduates are
qualified, depending on their specialisation; and exploring the possibility of students taking
up Professional Experience placements in school settings beyond Tasmania. Indeed, the latter
is increasingly the case with students currently undertaking Professional Experience place-
ments in almost all states of Australia. These suggestions need to be considered in light of
feedback from students reported in relation to ToR 9.

Feedback from a variety of sources has suggested that graduates of the course need skills in a
range of “practical” areas to better prepare them for employment as beginning teachers. These
skills include: setting up a classroom, scoping and sequencing of student learning, the ability
to test students for normal development, effective time-tabling, behaviour management, voice
care and projection, assessment and reporting, working with parents, working with support
staff, and working with specialist support services. Although some of these skills are intro-
duced to students, feedback from principals, students and alumni suggest that more in-depth
understanding is required. The references to planning and assessment are consistent with stu-
dent feedback reported earlier in relation to this ToR.


                                                                                              37
RECOMMENDATION 14: That earlier and greater emphasis on assessment and planning is
considered in any restructuring of the course.


Preparation for further study
All comments about the capacity of the Bachelor of Education course to provide appropriate
preparation for further study were linked to Honours.

A number of student interviewees (all mature aged) were considering undertaking Honours.
Some of these students believed an Honours degree would provide them with opportunities
for better employment, while others believed the opposite. An Honours degree was believed
to be a “huge advantage” by one current student who was considering that it might lead to
leadership opportunities s/he was keen to pursue once teaching. One student mentioned that
later study towards a Masters degree or Ph.D. was a possibility, with only one other student
mentioning possible doctoral aspirations. One past student felt that the Honours program had
prepared her/him to undertake further research and to return to study in the future. Students in
the earlier years of the B. Ed. said that they knew little about Honours. Considering that it is a
stated goal, at both university and faculty levels, to increase the number of students undertak-
ing further education at UTas, and the association in the data between Honours and further
study, it would seem appropriate that students are informed regarding Honours in the early
years of their Degree. Initial efforts to address this need have taken the form of inviting stu-
dents who achieve results in first and second year that suggest the potential to meet the GPA
entry requirement for Honours to a briefing about the Honours program early in the next year
of their course. The response to this initiative has been positive and larger than usual numbers
of third year B. Ed. students have signalled their interest in Honours by enrolling in the third
year Research Methods unit. Given objective A4 of the course (see ToR 1), more could be
done to incorporate a focus on research, perhaps in the form of the teacher as a researcher of
his/her own practice, throughout the course.

RECOMMENDATION 15: That students’ capacity to participate in research within the pro-
fession and possibly to progress to further research training is explicitly addressed through-
out the course.

3. The structure, content and methods of delivery of the course
with reference to the extent to which they relate to national and in-
ternational best practice in teacher education

ToR 3 requires a comparative analysis of the Bachelor of Education with comparable Na-
tional and International courses of teacher education.17

Other Australian university courses that are comparable with the Bachelor of Education in-
clude:
     The 4-year Bachelor of Education (Primary) at the University of Sydney18 which prepares
     graduates for primary teaching.
     The 4-year Bachelor of Education at the University of Queensland19 which prepares
     graduates for primary or middle school teaching.




17
   Also see Appendix 9 for CEQ Scores and National Ranking 2004-2006.
18
   Details available at http://www.edsw.usyd.edu.au/future_students/undergraduate/bed_primary.shtml
19
   Details available at http://www.uq.edu.au/study/education/


                                                                                                 38
An important difference between these courses and the Bachelor of Education at UTas is that
both offer B. Ed. programs for secondary teachers in a range of specialisations. These are in
the form of a range of combined degrees of 5 years’ duration in the case of Sydney Univer-
sity, and 4 years at the University of Queensland (except for the combined Education/Music
degree). At the University of Queensland a 4-year Bachelor of Education (Middle Schooling)
is also offered.
The Bachelor of Education (Primary) at the University of Queensland is designed to “enable
graduates to demonstrate specialist abilities with respect to:
    • Literacy and numeracy
    •   Diversity and differentiated learning
    •   Leadership and research
    •   Connected practicum.”
The issue of specialisations in the University of Tasmania’s Bachelor of Education course is
addressed in ToR 5 and Recommendation 20. The University of Queensland B. Ed. also in-
cludes a 40-day internship in addition to 80 days of supervised practicum.
The overview of the University of Sydney’s Bachelor of Education (Primary) is shown in the
left column of Table 14. Differences between this course and the University of Tasmania’s
Bachelor of Education, to the extent that they can be ascertained from the course outline, are
highlighted in the right column. Information about the weightings of various units in the Syd-
ney course is not publicly available but consideration of the numbers of units offered suggests
that weightings of many are less than 12.5%. The average weighting is only slightly less than
12.5%.




                                                                                            39
Table 14
Comparison between the University of Sydney B. Ed. (Primary) and UTas’s B. Ed.
University of Sydney B. Ed. (Primary)           University of Tasmania B. Ed.
Year I
                                                The eight units of the Sydney course have an
•   Education teachers and teaching;
                                                average weighting of 12.5%. More curricu-
•   Human development and teaching;             lum areas and fewer liberal studies units are
•   Science Foundations 1 and 2;                undertaken in the first year in Sydney.

•   Creative Arts 1;                            Single learning areas comprise whole units.

•   Teaching and Learning: Literacy (in-        There are two full science units compared to
    cluding 8 days in-school experience);       one half unit at UTas.

•   2 Junior (level 100) units of study cho-    Professional Experience 1 is a little shorter
    sen from those offered by the Faculties     and focussed on literacy.
    of Arts, or Science, or Economics and       The same numbers of units are devoted to
    Business, e.g. History, English, Anthro-    Education studies in the first years of both
    pology, Religious Studies, Philosophy,      courses.
    Government.
Year II
                                                The nine units in the second year of Sydney
•   Professional Experiences, comprising
                                                course have an average weighting less than
    separate semester units of study entitled
                                                12.5%.
    English 2: Writing as a social practice,
    Maths 1: Exploring early numbers,           Single learning areas comprise whole units
    Physical Activity, Indigenous Australian    and include Professional Experience.
    Education, Beginning Professional Ex-       The same numbers of units are devoted to
    periences (including 15 days practice       Education Studies and Liberal Studies in the
    teaching);                                  second years of both courses.
•   Educational Psychology and
•   Social Perspectives on Education;
•   2 Senior (level 200) units of study of-
    fered by the Faculties of Arts, Science,
    or Economics and Business. (Usually the
    follow-on from the junior units studied
    in Year 1)




                                                                                          40
Year III
                                                The average weighting of these 11 units is
•   Two 300 Level one-semester Foundation
                                                just under 10%.
    units of study in Education (The unit of
    study “Positive Approaches to Special       There are separate units for curriculum areas.
    Education” is compulsory if you are         Fewer than half the number of days of Pro-
    seeking employment with the Depart-         fessional Experience than in the third year of
    ment of School Education);                  the UTas program.
•   Active Healthy Primary Schools              Optional units offered in Foundation (Educa-
•   Human Society and its Environment 1         tion) studies rather than in Curriculum Stud-
                                                ies.
•   Teaching in Multilingual Classrooms
                                                A separate unit on teaching in multilingual
•   Creative Arts 2
                                                classrooms.
•   Positive Approaches to Special Educa-
    tion
•   Mathematics 2: Space and Measurement
•   Investigating in Science and Technology
•   English 3: Becoming Literate
•   Professional Experiences 2 (15 days)
•   PDHPE 3: The Health Promoting School
Year IV
                                                Information on another part of Sydney course
•   One optional Foundation course in Edu-
                                                website was not entirely consistent with the
    cation;
                                                information provided here. It suggests a total
•   Reading and Writing Research (the           of 9 units whose average weighting would be
    Honours qualifying course);                 just less than 12.5%.
•   Professional Studies, consisting of a to-   A heavy emphasis on Professional Experi-
    tal of 45 days in two blocks;               ence at the end of the course.
•   Separate semester units in Multilitera-     Separate units for specific topics and/or cur-
    cies, Mathematics, Teaching English to      riculum areas.
    Students of non-English Speaking Back-
                                                This is the second unit in SOSE and the third
    grounds, Teaching Children with Special
                                                in Creative arts (although this unit is not
    Needs, Teaching and Curriculum, Crea-
                                                listed elsewhere on the site).
    tive Arts, PE (Gym and Dance) Personal
    Development and Health, Science and         Optional units offered in Foundation (Educa-
    Technology, and Human Society and its       tion) studies rather than in Curriculum Stud-
    Environment;                                ies.
•   A Special Unit. Some of these currently     A separate unit on Aboriginal studies (al-
    being offered are: Teaching English to      though this unit is not mentioned elsewhere
    Speakers of Other Languages; Informa-       on the site).
    tion Technology; Languages Other Than
    English (LOTE); Special Education;
•   and Aboriginal Studies.
Key differences between the University of Sydney’s Bachelor of Education (Primary) and the
University of Tasmania’s Bachelor of Education can be summarised as follows. In compari-
son/contrast to Tasmania, the Sydney course has:
 1. Separate units devoted to distinct topics including to the Key Learning Areas;



                                                                                           41
 2. More units in Science, SOSE, HPE and possibly the Creative arts;
 3. More time (assuming near to average unit weightings) devoted to literacy and mathemat-
    ics;
 4. At east one unit on Aboriginal education;
 5. A separate unit on teaching in multilingual classrooms;
 6. A separate unit on multiliteracies;
 7. LOTE and ICT appear to be electives;
 8. 83 days of Professional experience (compared to 85 days planned for 2009 at UTas) and
    more heavily concentrated in the final year and integrated with Curriculum Studies in
    years 1 and 2;
 9. Electives in Foundation Studies;
 10. The same total number of Liberal Studies units but distributed across the first 3 years of
     the course;
 11. The same total number of Foundation (Education Studies) units; and
 12. No early childhood focus or specialisation, although the course claims to prepare stu-
     dents to teach K-6 defined as 5-12 year olds.
Some of the data collected as part of this review (some of which has already been mentioned)
support changes to the Bachelor of Education that would reduce differences between it and
the University of Sydney course. These relate to points 1, 2, 3, and 4 above. Point 8 is consis-
tent with plans to reduce the number of Professional Experience days in the program from 95
to 85.

RECOMMENDATION 16: That consideration is given to changing the Bachelor of Educa-
tion in ways that are consistent with national comparator courses, data collected for this re-
view, and the objectives of the Bachelor of Education.

In the context of this review, there was some discussion amongst staff as to whether the study
of Aboriginal education was a requirement for registration in other states, however, those who
believed it important for the Bachelor of Education course to include a unit of this nature also
believed that the Faculty of Education could be proactive in this matter, rather than slavishly
adhering to registration requirements and trends elsewhere. Aboriginal education is included
as one aspect of EPF351 Inclusion and Diversity and students can choose to undertake Abo-
riginal Studies as part of the Liberal Studies strand.

RECOMMENDATION 17: That Aboriginal Studies be included in the course at least to the
extent required for conformity with national accreditation requirements.

In terms of international benchmarks, Top of the Class20(Commonwealth of Australia, 2007),
commends The Standard for Initial Teacher Education in Scotland (SITE), published by the
General Teaching Council for Scotland, as a model of best practice.21



20
    Top of the Class: Report on the Inquiry into Teacher Education (House of Representatives, Standing
Committee on Education and Vocational Training, February 2007. Available at:
http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/evt/teachereduc/report.htm
21
   The Standard for Initial teacher Education (General teaching Council for Scotland, December 2006).
Available                                                                                           at:
http://www.gtcs.org.uk/Publications/StandardsandRegulations/The_Standard_for_Initial_Teacher_Edu
cation_(ITE).asp


                                                                                                   42
SITE specifies what is expected of a student teacher seeking provisional registration with the
General Teaching Council of Scotland at the end of their Initial Teacher Education. The SITE
state that programs of Initial Teacher Education need to promote three interrelated aspects of
professional development:
    1. Professional knowledge and understanding: curriculum; education systems and pro-
       fessional responsibilities; principles and perspectives.
    2. Professional skills and abilities: teaching and learning; classroom organization and
       management; pupil assessment; professional reflection and communication.
    3. Professional values and personal commitment.
Additional themes emphasized in SITE include fostering student teachers’ capacity to: justify
what they teach and to construct and sustain a reasoned argument about educational issues in
a clear, lucid and coherent manner; demonstrate intellectual independence and critical en-
gagement with evidence; draw on a wide range of intellectual resources, theoretical perspec-
tives and academic disciplines to inform practice; engage with fundamental questions con-
cerning the aims and values of education and its relationship to society; consult professionally
relevant literature; acquire an understanding of educational research; use a variety of teaching
and learning media; develop progressive programs of education; work in co-operation with
other professionals, staff and parents; manage pupil behaviour; know when it is necessary to
seek advice; engage in professional reflection; value and demonstrate a commitment to social
justice, inclusion and protecting and caring for children; show commitment to the communi-
ties in which they work; and take responsibility for their professional learning and develop-
ment. These echo objectives A3 and A4 of the Bachelor of Education course (see ToR 1).

One of the significant features of best practice in teacher education, as outlined in SITE, is an
emphasis on the importance of pre-service teachers engaging with educational research, the-
ory and foundational studies. In this vein, staff feedback for this Self Review highlighted the
importance of explicitly linking educational theory to teaching practice throughout the Bache-
lor of Education course. A number of Bachelor of Education staff currently research in the
discipline areas in which they teach, and commented that their research informs and comple-
ments their teaching, thus modelling best practice. Those staff members whose research inter-
ests were synergistic with the units they teach were keen to express their satisfaction with this
situation.

One of the recurring themes in the data, however, was the belief that the structure of the
Bachelor of Education course induces/creates a polarization of educational theory and prac-
tice. A number of students, alumni and external stakeholders suggested that the course should
have a more practical orientation. In some cases, these views were reinforced by Bachelor of
Education staff. Additionally, staff members commented that they are aware that students re-
spond most positively to units which are practical and/or result in the production of resources
which are able to be used in their teaching practice. Such views need to be balanced with
other emphases expressed in the course aims.

Staff members (and some students) considered that the nexus between theory and practice be-
comes increasingly apparent to students as they undertake the final year of their course. Some
students, alumni, principals and external stakeholders, however, remain convinced of their
perception that the Bachelor of Education degree course is too theoretical and divorced from
the realities of the classroom.

It is suggested that Bachelor of Education staff make explicit the link between theory and
practice whenever this is appropriate and possible in their teaching. Furthermore, attempts
could be made to further embed meaningful links across the course between educational the-
ory, research and practice, so that students come to see for themselves the mutually informing
role that each play in teaching. In this regard, students in the Bachelor of Education with
Honours have the opportunity to hear invited staff members and RHD students speak on their


                                                                                              43
current areas of research. Perhaps this opportunity could be extended to students outside the
Honours course, when synergies exist between research topics and unit content.

RECOMMENDATION 18: That the Faculty continue its emphasis on scholarship as the ba-
sis of teaching and research and that, as far as is possible and appropriate, staff teaching re-
sponsibilities are aligned with their research interests.

A number of staff members and students were concerned that students were not given the op-
portunity following their practicum to debrief their experience. The inclusion of post-
practicum tutorials specifically designed to explore and reflect upon the in-school experiences
of students in each year of the course would allow students the opportunity to theorise, cri-
tique and reflect on their teaching practice in an academic context. This issue is addressed in
Recommendation 9.

4. The quality of the course, and disciplines included in the course,
in relation to the perceptions of peers in the Australian and Inter-
national scholarly communities

The Bachelor of Education program is recognised by employing authorities and key stake-
holders nationally and internationally. Past graduates have taken up positions in the govern-
ment (DoE), Catholic (CEO) and independent schools sectors in Tasmania as well as nation-
ally and internationally. Graduates are increasingly seeking employment in sectors beyond the
state.

The quality of the Bachelor of Education is in large part a function of the quality of its staff.
The regard in which staff members are held is evidenced by the number of visitors to the Fac-
ulty, including representatives of the Tasmanian Qualifications Authority and Tasmanian
stakeholder groupings (see ToR 5) and distinguished academics from institutions nationally
and internationally. These guests included: Dr Ena Shelley, Dean of Education, and Sue Stahl,
Butler University, Indianapolis, USA; Dr Janet Mills, Royal College of Music, London, UK;
Professor Peter Freebody, Faculty of Education, University of Sydney; Professor Jean Cland-
inin, University of Alberta, Canada; Professor John Loughran and Dr Amanda Berry, Monash
University; Dr Rod Campbell (language consultant and course language textbook author);
David Coulon and Amton Mwaraksurmes, education lecturers from Vanuatu (for more infor-
mation on this visit, see ToR 5); and five representatives of University College Sealand,
Denmark.

Bachelor of Education staff members are also invited to:
    present keynote addresses at conferences nationally and internationally on a regular basis,
    for example in the past 5 years:
        Assoc Prof Dawn Penney has been invited to be a guest speaker at the 2008 Korean
        Coaching Development Center Global Conference, Hoseo University, Seoul, Korea;
        Dr Kim Beswick, invited keynote address at the 2008 annual conference of the
        Mathematical Association of Victoria, Melbourne.
        Dr Andrew Fluck, invited keynote address on his SmartBots project at SiMERR
        Summit, Old Parliament House, Canberra, November, 2007;
        Dr Andrew Fluck, invited keynote speech for Ministry of Education in Taiwan for the
        Global Project Based Learning Forum and Exhibition in Kaohsiung, Taiwan (Sep-
        tember, 2005).
    present workshops at conferences nationally and internationally, for example:
        Mr Greg Ashman and co-author, at the 4th QS Asia Pacific Professional Leaders in
        Education Conference in Seoul, South Korea 2008.



                                                                                              44
    Dr Susan Paterson, at the 32nd world congress for the International Society of Educa-
    tion Through Art (INSEA) in Osaka, Japan 2008.
undertake consultancies for state, national and international authorities, for example:
    Mr Greg Ashman, working with Jakarta International School implementing Indone-
    sian curriculum (2008);
    Dr Kim Beswick acted as a consultant as part of the AGQTP, Numeracy for Students
    with Particular Learning Requirements K-8 (2004, $3,210);
    Dr Kim Beswick acted as a critical friend for 3 clusters in round 1 of the Australian
    Schools Innovation in Science, Technology and Mathematics (ASISTM) Project
    (2005-2006 $14,359), and for 2 clusters in round 3 (2008).
undertake regular consultancy work for the DoE, CEO and Independent School sectors,
for example:
    Dr Rob Andrew and Dr Kim Beswick were members of a team partnering with the
    DoE on a Tasmanian project funded through the Australian Government’s Effective
    Teaching and Learning Practices for Students with Learning Difficulties Initiative
    (2003);
    Dr Kim Beswick acted as a consultant to the DoE with a colleague on the Being Nu-
    merate in the Middle Years project (2004, 2005, 2006);
    Dr Kim Beswick provided professional learning for teachers at Scotch Oakburn Col-
    lege, Launceston (2005);
    Dr Andrew Fluck, “Always on” Learning Communities, with DoE and Department of
    Education and Training Victoria (2005).
undertake consultancies with national bodies, for example:
    Mr Greg Ashman and Ms Julie Browett, produced a curriculum text, “Thinking Glob-
    ally”, for the Curriculum Corporation;
    Dr Andrew Fluck, Strategic Partnerships in ICT Teacher Development, for the Aus-
    tralian Curriculum Studies Association;
    Dr Andrew Fluck, Learning for Ubiquitous School Science Education, for the Cur-
    riculum Corporation (2005);
    Dr Sharon Pittaway, National Values Education Good Practice Schools Project Stages
    1 & 2 (2005-2008), managed by the Curriculum Corporation and financed by the
    Federal Government.
undertake consultancies with industry partners, for example:
    Dr Andrew Fluck, Welfare to work for people with disabilities in Northern Tasmania
    (2006);
hold key positions on professional associations, for example:
    Dr Bill Baker is Chair of the Tasmanian Chapter of Australian Society of Music Edu-
    cators (ASME);
    Mr Greg Ashman is the university representative on the Modern Language Teachers
    Association of Tasmania;
    Dr Andrew Fluck is a committee member of the Tasmanian Society for IT in Educa-
    tion (TASITE);
    Assoc Prof Dawn Penney is coordinator of the AARE Health and Physical Education
    Special Interest Group;
    Assoc Prof Dawn Penney is an executive board member of the Australian Council for
    Health, Physical Education and Recreation WA.
    Dr Susan Paterson is the Tasmanian representative on Art Education Australia;
    Dr Kim Beswick was President of Mathematical Association of Tasmania (2005-
    2007), and was a member of the organising committee of annual MAT conferences in
    2000 and 2001, and Chair of that committee in 2004 and 2008;
    Tracey Muir was secretary of MAT from 2005-2007 and a member of the annual con-
    ference organising committees in 2004 and 2008.
    Dr Kim Beswick was Convenor of the Tasmanian review panel for the 31st Annual
    Conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australia (MERGA) in
    2008;


                                                                                      45
        Dr Kim Beswick and Tracey Muir were council members of the Australian Associa-
        tion of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT), 2005-2007;
        Dr Kim Beswick was Convenor of the 30th annual conference of the Mathematics
        Education Research Group of Australasia (MERGA) and Chair of the joint organising
        committee of that conference and the 21st biennial conference of AAMT, 2007;
        Tracey Muir was a member of the joint organising committee of the 30th annual con-
        ference of MERGA ad the 21st biennial conference of AAMT, 2007;
    hold key positions on advisory boards, for example:
        Dr Kim Beswick was a member of the Tasmanian Advisory Council for Australian
        School Innovation in Science, Technology and Mathematics (ASISTM) (2005-2007).
    hold positions with academic and professional journals, for example:
        Dr Susan Paterson is a member of the editorial board of Art Education Australia
        Assoc Prof Dawn Penney is book reviews editor and editorial board member for
        Sport, Education and Society;
        Assoc Prof Dawn Penney is an editorial board member for Physical Education and
        Sport Pedagogy;
        Assoc Prof Dawn Penney is a member of the editorial advisory board for the Journal
        for Critical Education Policy Studies, and the Australian Journal of Teacher Educa-
        tion.
        Dr Kim Beswick and Tracey Muir are co-editors of Australian Primary Classroom.
    And, take up short-term positions in universities overseas, for example:
        Dr Kim Beswick was a Research Fellow at University of Oxford between September
        and December, 2006.
In addition, international institutions in the US, Sweden, Denmark, and Vanuatu have devel-
oped partnership links with the Faculty that enable student and/or staff exchanges. Further in-
formation on these links is included under ToR 5.

The program has also attracted a comparatively small number of international students. The
inclusion of these students in the Bachelor of Education course provides an international di-
mension to the student experience (Faculty Plan 11, 1). Feedback from staff, however, indi-
cates that international students often require considerable support above and beyond that
provided by International Student Services, particularly in regard to oral and written language
skills, and obtaining and successfully completing practicum placements within Tasmania.
Some international students choose to undertake their practicum experiences overseas.

Table 15 shows that there has been a steady increase in the total international student enrol-
ment in the Bachelor of Education course over recent years although numbers are still low.
Table 15
International student enrolments in the Bachelor of Education (2001–2007)
            Year                        Commencing                           Total
            2001                            1                                  3
            2002                            0                                  1
            2003                            2                                  2
            2004                            5                                  7
            2005                            2                                  9
            2006                            6                                 14
            2007                            2                                 13
In 2007, one international student completed the Bachelor of Education with Honours degree
course.

An interstate principal, currently working in a remote location in Tasmania, and with intimate
experience of a number of recent graduates, unfavourably compared UTas teacher education
graduates with education graduates from WA and Qld universities. It was suggested that


                                                                                            46
teacher education graduates from WA are able more successfully to program lessons, and to
interpret documents and outcomes-based statements, than Tasmanian graduates. The same
principal suggested that Qld graduates also seem better prepared than Tasmanian students, in
that they require less collegial support with planning appropriately and adequately for student
learning and for the assessment of learning. Concerns regarding the adequacy of the Bachelor
of Education course content in regard to preparing students and graduates for planning and
assessment were voiced by other principals, external stakeholders and students. These con-
cerns were more fully explored in ToR 2 and are addressed in Recommendation 13.

Only three lecturers, who provided input to this review and who are currently teaching in the
Bachelor of Education course, had tertiary teaching experience that would enable them to
compare UTas’s Bachelor of Education students/graduates with students/graduates from
teacher education courses at other universities within Australia and overseas. These staff
members held differing views on the quality of our students/graduates – one of them very
positive, and the others more negative.

In 2006, materials used in the final compulsory mathematics curriculum module were re-
viewed by Associate Professors Sandra Frid and Len Sparrow of Curtin University. In May
2006 A/Profs. Frid and Sparrow, both mathematics educators, were awarded the Australian
University Teaching Award for the Social Sciences. The emphasis they note on improving the
mathematical understandings of the students was a deliberate response to the results of the
project funded by a Faculty of Education Teaching and Learning Committee grant in 2005
that showed significant deficits in the personal mathematics knowledge of students, even at
the end of their program. Apart from this example, there is little evidence of systematic re-
view of units or course materials by appropriate external authorities.

Since semester 1 of this year, unit coordinators in the Bachelor of Education have been re-
quired to submit a unit report at the end of the semester in which the unit was offered, and that
mirrors the annual course reports. Unit reports include feedback from staff and students,
measures of unit quality, and plans for improvement.

RECOMMENDATION 19: That a systematic plan for regular external reviews of course
materials be developed and implemented.

5. The suitability of the course to address teacher education for
early childhood, primary and middle schooling contexts in Tasma-
nia, nationally, and internationally

Responding to local contexts, the Bachelor of Education course includes a comprehensive
coverage of the relevant curriculum documents and protocols of teaching and assessment be-
ing used in Tasmanian DoE schools to ensure its suitability to address the range of schooling
contexts in Tasmania. Nevertheless, in recognition of the fact that the course prepares teach-
ers for employment nationally, the Tasmanian documents are offered as examples only and
students are also afforded opportunities to familiarise themselves with similar documents
from other Australian jurisdictions.

The Bachelor of Education also incorporates local needs and perspectives by inviting senior
academics and professionals of high standing to speak to staff and students. For example, in
2007–2008 visitors included:
    Sally Cashman, DoE School Psychologist
    Jodi Crerar, DoE Social Worker
    Chris Lane, AEU, gave 2 lectures to Year 4 students on teachers and the law
    Dr Rod Campbell, conducted lectures and workshops on functional grammar


                                                                                              47
     Dr Sally Milbourne, Principal-in-residence, spoke to first year students
     Professor Jean Clandinin, University of Alberta, Canada attended the narrative inquiry
     conference hosted by the Faculty and addressed staff and students on narrative inquiry
     methodology
     Professor John Loughran and Dr Amanda Berry delivered a workshop on self-study
Past graduates have taken up positions in the Government (DoE), Catholic (CEO) and Inde-
pendent schools sectors in the state. The Bachelor of Education also has graduates employed
in schools in Victoria, WA, SA, ACT, NT, NSW, and Qld, as well as in countries overseas,
including Ireland and China. Additionally, graduates of the current iteration of the B. Ed. and
B. Ed. (Hons) courses, Tammy Jones, Penney Stewart, Robyn McCarthy, Sofia Shillito, and
Michela Pinner have been employed within the faculty in a variety of roles.

Currently, there is no differentiation between the early childhood and primary specialisations
in the Bachelor of Education course during Years 1 and 2. All students undertake Liberal
Studies,22 Education Studies, Curriculum Studies and Professional Experience during these
years. In Years 3 and 4 students are able to begin to make some choices based upon their pre-
ferred specialisation in Early Childhood or Primary education or, to a much lesser extent,
Middle School education, by selecting from a range of elective units, some of which relate to
these specialisations. As stated in relation to ToR 2 where these electives are tabulated (Table
13), declining cohort sizes are limiting the possible range of units. Recommendation 13 ad-
dresses this issue. The only compulsory unit in which specialisation impacts teaching is in
EPC351, Contemporary Curriculum Developments A, in which students are taught separately
in Early Childhood and Primary groups.

In the following sections, the suitability of the course to address teacher education in special-
ist ECE, Primary and Middle School contexts in Tasmania, nationally and internationally is
addressed.


Early Childhood Education (ECE)
A stated above, the Bachelor of Education currently includes differentiated content in the core
curriculum unit EPC351 Contemporary Curriculum Developments A, so that students can
choose to study within the Early Childhood Education (ECE) strand or the Primary Education
strand. Students wishing to pursue an ECE specialisation are (usually) then able to select
ECE-focused modules in Year 3 unit EPC352 and Year 4 units EPC451 and EPC452.

In recent years, there has been a reduction in the availability of units that specifically address
the content and pedagogy relating to early childhood education (K–2). This has occurred to
the extent that Young Children Learning (a Year 4 module available in EPC452) is the only
specialist ECE option remaining. Problematically, Kindergarten Curriculum, the prerequisite
for the Young Children Learning, was been removed from the options available to Year 3 stu-
dents this year. Kindergarten Curriculum may be offered in 4th year in place of Young Chil-
dren Learning.

Comments from a range of sources support the view that graduates will not be guaranteed
employment in their preferred area of specialisation, and that, increasingly, graduates need to
be flexible in their approach to employment options. However, for those who intend to pursue
an ECE specialisation, the elective offerings were considered minimal indeed by some re-
spondents to this review. Of concern was that the course does little adequately to prepare
graduates for teaching in an ECE classroom, although it was acknowledged that currently in
Tasmania some employers neither value nor employ graduates on the basis of specialisations.

22
   Unless they receive credit for prior university (or equivalent) study as described in the Liberal Stud-
ies section of ToR 2.


                                                                                                      48
Rather, employment is determined by location and grade level vacancy. It should be noted
that all units and modules, apart from those that specifically relate to early childhood or mid-
dle school, are intended to cater for the full range, K–6.


Primary Schooling
As mentioned in the previous section, the content of the core curriculum unit EPC351 Cur-
riculum Studies 3A is differentiated, so that students who wish to pursue teaching in primary
classrooms opt into the Primary Education strand. Students appear to be able to choose from a
broader range of modules suited to a primary teaching context, within the Year 3 unit EPC352
and Year 4 units EPC451 and EPC452, and no concerns have been raised by stakeholders
about the number or content of these options.


Middle Schooling
The term “Middle School” usually refers to grades 5 to 8 (or 6 to 9). Within the last decade,
there have been relatively few options available to Bachelor of Education students who wish
to specialise in middle school teaching. Options that have been offered in the past include
Middle School English and Maths for the Middle School. This year, Maths for the Middle
School, available to Year 4 students in EPC452, was the only option that exclusively ad-
dressed Middle School curriculum content and pedagogy. The elective, Middle Schooling was
written with the intent of strengthening this strand but, as stated in relation to ToR 2, student
interest was insufficient for it to run.

During discussions about the objectives of the Bachelor of Education course at the recent re-
view day (June 18) there was some debate amongst staff about whether the course should be
preparing graduates for Middle School classrooms, in addition to its more central objective of
preparing teachers for ECE and Primary classrooms. Feedback from the DoE staff, however,
has suggested that, increasingly, DoE schools will be moving toward encompassing a middle
school philosophy and this is presently viewed as a potential growth area for graduate teacher
employment within the DoE. Currently, the faculty’s B. Teach. course is one of only a few
teacher education courses within Australian universities that offer a differentiated middle
school stream (others include the University of Queensland as mentioned in relation to ToR
3).

It was suggested in the Bachelor of Teaching Review (2007) that “any decision regarding the
future of the middle school stream would need to be informed by current research and policy
regarding the strengths, weaknesses, and objectives of middle schooling.” However, such an
exploration also needs to take into account the current trends towards middle schooling within
education systems, both locally and nationally. Whatever the outcome of such an exploration,
it may still be advisable that any decision with due consideration of the current local trend to
employ generalist teachers in middle school classrooms.

The B. Teach. Review (2007) has already raised the possibility of rationalising teaching re-
sources within the faculty by co-teaching the primary streams of the B. Teach. and B. Ed.
courses in Launceston. It is recommended that the faculty explore options for further ration-
alisation between courses that would enable B. Ed. students, and perhaps B. Ed. (In-Service)
students, to gain access to a number of middle school options available in the B. Teach. pro-
gram. Such an arrangement may lead to increases to the current “very small numbers of stu-
dents” who wish to take up certain specialisations within the B. Teach., and the increased
likelihood that that the faculty will be able to retain these options and thereby continue to sat-
isfy the demands of industry, and preferences of some students, in this regard. This arrange-
ment could satisfy both the concerns raised in the B. Teach. Review and benefit B. Ed. stu-
dents who wish to teach in middle school grades.


                                                                                               49
Secondary Schooling
The Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Education with Honours do not prepare students
for secondary school teaching. However, during interviews with external stakeholders, it be-
came clear that there is a general lack of understanding regarding the range of and distinctions
between the five pre-service teacher education courses currently operating within the Faculty.
Further, it became clear that some external stakeholders were unaware that the Bachelor of
Education no longer produces graduates qualified as secondary school teachers, although the
last Bachelor of Education students to qualify as secondary teachers graduated in December,
1999.

The review of the Bachelor of Teaching degree course (2007) indicated that that program suc-
cessfully addresses shortfalls in the supply of quality secondary teachers. However, DoE staff
interviewed for the purpose of the Bachelor of Education review voiced their concerns that
the lack of a 4-year undergraduate degree course producing secondary school teachers may be
responsible for the current shortfall of teachers applying for positions in high schools within
the state. Whilst these informants appreciated that the Bachelor of Teaching produces special-
ist teachers, interviewees were alarmed that the Bachelor of Education degree no longer pro-
duces graduate secondary school teachers. These informants suggested that, rather than need-
ing to attract students with a background in maths and science to fill the undersupply of
“highly equipped Maths and Science secondary teachers” as was suggested in the Bachelor of
Teaching review, a prior degree in these areas was not considered essential, nor even a prefer-
ence. Rather, their stated preference is to attract teachers who are prepared to be flexible, and
who are able to offer, in addition to generalist teaching capability, a minimum of two special-
ist areas, particularly those which are currently in short supply.

RECOMMENDATION 20: That the Faculty review the nature and range of specialisations
offered and pursue course rationalisation in such a way that all ongoing and future speciali-
sations are of sufficient quality to ensure national recognition.


Relief teaching
External stakeholder comments suggest that students need to be apprised of the realities of the
current employment situation in Tasmania prior to graduation. In all likelihood, graduates
may need to be prepared to take on relief teaching roles if they elect to remain in the state.
Comments indicate that this is the preferred method used by employers to assess the suitabil-
ity of graduates for positions which become available on school staff, or to meet the short-
term or casual staffing needs of schools. This type of employment situation requires a high
level of planning and preparation in order that appropriate teaching can occur in a variety of
subject areas and classes from K–6 (at least) at short notice. As a result, graduates who rely
largely on the distribution of worksheets, and playing games, may find it hard to gain regular
employment. Students, therefore, would be well advised to continue to build their lesson plan
resources across a range of grade and subject areas, and to be prepared to maintain good re-
cord-keeping regarding their use.


National contexts
One area of rapid employment growth23 for graduates from the Bachelor of Education course
is in indigenous communities in the Kimberley and other areas of WA, and the NT. Currently,
WA is experiencing a shortage of 2,500 teachers. NT has 400 teacher vacancies. Qld, rural
Western NSW, Asia (especially Korea), UK and USA are all experiencing teacher shortages.


23
     1 graduate in 2005, 7 graduates in 2006 and 16 graduates in 2007.


                                                                                              50
Yet, there is an oversupply of teachers in metropolitan areas, especially in Sydney, Mel-
bourne, and parts of Brisbane.

B. Ed. lecturer, Mr Ian Edmondson, who was himself a first year teacher in the Kimberley,
has established a Teaching in Remote Locations module in EPC352, and this module has at-
tracted full classes in each of its 2 years of operation. This unit is aimed primarily at the Aus-
tralian Aboriginal communities’ context, but includes links to Vanuatu, Thailand and other
remote contexts, including remote regions within Tasmania. The unit is designed to prepare
students (culturally, personally and professionally) for teaching in remote settings, or under-
taking Professional Experience in such locations.

Mr Edmondson has actively promoted links with schools, communities and employing au-
thorities in WA and NT. Mr Edmondson travelled to the Kimberley region in 2005 to under-
take research for a book chapter, and again in 2007 to visit an fourth year practicum student.
During these visits he established links with schools in the region, particularly with the Abo-
riginal Independent Community Schools (AICS) and Catholic Education WA, and formalised
links with the WA Education Department. The government education departments in NT and
SA are actively seeking to recruit teacher education graduates from UTas. At the time of writ-
ing this report, there were 4 Year 4 students undertaking Professional Experience in AICS
schools, and a further 10 students in rural WA. Mr Edmondson will be visiting Year 4 stu-
dents undertaking Professional Experience in the Perth and Kimberley regions in August,
2008. All of these students will teach large numbers of indigenous students in their class-
rooms.

Both last year and this year, AICS sent a principal and teacher (a former UTas graduate) to
speak to the Teaching in Remote Locations module. This year, Bruce Roper, an indigenous
principal and now departmental head from WA Education Department, will be visiting the
faculty to address Mr Edmondson’s class. Further, Mr Edmondson has been invited by
Riawunna to present a lecture on Aboriginal Education in their Contemporary Indigenous
Australia unit.

Indigenous education is not compulsory for B. Ed. students, although there was strong support
from some staff and students for this to occur. Students do have access to an indigenous cul-
tural awareness unit and an Aboriginal history unit through Riawunna as part of their Liberal
Studies options in Years 1 and 2. It has been suggested that a fourth year optional unit ad-
dressing indigenous teaching issues, run with support from Riawunna and the DoE’s indige-
nous education unit, may provide an appropriate pathway of study for students wishing to
pursue this option, either out of interest, or in order to better place themselves in regard to fu-
ture employment options.

It was recommended that options for increasing the availability of indigenous education to
students be investigated, and that the faculty explore collaborative teaching arrangements with
Riawunna staff. Further, it was recommended that the faculty provide additional support for
programs that foster links with employing authorities in other states.

Until recently, graduates of the Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Education with Hon-
ours degree courses have graduated with a qualification allowing them to teach in all Austra-
lian states and territories in Australia. However, within a number of Australian states and ter-
ritories there have been recent moves towards (a) the registration of teachers; and (b) the
accreditation of teacher education courses. National accreditation will have implications for
the Faculty’s teacher education courses and for graduates. In particular, such a move has the
potential to limit graduate access to career opportunities in other states. Requirements for
primary teacher registration within NSW include minimum standards regarding the number of
literacy and numeracy units studied, as well as the inclusion of five other compulsory sub-
jects. The New South Wales Institute of Teachers “is presently engaged in discussions with


                                                                                                51
the teacher registration bodies in other States and Territories [beyond Victoria and NT] to es-
tablish recognition arrangements for currently registered teachers” (New South Wales Insti-
tute of Teachers, 2008).24

The imperative that all of the Faculty’s courses meet all criteria for teacher registration and
course accreditation in all Australian states and territories has been noted in Recommenda-
tions 17 and 20.


International contexts
The Bachelor of Education also addresses teacher education for international contexts through
its relationships with overseas institutions in Sweden, the United States of America, and
Vanuatu.

Academic study exchange experience
Students may apply to undertake a period of academic study (usually one semester) at a Fac-
ulty-approved international partner institution. Currently, the Faculty’s key international ex-
change partner universities for undergraduate Education students are Malmo University,
Stockholm Institute of Education, Kalmar University and Uppsala University (Sweden); and
Butler University (USA).

The criteria for eligibility to undertake a student exchange include:
       the successful completion of at least one year of full-time study in a teacher education
       course;
       current enrolment in a full-time course of study at UTas;
       a suitable/good record or academic and practicum performance;
       the selection of an approved program of study at the exchange institution;
       the Faculty’s agreement that the exchange period is approved with the students’ overall
       program of study within the Faculty of Education at UTas (i.e., B.Ed. students will only
       be given approval for study exchange which takes place in Semester 2 of Year 3).
       the students’ demonstration of adequate funding to support their stay in the exchange
       country for the length of the exchange program.
The Swedish study exchange experience has proven popular with students, and 24 students
have taken advantage of this opportunity to date. During semester one this year, 4th year stu-
dents, Adam French and Matt Braid, were invited to talk about their experience in Malmo in
2007 to Bachelor of Education students.

Professional experience and exchange overseas
A reciprocal partnership with institutions in Vanuatu offers students another international op-
portunity. Now in its third year of operation with Bachelor of Education students, this experi-
ence recently expanded to become available to Bachelor of Teaching students. Students may
elect to undertake one practicum experience (7 weeks of PE4) at one of a number of schools
located in Vanuatu – Vila North, Vila East, Malapoa College and Mele Maat School.

Students wishing to undertake an exchange Professional Experience placement must address
intercultural, academic, personal and linguistic criteria in a competitive written application. In
Vanuatu, our students live amongst the communities of their host schools and share teaching
and learning experiences with ni-Vanuatu trainee teachers in and out of school hours. The
cost of the exchange is approximately $2,500. The Faculty contributes $100 per student from

24
     Available at: http://www.nswteachers.nsw.edu.au/Interstate-Teachers.html


                                                                                               52
the International Committee Budget, and the remainder is funded by successful student appli-
cants.

Following completion of the international practicum exchange and their UTas course, ex-
change students have all been employed in full-time employment in the Tasmanian DoE, in
Queensland TESOL, Kimberley, WA (Aboriginal Independent Schooling) and NT (Top End
Group Indigenous Schools). Clearly, employers appreciate the intercultural and adaptive skills
exhibited by our exchange students.

Under the exchange arrangement, lecturers David Coulon and Amton Mwaraksurmes from
Vanuatu came to the Faculty as Visiting Scholars in 2007. David and Amton worked to de-
velop curricula for their teaching training courses with the assistance of Dr Rob Andrew,
Helen Yost, and Shaun Sexton who all work in the Bachelor of Education course. Faculty of
Education staff and students also run professional development sessions in Vanuatu for host-
ing institutions and teachers.

With birth rates in Vanuatu currently almost twice those of Australia,25 teaching is considered
a growth area of employment. Currently, most ni-Van teachers are 2-year trained. However,
interest has been shown by some ni-Van teachers in moving towards 3- or 4-year trained
status, and there is the potential for them to pursue options to upgrade to 4-year trained status,
through the B. Ed. or B. Ed. (In-Service) programs. Further, there is the potential to provide
postgraduate degrees (Masters and Ph.D.) to teachers and teacher educators in Vanuatu. Box
Hill TAFE has already established itself in the provision of childcare qualifications in Vanu-
atu. It was suggested that, for a number of reasons, the faculty should more fully support and
resource links with ni-Van educators.

Support for international links
Faculty staff members, Mr Greg Ashman, Dr Marion Myhill (the Swedish experience) and Dr
Rob Andrew (the Vanuatu experience), have invested a great deal of time and energy in order
to establish and maintain these international links. Further, in an effort to sustain and further
develop the link that he originally established with teacher educators in Vanuatu, Dr Rob An-
drew contributed to funding for another staff member, Dr Bronwyn Reynolds, to travel to
Vanuatu. Dr. Reynolds spent 10 days in Vanuatu supervising and assessing students on prac-
ticum, building on the links established with the Vanuatu Institute of Teacher Education, and
working collaboratively with ni-Van (usually 2-year trained) teachers in schools. In spite of
the assistance from Dr Andrew, Dr Reynolds still had made a significant personal financial
contribution to the funding of this work.

Jointly, these initiatives have made a significant contribution to the Faculty and UTas goal of
internationalisation. However, concerns were raised by a number of staff members about what
they believe is the inequitable funding of these various programs. There are positive profes-
sional and employment outcomes for graduates that result from these programs, and the po-
tential for growth in relation to the B. Ed. (In-Service) and postgraduate areas of study.

RECOMMENDATION 21: That the Faculty review its international programs and its sup-
port of them with a view to developing a clear vision and plan for development of this area.




25
  Based on 2008 crude birth rates of 21.95/1000 for Vanuatu and 11.9/1000 for Australia. Available
from http://www.indexmundi.com/vanuatu/birth_rate.html and
http://www.indexmundi.com/australia/birth_rate.html.


                                                                                                     53
6. The appropriateness of teaching and learning processes includ-
ing methods of assessment within the course in relation to the
course objectives

This section includes material related to the quality of teaching and learning as well as to the
appropriateness of teaching and learning processes. These matters are inherently related and
are considered first, followed by a consideration of the alignment between teaching and learn-
ing and the course aims as stated in relation to ToR 1.

The quality of teaching provided in the Bachelor of Education course is evidenced by Univer-
sity of Tasmania Teaching Excellence Awards received by Dr Kim Beswick in 2006, and Dr
Margaret Baguley in 2007 and by the many staff who were awarded Teaching Merit Certifi-
cates in 2008. These staff members were Dr Margaret Baguley, Robyn McCarthy, Tracey
Muir, Megan Short, Heather Bell, and Anne Wright. In addition, B. Ed. staff members on the
Cradle Coast campus, Pat Grey and Lyn Donaghue, received a team Teaching Merit Certifi-
cate. At the national level Drs Baguley and Beswick recently received Citations for out-
standing contributions to student learning from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council
(ALTC) (formerly the Carrick Institute).

Student feedback provided via unit SETLs is generally positive. Data for B. Ed. units from
2007, taken from the Course Report on that year, were as shown in Table 16.
Table 16
Unit and teaching SETL data for Bachelor of Education units (2007)
                              Unit SETLs 2007           Teaching SETLs 2007
                Item    Semester 1    Semester 2     Semester 1    Semester 2
                   1        4.1             4.1          4.5           4.5
compulsory SETL items




                   2        3.9             4.0          4.1           4.3
  Means of means for




                   3        3.7             4.0          4.2           4.2
                   4        4.0             4.1          4.6           4.6
                   5        3.6             4.0          4.8           4.7
                   6        3.7             4.0          4.7           4.6
                   7        4.0             4.0          4.4           4.4
                   8        3.9             4.0          4.5           4.4
                   9        4.0             4.1          4.4           4.4
                  10        4.0             4.2          4.3           4.3
        No. of units       9 (69)         15 (85)      10 (77)        9 (69)
        (% of units
            offered)
          Response      46.8%-87.9%    41.6%-97.6%      12-127        5-102
        rate: Range                                    students      students
          Response         69.2%          76.9%       44 students   40 students
         rate: Mean
The unit means of means are very slightly lower than those of the faculty on average, while
those for teaching SETLs are at least equivalent to the Faculty means.

One unit, EPF450, had means below 3.0 for two items, “I was given useful feedback on my
assessment work,” and “The unit stimulated my interest in the subject area.” The mean of
means for this unit was 3.2. Only one other mean less than 3.0 was obtained on any item in
unit SETLs. This was for EPC251 and the specific item was, “The workload in this unit was
appropriate.” The mean of means for this unit was 3.6.




                                                                                             54
Table 17 shows unit SETL data for individual B.Ed. units in 2007. Those units shown as
shaded have means of means less than 3.9. These units include those previously mentioned in
relation to specific items, and all of these units have been modified for 2008.
Table 17
Unit SETL data for individual B.Ed. units (2007)
             Unit     Unit title                Campus   Students   Students   Response   Mean
             code                               (Mode)   enrolled    SETLd       rate      of
                                                                                          means
             EPC150   Curriculum Studies 1       L(i),     203        126        62.1      4.0
                                                 W(i)
             EPC251   Curriculum Studies 2B      L(i),     157        138        87.9      3.6
                                                 W(i)
             EPC253   Curriculum Studies 2D      L(i),     160        140        87.5      4.2
Semester 1




                                                 W(i)
             EPC351   Contemporary Curricu-      L(i)      158        118        74.7      3.9
                      lum Developments A
             EPC450   Curriculum Studies 4A      L(i)      170        119        70.0      4.0
                      (Literacy, Mathematics)
             EPC452   Curriculum Investiga-      L(i)      201        94         46.8      4.3
                      tions B
             EPF155   Education 1A               L(i),     199        116        58.3      4.0
                                                 W(i)
             EPF351   Education 3A               L(i)      152        110        72.4      3.9
             EPF450   Education 4                L(i)      170        107        62.9      3.2
             EPC250   Curriculum Studies 2A      L(i)      124         95        75.9      4.1
                      (Literacy, Mathematics)
             EPC250   Curriculum Studies 2A      W(i)      37         36         60.9      4.4
                      (Literacy, Mathematics)
             EPC252   Curriculum Studies 2C      W(i)       37        33         73.0      4.3
             EPC252   Curriculum Studies 2C      L(i)      118        89         83.3      3.6
             EPC350   Curriculum Studies 3A      L(i)      137        93         72.2      4.0
                      (Language, Mathemat-
                      ics)
             EPC352   Curriculum Investiga-      L(i)      147        82         75.0      4.0
                      tions A
             EPC453   Modes of Curriculum        L(i)      157        88         91.7      3.7
Semester 2




                      Inquiry B
             EPF156   Education 1B               L(i)      137        110        85.7      4.2
             EPF156   Education 1B               W(i)       44        39         90.9      3.9
             EPF420   Honours Dissertation B     L(i)       12        11         62.5      4.3
             EPF451   Education 5                L(i)      166        69         55.6      3.8
             EPT150   School Experience 1        L(i)      135         97        50.0      3.9
                      (ECE/Primary)
             EPT150   School Experience 1        W(i)      41         40        100.0      4.1
                      (ECE/Primary)
             EPT250   School Experience 2        W(i)      35         33         73.3      4.3
                      (ECE/Primary)
             EPT450   School Experience 4        L(i)      165        114        54.3      4.0
                      (Early Childhood/-
                      Primary)
The performance of each of the faculty’s courses and for education courses nationally, on the
CEQ Good Teaching scale are shown in Figure 2. Table 18 shows B. Ed. CEQ data on Good
Teaching, Generic Skills and Overall Satisfaction for the period 2002-2007.




                                                                                                  55
                                   Faculty of Education Good Teaching Scale by Course

                         50.00

                         40.00

                         30.00
  Score (-100 to +100)




                                                                                                   2002
                         20.00
                                                                                                   2003
                         10.00                                                                     2004
                                                                                                   2005
                          0.00
                                                                                                   2006
                                           h




                                                                                               n
                                                      )



                                                            VE




                                                                       M



                                                                               lty
                                    d




                                                  ( IS
                         -10.00
                                            c




                                                                                           t io
                                  BE




                                                                     BH
                                          ea




                                                                             cu
                                                          BA




                                                                                         ca
                                                  d
                                        BT




                                                                           Fa
                                                BE




                                                                                      du
                                                                                      lE
                         -20.00




                                                                                    na
                                                                                 tio
                                                                              Na
                         -30.00
                                                            Course


                          Figure 2. Faculty of Education CEQ Good Teaching results (2002–2006)

Table 18
B. Ed. CEQ Good Teaching, Generic Skills and Overall Satisfaction results (2002–
2007)
                    Number of Re-         Good Teaching        Generic Skills       Overall Satisfac-
                       spondents                                                         tion
           2002            70                   -2.4                21.4                  7.9
           2003            78                  12.5                 34.3                 30.1
           2004            90                    2.5                25.5                 18.3
           2005            69                  10.4                 34.7                 25.4
           2006            126                   7.0                23.1                 14.5
           2007            101                 21.2                 34.5                 28.7
 Notes: This shows the satisfaction level of students who have completed a course. The CEQ is dis-
 tributed with the Graduate Destination Survey to graduates approximately 4 months after gradua-
 tion. Therefore the year results presented above relate to students who graduated in the previous
 year (e.g. 2005 results are for students who graduated in 2004). The results are summarised to three
 standard measures: Generic Skills, Good Teaching and Overall Satisfaction and results range 100
 points above and below a zero midpoint. Caution should be used if sample size is a low proportion
 of completions for the year or less than 10.
Comparison of the SETL data (Tables 16 and 17) with the CEQ data (Table 18) presents a
somewhat contradictory picture of students generally very happy with the quality of the units
that comprise the course but less satisfied with the course as a whole. There are a number of
issues around the selection of CEQ items and the timing of this survey that may account, at
least in part, for this discrepancy. Nevertheless, data provided by students to this review war-
rants careful consideration in relation to this issue.

Feedback to this review suggests that there is room for improvement within the Bachelor of
Education with regards to teaching and learning processes. Students have reported some in-
consistency within units across the program, dependent on their tutor, lecturer and/or the
campus on which they are studying. In some instances, students have commented that impor-
tant generic content and skills, such as exploring and understanding curriculum documents
and the development of lesson/unit planning, is only being covered in certain curriculum ar-
eas. Connections between the curriculum documentation and planning are not always made
clear. Feedback from external stakeholders supports the view that students need a much


                                                                                                      56
deeper understanding of how to interpret a range of curriculum documents (not only the Tas-
manian Curriculum) and then translate their understanding into a learning program, including
being able to develop achievable student learning outcomes, relevant and engaging content,
and assessment tasks that demonstrate student learning in relation to the stated learning out-
comes. Students have requested units dedicated to planning that are developmental across the
4 years of the course. Substantial negative feedback from external stakeholders in relation to
students’ and graduates’ lesson, unit, and particularly long-term planning and assessment,
suggests that this idea has merit.

Some students have also observed that the same content is covered more than once in the
course, by different staff working in different units, with child development being given as
one example. Students tended to attribute these repetitions to what they perceived as a lack of
communication and collaboration amongst lecturers and tutors, and staff working across the
program and between the two campuses.

It was suggested by some students that they are rarely, if ever, exposed to excellent examples
of the type of work they are expected to produce, only examples which are considered pass
grade. While there are genuine concerns around originality of work and the university as-
sessment process in regard to students being shown exemplars, students’ concerns in this area
are worth consideration. Access to excellent examples, even if this occurs after assessment,
may be one way of increasing students’ understandings about how to improve their own
work. The current procedures were considered by some contributors to act to limit students’
abilities to improve.

Many of the staff members who contributed to this review stated that they were unaware of
where the unit(s) they teach occur within the broader context of the B. Ed. program. This and
others of the preceding concerns could be addressed if there was a mapping of the course con-
tent and development over its 4-years. This process has already begun, for example by map-
ping topics, learning outcomes and assessments (Appendixes J1–J4) as well as assessment
types and deadlines (Appendixes K1–K4). These maps have been prepared for all units in
each semester of the course, and are addressed further in relation to ToR 14.

Since the 2002 Course Review, a common unit outline template has been adopted across the
Faculty including in the B. Ed. In addition, all unit outlines are held electronically by the
course support officer. Furthermore, the Bachelor of Education team has, in 2008, completed
considerable work to improve assessment processes. For example, criteria for assessment are
now in all unit outlines although they vary in the extent to which they are aligned with learn-
ing outcomes. In a number of instances, the number of assessment items has been reduced to
comply with Faculty guidelines.

Staff members have identified a need to ensure that assessment and learning outcomes are
better aligned and that, in some units, the numbers of learning outcomes still need to be re-
duced. It has also been recognised that Graduate Attributes need to be incorporated in Unit
Outlines in a meaningful way, such that they reflect how each unit contributes to their devel-
opment. These shortcomings became apparent during assessment and Graduate Attribute
mapping exercises that have been conducted, and from the work of staff on tracing the devel-
opment of key themes across the course. This work has been useful, but its value will be
short-lived without a systematic process for maintaining and updating the outcomes. Plans to
develop course and unit portfolios are in place, and these will be supported by a professional
learning agenda to be implemented in the second half of 2008. Several staff commented on
the value of spending time working together on course materials. Specifically, they felt that it
improved their awareness of what happened in units other than their own, and broadened their
views of the range or practices and possibilities for improvement. The recently instituted
regular year meeting and the development of portfolios will assist with this.



                                                                                             57
RECOMMENDATION 22: That the Faculty pursue its plans to develop course and unit
portfolios, along with processes for their maintenance and associated professional learning
for staff.

Other suggestions related to assessment included that: assignment tasks, such as essay topics,
may need to be varied each year so that students may less easily “borrow” work from previ-
ous years; and students should be building planning folders and portfolios as assessment
tasks, since these represent practical outcomes useful for their future role as teachers.

The amount and quality of feedback students receive on their assessment tasks adds to how
they advance and improve. Some staff submissions to this review claimed that, in many units,
insufficient time was allowed for adequate assessment and moderation processes. Any in-
creased requirements in terms of moderation would need to be accommodated in workload
allocations. ToR 15 includes further data related to staff workloads.

Several seconded and sessional staff teach in the Bachelor of Education course and contribute
invaluable up-to-date classroom and school expertise that is valued by students and colleagues
alike. The difficulties experienced by profile staff in identifying how the units they teach fit
within the overall program and in avoiding duplication or repetition of material are more
acute for seconded and sessional staff, as well as for new staff. Under the leadership of the
Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning), the Faculty has recently instigated more compre-
hensive induction processes for these staff, and Dr Robyn Glade-Wright has taken responsi-
bility for providing resources and developing processes that will support sessional staff in
their work. Further details are provided in relation to ToR 12. The availability of unit portfo-
lios that include all of the materials used in the most recent delivery of each unit along with a
documented history of the unit’s development, plans for its improvement, and clearly articu-
lated statement of the place of the unit in the overall course will also be of considerable assis-
tance to seconded, sessional and new staff.

In terms of the course aims (see ToR 1) it was observed that more explicit emphasis could
profitably be placed on the achievement of aims A3 and A4. There is considerable overlap be-
tween these aims and the theme of critical thinking that was examined as part of the June 18
review day. It was noted that the desired kind of thinking would necessarily include the ca-
pacity to access and appraise research literature, especially where conflicting views compete.
Increasing the prominence of the aims in line with Recommendation 1 would likely enhance
the extent of alignment between them and teaching in the course.

7. The quality of students entering and completing the course

There are undoubtedly many students who graduate from the Bachelor of Education and
Bachelor of Education with Honours courses possessing the many and varied skills necessary
to plan, teach and assess students effectively in contemporary classrooms. However, feedback
received from all sources indicates that a number of students neither possess these skills, nor
the personal, literacy and numeracy skills that would allow them to adequately fulfil the mul-
tiple roles and responsibilities expected of today’s teachers. Nearly every principal or external
stakeholder interviewed readily related a story of a practicum student or graduate who fell far
short of his or her expectations. These less able students and graduates have left lasting im-
pressions in the minds of external stakeholders, and act to tarnish the professional image that
the Faculty desires each of its graduates to project; an image that, according to other feed-
back, is clearly projected by the more capable students and graduates from the Bachelor of
Education and Bachelor of Education with Honours courses.

Overwhelming feedback to the review suggests that UTas’s growth and excellence agendas
are incompatible as they work in direct conflict with each other, given Tasmania’s small


                                                                                               58
population and educational demographics. The growth agenda has resulted in declining entry
scores. This has resulted in what is colloquially known as a “bums on seats” approach to
teacher education, which was commented unfavourably upon by all groups of stakeholders,
both external and internal. Overwhelmingly, stakeholders wanted to see this situation re-
versed, with many calling for the enrolment of fewer students of better quality and potential.

Table 19 and Figure 3 show the median and mean entrance scores for students in the Bachelor
of Education over the period 1999–2007. There was an approximate 10 point decline from
2001 to 2002 that has not been recovered. As discussed in relation to student demand (see
ToR 9), the result is cohorts with increasing proportions of students requiring additional sup-
port. This clearly has resource implications for the Faculty.
Table 19
Bachelor of Education median and mean Entrance ITI (1999–2007)
   Entrance ITI        1999       2000       2001       2002       2003       2004   2005    2006    2007
      Median            78.5        77        83.2       71.5       74.5       75    68.5    77.3     69
         Mean           81.4       80.5       83.7       71.4       73.9      73.5   70.7    74.7    70.5
 ITI is Interstate Transfer Index, a measure used by all Australian universities.




                               Bachelor of Education Entrance

         100
          95
          90
          85
          80                                                                                Median
          75
   ITI




          70                                                                                Mean
          65
          60
          55
          50
                1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
                                           Year of Entry

          Figure 3. Bachelor of Education median and mean Entrance ITI (1999–2007)
Feedback from external stakeholders suggests that Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of
Education with Honours graduates are generally enthusiastic, keen, hard working and that
they generally establish excellent relationships with students and colleagues.

Many external stakeholders believed that a number of graduates exhibit difficulties with ap-
propriate planning and assessment of student learning. Some comments suggested that lessons
are unorganised, lengthy, fail to engage students, and do not have clearly stated learning ob-
jectives. Practically speaking, it was suggested that graduates are unable to translate a curricu-
lum document into a cohesive, sequenced learning program. Some graduates do not seem to
understand the need to start at the students’ current level of understanding when planning les-
sons. Additionally, although graduates can sometimes put together an integrated program,
they are unable to report on individual KLAs, for example, science. One principal in a remote
location reported having to spend “hours and hours” with graduates, breaking the planning
task down into simple steps: “What do you want them to learn? How are you going to teach
it? And how are you going to find out that they actually learnt it?”


                                                                                                        59
It was suggested, too, that the Tasmanian Curriculum is relatively unhelpful to graduates, who
have trouble translating these documents into a program, then assessing and recording results.
One principal reported using the NSW syllabus because it is more specific, provides a “map”
and has supporting documents which make planning easier.26 This principal reported giving
graduates sheets with a place for students’ names and the nature of the task at the top, and
checkboxes – maybe, sometimes, always, or not yet – for assessing student performance.

In many cases, current students voiced concerns that they felt underprepared and lacked con-
fidence in their teaching because of a lack of knowledge of planning, especially in regard to
long-term developmental sequences, and about their capacity to assess and report on student
learning. They requested that units address these gaps in their understanding. Comments were
made by students, principals and some staff members that students are being “let down” by
the course as it currently exists. The need for greater emphasis in the course on the develop-
ment of students’ planning and assessment capabilities was addressed in Recommendation 15
in relation to ToR 2.

Graduates’ theoretical knowledge, when commented upon as a whole, was generally consid-
ered adequate, although some contributors reported gaps in the theoretical understanding that
underpins graduate teaching practice. Many concerns were raised by stakeholders (including
alumni) in regard to graduates’ lack of deep understanding in relation to language and broader
literacy development. Some graduates appear not to understand how students acquire early
language skills, and what is considered normal development. Additionally, they seem un-
aware of the range of activities and interventions that are needed to support ongoing growth
and development. They are unable adequately to test for or identify development that is out-
side the range considered to be normal, or to assess the type or cause of developmental delay.
They do not know of the range of services or strategies available to assist them and their stu-
dents once they are aware of developmental issues. The same issues exist in relation to the
provision of support for students who are gifted and talented, and need extension. This issue
also arose in relation to ToR 2 and is the subject of Recommendation 4.

Graduates’ personal literacy skills are considered to be very poor (i.e., expression, sentence
knowledge, and spelling). Some feedback suggested that some graduates’ language skills are
less than a Year 6 standard. This severely impacts on their ability to teach their students good
language skills, and to report to parents and the system within which they work. Particularly
in rural and remote areas, school students’ results are generally considered to be poor, and
these schools, particularly, need teachers who can successfully teach the basics and early lan-
guage development skills. It was also suggested that appropriate entry and exit standards with
respect to English-language proficiency needed to be instituted for international students, as
well as a need to ensure that these students have access to services through which they can
improve their English language competency either within the Faculty or other services pro-
vided by UTas.

The view was expressed that the course should consider instituting an appropriate exam or
test as part of the application process to ascertain basic skills in literacy, numeracy, ICT and
English language proficiency. This would be in line with the recommendations made in Top
of the Class:

         Students entering teacher education courses should undergo a diagnostic testing of their
         literacy and numeracy skills. On the basis of the results, teacher education programs
         should provide assistance to students to ensure they develop literacy and numeracy skills
         to the desired level (p. xxiv).




26
     The NSW syllabus was referred to by other students who experienced it on Professional Experience.


                                                                                                     60
The development and implementation of such an initiative has broad implications at both fac-
ulty and university levels, as there are significant resource and funding implications. Never-
theless, national accreditation of preservice teacher education programs, to which the B. Ed.
will be subject, is likely to require courses to ensure that graduates have personal proficiency
with literacy, numeracy and the use of ICT. These aspects were identified by the Australasian
Forum of Teacher Registration and Accreditation Authorities (AFTRAA) as common to exist-
ing guidelines for the approval of courses.

RECOMMENDATION 23: That the Faculty develop a plan to ensure that graduates of its
preservice teacher education courses are proficient in terms of their personal literacy, nu-
meracy and ability to use ICT.

Currently, with declining school populations in metropolitan areas of the state, schools in the
major centres will no longer be growth areas for teaching positions. However, all school sys-
tems are struggling to staff their rural and remote schools. In these areas, there is little support
for beginning teachers, and access to mentoring by senior teachers is limited because there are
fewer experienced staff members. Graduates seeking jobs in these areas, therefore, need to be
flexible, resourceful, independent, and prepared to become a part of the community.

The review was told that the Tasmanian Budget announcement concerning a literacy strategy
means that there are 26 jobs across the state, and no-one to fill them. Interns cannot be re-
leased until October, and unemployed graduates are not considered as suitable for one reason
or another. Unemployed graduates have (in the opinion of the Learning Services staff) either
been tested by schools and found wanting or have not made themselves known. Schools have
a duty of care to only employ graduates who can control a class, and teach. It was stated that
once students graduate, schools have the pick of graduates because there is currently an over-
supply.

Submissions indicated that schools need teachers with science, LOTE, Library, ICT, Music,
PE, Arts, strengths as well as being generalist teachers. Some specialists (itinerant teachers)
are believed to have classroom management issues and there were also concerns that gradu-
ates cannot control classes. Stakeholders expressed a need for secondary teachers with maths,
science and English who were not highly skilled in these areas (no prior degree required), but
rather generalists with a couple of specialisations. The Bachelor of Education does not cur-
rently prepare secondary teachers but, nevertheless, many are employed in these roles because
the inability of schools to attract secondary teachers. It was not clear whether, or the extent to
which, these contributors had in mind secondary specialisations in the Bachelor of Education
or were thinking in terms of primary school generalists with strengths in particular areas. The
issue of non-secondary specialisations in the B. Ed. is addressed in Recommendation 20 in
relation to ToR 5. Those thinking in terms of secondary teaching may not have been aware of
existing options in the form of 4-year combined degrees offered as part of the Bachelor of
Teaching course.

Stakeholders suggested that graduates need to be aware that schools are “diverse, complex or-
ganisations” that are each unique, as a result of a combination of factors, including school
climate, school culture, requirements, personalities. It was suggested that for some young,
Christian, middle class graduates, it is a culture shock to be placed in a difficult school where
they experience language and behaviour they may not have witnessed previously. According
to stakeholder feedback, students need more diverse experiences in their practicum experi-
ences in order that they understand the realities of life in a school. However, the faculty is un-
able to guarantee that students will be exposed to a range of school types over the 4-year
course. Principals who had experienced students in schools as part of Classroom Engagement
(during which students spent 1 day per week in a classroom) commented very favourably of
this experience, which allowed students to experience the classroom and its students over a
period of time. This experience was also seen as less intense for both colleague teachers and


                                                                                                 61
students, and valuable in allowing students to assess their own suitability for the teaching pro-
fession.

Although students leave the course having developed a portfolio, according to feedback from
employers, they seem unaware of how to “present themselves on paper.” Some graduates turn
up for work exhibiting a rather laissez-faire approach, without attention to “a reasonable stan-
dard of professional dress and deportment” and without organising their registration, giving
the impression that they believe “it will all just happen.” This in spite of such issues being ex-
plicitly addressed in Professional Experience preparation and documentation.

TE score was not considered a suitable indicator of the capacity to learn to teach. Rather the
need for an aptitude test, tests for communication skills and personal literacy, numeracy and
ICT skills was expressed. Year 12 achievement was not seen as an adequate guarantee of the
possession of these skills.

Stakeholder, staff and student feedback indicates some concern regarding the professional and
personal commitment of a minority of students, and their suitability for the profession of
teaching, as discussed further in ToR 9. Any change in current entry policy would need to
take into account the shift of responsibility for assessing student applications from Faculty of
Education staff to general staff in UTas’s Student Administration. With regard to students in
the course, it was suggested that there needs to be greater honesty and frankness in assessing
the suitability of students for the profession, and that some are “just not the right type.” To be
teachers, graduates need to be emotionally intelligent and team players. It was considered that
the faculty needs to be more direct in counselling unsuitable teacher education students out of
the course and into something for which they are better suited.

Table 20 provides destination data for graduates of the Bachelor of Education course in 2006.
Table 20
B.Ed. Graduate Destination Survey results – Employment Indicator (for those avail-
able for employment)
                                                             Total            Percent      Percent
      2006 Graduates            Full-time    Part-time     Employment        Part-time    Full-time
                                                             Type
 All Genders
       • Total All Ages             50          49             103            47.57%        48.54%
       • 25+                        27          29              57            50.88%        47.37%
       • 20-24                      23          20              46            43.48%        50.00%
 Women
       • Total All Ages             39          38              80            47.50%        48.75%
       • 25+                        21          23              44            52.27%        47.73%
       • 20-24                      18          15              36            41.67%        50.00%
 Men
       • Total All Ages             11          11              23            47.83%        47.83%
       • 25+                         6           6              13            46.15%        46.15%
       • 20-24                       5           5              10            50.00%        50.00%
 Salaries Summary 2007: for a sample of 93, the Median Salary was $30,000 (compared to the Uni-
 versity Median Salary of $36,500).
 Notes: Graduate Destination Survey data are gathered on the 30th April each year. It may not be use-
 ful if the sample size is small.




                                                                                                   62
8. The implementation of current policy for monitoring and evaluat-
ing quality and the adequacy of the current methods

In 2005, the AUQA Report commended UTas for evidence of its commitment to active con-
sideration of student feedback through the use of the Student Evaluation of Teaching and
Learning (SETL).

In 2008, the Student Representative Committee has been reinstated and will meet at least once
per semester. The Course Advisory Committee for the B. Ed. has been recently disbanded and
replaced by a single Course Advisory Committee for the Faculty’s four preservice education
courses. This change has been in recognition of the commonality of issues across these
courses and in their stakeholder groups. Additionally, year group, subject area, and course
team meetings have been initiated and staff feedback about this situation is positive. A 2-hour
non-teaching time for B. Ed. units has recently been established to facilitate staff attendance
at meetings. It would seem appropriate that repeated suggestions over a number of years for a
Faculty wide, regular non-teaching block within the timetable be scheduled to allow all staff
members to attend meetings be adopted. Such a provision would, among other things, en-
hance collaborative planning and the provision of professional learning for all Faculty staff.
The current practice in the B. Ed. of including sessional and seconded staff in relevant meet-
ings should be maintained.

In addition, the Bachelor of Education has recently instituted a process of regular unit reviews
and a process for reporting the outcomes of these. This was described in relations to ToR 4.
Staff members teaching in each year of the Bachelor of Education course also meet at the end
of each semester to review the semester and identify areas for improvement beyond changes
to individual units, to be addressed in the subsequent year. Staff members have reported find-
ing these processes useful.

The Faculty has increased its engagement with University provisions for rewarding high qual-
ity contributions to teaching. This is reflected in the relatively large numbers if B. Ed. staff
receiving such recognition (See ToR 4). A degree of scepticism about awards for teaching
was also expressed and is detailed in relation to ToR 15. Some staff members indicated the
importance of additional avenues through which they can be acknowledged for their commit-
ment and exemplary teaching practices in a more personal manner by colleagues and senior
staff. It was suggested that there were few avenues for spontaneously communicating and
celebrating successes such as exceptional qualitative feedback from students, or media recog-
nition for teaching and learning practices.
It has been noted that the grade distributions for several B. Ed. units (as well as in units in
other courses) are skewed towards higher results. Faculty guidelines which include recom-
mendations relating to grade distributions have been in place for some time but there has in-
creasingly been little expectation that they be followed. Result distributions for 2007 semester
1 units are shown in Table 21. Please note that WTs have been converted but data re the out-
comes of this process were unavailable. Units with more than 60% of results above 59% (i.e.
credit or better) are shaded. According to the Faculty Assessment Guidelines these figures re-
quire justification. Such justification would need to be in terms of evidence that the cohort
concerned was exceptional.

Table 21
Grade distribution for semester 1 units, 2007
                               HD    DN     CR     PP     NN     WT    UP    AN
                    No. en-                                                         %
           Unit                %      %     %      %      %      %     %     %
                    rolled                                                         >59
        EPC150        205      3.9   12.2   33.2   31.7   14.6   2.0   0.0   2.4   49.3



                                                                                             63
                               HD    DN     CR     PP     NN     WT          UP        AN
                    No. en-                                                                         %
           Unit                %      %     %      %      %      %           %           %
                    rolled                                                                         >59
        EPF155       199       3.0   18.6   34.2   32.2   8.5    0.0         0.0       3.5         55.8

        EPC251       158      22.2   23.4   34.2   7.59   8.2    3.8         0.0       0.6         79.7

        EPC253       160      26.9   44.4   23.1   1.25   3.8    0.0         0.0       0.6         94.4

        EPF250       161       3.1   16.1   46     31.1   2.5    0.6         0.0       0.6         65.2

        EPC351       158      13.3    19    22.8   37.3   5.1    2.5         0.0       0.0         55.1

        EPF351       151      25.8   31.1   23.2   11.9   2.0    6.0         0.0       0.0         80.1

        EPT350       155       0.0    0      0      0     1.3    22.6    76.1          0.0         0.0

        EPC450       170       3.5   8.82   41.2   37.1   4.7    4.7         0.0       0.0         53.5

        EPC451       166      20.5   28.3   24.7   21.7   2.4    2.4         0.0       0.0         73.5

        EPC452       199      11.1   22.1   31.2   26.6   4.0    3.0         0.0       2.0         64.3

        EPT450       170       4.7   14.7   26.5   29.4   2.4    22.4        0.0       0.0         45.9

        EPF410        12      33.3    50    16.7    0     0.0    0.0         0.0       0.0       100.0

        TOTALS       2064     11.2   19.9   28.7   22.9   5.2    5.6         5.7       0.9         59.7

Result distributions for 2007 semester 2 and 2008 semester 1 units are shown in Tables 22 and
23. Please note that WTs have since been converted but data re the outcomes of this were un-
available. This time the distribution of grades for each component of units is shown. Again
units or components with more than 60% of grades above 59% are shaded. In semester 2 2007
scaling occurred in two units and so the distributions are much closer to Faculty guidelines
than in semester 1. Rather than scaling in semester 1 of 2008 the problem was recognised as
Faculty wide and best addressed through professional learning.

Table 22
Grade distribution for semester 2 units (2007)
                              HD     DN     CR     PP     NN      WT             UP          AN
                   No. en-                                                                             %
        Unit                  %      %      %       %      %       %               %         %
                   rolled                                                                             >59
      EPF156        180        2.8   22.8   37.2   27.2    6.7         0.0         0.0       3.3         62.8
      EPT150        175        0.0    0.0    0.0    0.0    0.0         2.3     94.3          3.4          0.0
       EPC250
                    161
      (literacy)               4.3   21.1   34.8   31.7    6.2         0.0         0.0       1.9         60.2
       EPC250
                    161
       (Maths)                 8.1   21.7   38.5   25.5    3.7         0.6         0.0       1.9         68.3
       EPC250
                    161
         Total                 5.0   22.4   34.8   28.0    5.6         0.6         0.0       1.9         62.1
       EPC252
                    155
       (SOSE)                  2.6   22.6   41.9   27.7    3.2         0.6         0.0       1.3         67.1
       EPC252
                    155
      (Science)               13.5   17.4   29.7   29.0    8.4         1.3         0.0       0.6         60.6
       EPC252
                    155
         Total                 6.5   25.2   31.0   27.1    9.0         1.3         0.0       0.0         62.6
       EPC350
                    136
     (language)                0.0    0.0    0.0    0.0    2.0     18.0        78.7          1.3          0.0


                                                                                                                64
                                   HD       DN      CR      PP      NN     WT       UP        AN
                        No. en-                                                                         %
         Unit                       %       %       %       %       %       %        %         %
                        rolled                                                                         >59
      EPC350
                           135
      (maths)                       3.7     17.6    30.1    36.0     9.6     2.2       0.0     0.7     51.5
      EPC350
                           139
       Total                        5.2     15.6    31.1    45.2     0.0     2.2       0.0     0.7     51.9
      EPC352               147      3.6     17.3    33.1    33.8     9.4     2.2       0.0     0.7     54.0
      EPC353
                           141
     (Technol.)                     8.2     23.1    31.3    23.1     0.7    12.2       0.0     1.4     62.6
      EPC353
                           141
       (ICT)                        6.4     10.6    34.0    45.4     2.1     1.4       0.0     0.0     51.1
      EPC353
                           143
        Total                       2.1     13.5    42.6    36.2     4.3     1.4       0.0     0.0     58.2
      EPF352
                           160
       (SVR)                        2.1     11.2    44.1    35.0     3.5     3.5       0.0     0.7     57.3
   EPF352 (Child
                           160
       Dev.)                       10.6     15.6    12.5    28.1    10.6    22.5       0.0     0.0     38.8
      EPF352
                           160
        Total                       3.1     13.8    38.8    42.5     1.3     0.6       0.0     0.0     55.6
      EPC453               155      4.4     14.4    29.4    19.4    10.6    21.9       0.0     0.0     48.1
      EPF451               166      6.5     16.1    28.4    45.2     0.6     0.0       0.0     2.6     51.0
      EPT450               165     15.1      1.8     1.2    75.3     0.0     4.8       0.0     1.2     18.1
      EPF420                12      0.0      0.0     0.0     0.0     2.4     7.3    90.3       0.0         0.0
         Totals          1908       0.0      0.0     0.0     0.0     0.0   100.0       0.0     0.0         0.0

The grade distributions for semester 2 of 2008 are shown in Table 23.

Table 23
Grade distribution for semester 1 units (2008)
                                              HD     DN      CR      PP    NN      WT        UP      AN
                Title / Com-      No. en-                                                                         %
  Unit                                        %       %      %       %     %       %         %       %
                   ponent         rolled                                                                         >59
                   Literacy        176        5.1    18.8    38.6   32.4   4.5     0.6       0.0     0.0         63
 EPC150
                    Maths          180        2.8     7.2    28.9   51.1   7.8     2.2       0.0     0.0         39

 EPF155       Education 1B         190        4.2     8.9    39.5   36.8   4.2     0.0       0.0     6.3         56

                    Music          160       18.8    28.8    26.9   18.1   7.5     0.0       0.0     0.0         74
 EPC251
                     HPE           160        7.5    27.5    38.8   20.6   5.6     0.0       0.0     0.0         74

                    Drama          152        6.6    31.6    44.1   16.4   0.0     0.7       0.0     0.7         83
 EPC253
                  Visual Art       151        7.3    22.5    47.7   19.9   1.3     0.7       0.0     0.7         78

 EPF250         Education 2        153        3.9    15.0    41.2   37.9   2.5     0.0       0.0     0.0         61
                   Contemp.
                  Curric. De-
 EPC351                            145       21.4    25.5    29.0   20.0   2.1     2.1       0.0     0.0         76
                  velopments
                      A
 EPF351       Education 3A         142        6.3    18.3    32.4   38.7   2.1     1.4       0.0     0.0         57



                                                                                                                  65
                                       HD     DN     CR     PP     NN    WT     UP     AN
            Title / Com-     No. en-                                                          %
  Unit                                  %     %      %      %      %     %      %      %
               ponent        rolled                                                          >59
 EPT350           PE3         129      0.0    0.0    0.0    0.0    0.0   32.6   67.4   0.0   na

               Literacy       140      2.4    27.9   47.9   20.0   1.4   0.0    0.0    0.0   79
 EPC450
                  Maths       144      0.0    9.0    32.6   56.3   1.4   0.7    0.0    0.0   42
              Comtemp.
EPC451*      Curric. De-      126      11.1   19.8   44.4   22.2   0.0   2.4    0.0    0.0   75
            velopments B
             Curriculum
EPC452*     investigations    167      12.6   21.0   34.1   29.3   0.5   1.8    0.0    2.0   68
                  B
              Behaviour
                              145      7.6    24.1   35.9   31.1   0.7   0.7    0.0    0.0   68
 EPF450      management
             Assessment       144      7.6    18.8   34.0   32.6   0.0   6.9    0.0    0.0   60

TOTALS                        1843     6.9    17.7   36.3   26.9   2.7   3.9    4.8    0.9   45
*Multiple units
Revised and strengthened guidelines for moderation processes have recently been developed
and such issues have received appropriate attention from senior staff in the Faculty. This is
part of a broader agenda lead by the Associate Dean (Teaching & Learning) to improve qual-
ity assurance procedures more generally. Planned initiatives include professional learning for
staff around the development of learning objectives, the alignment therewith of assessment,
the development of assessment criteria and performance standards, and reflecting in assess-
ment demands students’ progress from year to year in the course. The professional learning
referred to in relation to ToR 6 is part of this agenda. Other processes listed for attention in-
clude those related to assignment resubmissions, extensions, and attendance, in relation to
which existing guidelines have been inconsistently applied.

The Faculty has had in place for some years a procedure that requires unit outlines to be
checked by a colleague and the course coordinator before they are distributed to students.
This process has been ineffective due to a lack of realistic timelines around it that enable
thorough checking in time for changes to be made. Efforts to rectify this situation have been
stymied by late allocations of teaching responsibilities. This in turn has implications for the
timing of overall workload allocations and performance management processes. The current
leadership in the Faculty is committed to changing this situation in readiness for 2009.

RECOMMENDATION 24: That the Faculty develop and implement as a matter of urgency
processes in relation to the allocation of teaching responsibilities that facilitate the timely
preparation of unit outlines and the implementation of quality assurance procedures in rela-
tion to these.

9. Student demand
The following enrolment and student demand data are taken directly from the 2007 B. Ed.
Course report (See Appendix L). There has been a decline in overall first preference applica-
tions to the B. Ed from 2004 to 2006. The major decline has been in Tasmanian year 12 stu-
dents. The B. Ed. course “has experienced a 24% decrease in commencing student numbers
from the high in 2004 of 283 down to 214 in 2007. The resultant total load (EFTSL) has de-
creased by 12% from a high of 609 in 2005 to 537 in 2007. This trend will be further exacer-
bated in 2008 as commencing student numbers fall further.” (Peter Brookes)



                                                                                              66
2007 enrolment data for the B. Ed. course were as follows:
Total EFTSL load: 536.63, which is 171% of the B. Teach load and 205% of the B. Ed. (In-
service) load.
Student numbers: 721, down from highs above 780 in the period 2004-2006.
EFTSL/student: 74.4%. This is the lowest figure in the period starting 2002 at which time this
figure was at its peak of 78.7%. The decline indicates increasing numbers of part time enrol-
ments.
International students: 14, as for 2006.

Data on the ages of students in the course are shown in Table 24. Whereas the proportion of
enrolments in the older age categories peaked in the period 2004-06, the proportion <20 has
declined steadily since 2002.

Table 24
Bachelor of Education student enrolments by age categories
         Age category           No. of students 2007 (%        Range of numbers 2002-
         (years)                of total enrolment)            2007
         25+                    197 (27.3)                     181 (2002) to 236 (2005)
         20-24                  318 (44.1)                     240 (2002) to 280 (2006)
         <20                    206 (28.6)                     206 (2007) to 265 (2002)

Table 25 shows the bases of entry of students into the B. Ed. course. The decline in numbers
admitted on the basis of previous tertiary study reflects lower entry scores – students previ-
ously required to undertake a year of study in another Faculty are now accepted.

Table 25
Bases of entry of students into the Bachelor of Education program
     Basis of entry                 No. of students 2007 (%        Range of numbers 2002-
                                    of total commencing stu-       2007
                                    dents)
     Year 12                        105 (49.1)                     90 (2005) to 119 (2002)
     Previous tertiary              36 (16.8)                      36 (2007) to 70 (2004)
     Mature age, no study           22 (10.3)                      19 (2005) to 46 (2003)
     TAFE study                     45 (21.0)                      20 (2003) to 72 (2005)
     Other                          6 (2.8)                        2 (2002) to 12 (2005 &
                                                                   2006)

Data on student demand for the Bachelor of Education from 2002–2007 are shown in Table
26 and Figure 4.

Table 26
Student demand for the Bachelor of Education (2002–2007)
Bachelor of Education: Demand – Applicant, Offer, Enrolment Numbers
                           Applicants                       Offers
                  1st Pref       Total           1st Pref       Total   Enrolments       Load
2002              418            993             314            318     224              211.3
2003              383            926             303            313     220              206.1
2004              418            946             339            358     268              256.9
2005              389            801             332            339     228              207.9
2006              366            758             344            356     224              214.6
2007              356            814             340            354     202              185.6
Notes: This table shows the source of demand for this course. The number of first preference applica-
tions is listed. International applicants are not included.




                                                                                                  67
Declines in the ratios of numbers of applicants to each of; offers of 1st preferences, offers of
all preferences, and enrolment totals, reflect decreasing demand for the course over this pe-
riod. Increasing proportions of those who apply for entry to the course are being admitted and
this has impacted entry scores, and the consequent support needs of students in the course.


                 Bachelor of Education Student Demand Ratios
                                  2002-2007

          5.00
          4.50                                                        Applicants:Offers 1st Pref
          4.00
          3.50                                                        Applicants:Offers All Pref
  Ratio




          3.00
                                                                      Offers:Enrolment Total
          2.50
          2.00                                                        Applicants:Enrolment
          1.50                                                        Total
          1.00
                 2002   2003   2004    2005     2006    2007
                           Year of Application

             Figure 4. Bachelor of Education student demand ratios (2002–2007)
There were grave concerns expressed by a number of stakeholders, but especially by current
students in the course, that there are excessive numbers of students enrolled in the Bachelor of
Education degree course in relation to the present and short-term future employment needs of
the combined education sectors in Tasmania. Indeed, a number of students expressed their
annoyance that this situation has been allowed to develop, and remains unaddressed, with no
apparent decrease in the numbers of students accepted into the course. Many fear that they
will have limited success in achieving their goal of a local teaching position, and external
stakeholder feedback suggests that these concerns may be well-founded.

Although the course is being adapted to cater better for the needs of national and international
teacher shortages, rather than solely the needs of the Tasmanian education sector, many Tas-
manian students enrol in their local university because they wish to remain in the state to
teach. It was suggested by some that if they had wanted to teach on the mainland, they would
have applied to enter teacher education courses in mainland universities. The shortage of
teaching positions within the Tasmanian education sectors may affect the demand for the
course amongst those potential students who are well-informed. In particular, given that, in
recent years, a considerable percentage of recent college graduates entering the Bachelor of
Education are the adult offspring of teachers, it is possible that parental knowledge of the lack
of teaching positions in the state may impact upon the numbers of potential applicants to the
Bachelor of Education in the future.

There are many students who enrol in the Bachelor of Education course who see teaching as a
vocation. These students express a deep desire to teach, and/or a commitment to a social
change agenda, and are prepared to overlook the fact that they may potentially earn less from
teaching than from some other careers requiring a similar investment of their time at univer-
sity. Other students, however, are not necessarily committed to teaching itself, but may see
the teacher’s role as one which is familiar, with the added incentive that it is, in their percep-
tion, a 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., 12-weeks holiday a year job, with reasonable income. However,
even those students who are relatively committed to the idea of teaching admitted that they



                                                                                               68
were often overwhelmed by the amount of work required of them during their Professional
Experience in schools. They were able to envisage the large investment of their “after-hours”
time (evenings and weekends) that a career in teaching will require, especially if they are to
satisfy their desire to fulfil the role adequately.

Despite the realities of the teaching role, according to contributors to the review, there is a
widely held community perception that a teaching degree is one of the “easy” options for stu-
dents applying to enrol at university. In part, they attributed this perception to the relatively
low tertiary entrance score (TES) needed to enter the course. This, they suggested, is com-
pounded by the knowledge that Bachelor of Education students are required to sit compara-
tively few exams. Students exiting college have a great deal of pressure applied to them by
parents and the community to “do something” after they leave college. The Bachelor of Edu-
cation course is one option for students with a relatively low TES who are unsure about alter-
native career paths less familiar to them than teaching. When the reality of the workload does
not fit with students’ perceptions about the course, there is the potential for students to leave
the course in search of alternative career options. Several students suggested that the reality of
the demanding nature of the teacher’s role needs to be made clearer to students entering the
course during their orientation, although this may negatively impact retention rates.

It is suggested that the combination of factors described above has the potential adversely to
affect student demand for the course in the short-term future. A range of strategies were sug-
gested to increase the demand for the course from high-quality applicants. These include:
    introducing more rigor in the process of student selection, by reducing the reliance on
    TES/ITI as an indicator of the potential for successful course completion. Such changes
    could include the requirement for applicants to:
         address a range of criteria in writing (as has been required of mature aged applicants
         in the past);
         sit an aptitude test (as was suggested by one external stakeholder); and/or
         participate in a short interview (as has been trialled in the past, and was recommended
         for reintroduction to the selection process by a number of staff members);
    introducing specialisations into the course such that graduates exit the course as generalist
    classroom teachers with the added potential ability to teach in a minimum of two special-
    ist areas, including subject areas such as English, LOTE, music, science, maths, HPE and
    library. Feedback from principals and the DoE has suggested that a reformulation of the
    course to allow for such a possibility may result in Bachelor of Education graduates being
    viewed as more desirable employees, particularly:
         in smaller schools where it is not feasible to employ full-time specialist teachers; and
         in middle school classrooms, in the context of middle schooling being increasingly
         adopted in Tasmanian DoE schools.
         (The issue of specialisations in the B.Ed. is addressed in relations to ToR 5 and is the
         subject of Recommendation 20.)
    emphasising the national and international teaching opportunities for graduates;
    establishing new, and building upon existing, links with educational institutions on the
    mainland and overseas (e.g., in New Zealand) with a view to expanding the opportunities
    for student school experience placements, and graduate employment;
    researching other career pathways that require the generic skills gained during the Bache-
    lor of Education course, and making knowledge of these alternative options available to
    teacher education graduates. However, arrangements to undertake Professional Experi-
    ence in non-school settings, as was suggested in the 2007 Bachelor of Teaching degree
    review, may be ill-advised, as graduates may then fail to meet teacher registration re-
    quirements of the Tasmanian TRB, and registration boards in other states or territories.
    providing information about Honours earlier in the course and including a more explicit
    emphasis on developing students’ capacities and opportunities to engage with research
    throughout the course.



                                                                                               69
As one of two national priority areas for tertiary education,27 teacher education is amongst
those courses that attract the lowest HECS fees.28 Although this initiative may act as an incen-
tive to students attempting to limit the cost of their tertiary education, it was regarded as doing
very little to attract students based on their desire or potential capacity to teach.

RECOMMENDATION 25: That the Faculty provide students with more information about
the range of possible careers options open to education graduates.

RECOMMENDATION 26: That the Bachelor of Education include earlier and more exten-
sive opportunities for students’ to learn about research as it relates to the practice of teaching
and that capable students be made aware research pathways and provided opportunities to
engage with research concepts in addition to those associated with the Honours program.

Recommendation 26 would also be likely to assist students to interrogate the so-called divide
between theory and practice by affording opportunities for them to see a more dialectic rela-
tionship in which theory arises from practice as well as practice following from theory.

10. Collaborative arrangements between the course and teaching
within other Schools/Faculties, other educational institutions and
relevant business, industry and professions

The Faculty is keen to maintain its professional relationships with Department, Catholic Edu-
cation and Independent schools in Tasmania. Some individuals within the faculty, including
from among staff of the Bachelor of Education, have established and maintain good connec-
tions with these organisations as well as particular schools and teachers within them. Several
consultancies for the DoE, CEO and/or independent schools undertaken by B. Ed. staff mem-
bers are listed in relation to ToR 5. Seconded DoE staff make a significant contribution to
teaching in the course as described in relation to ToRs 6 and 11.

Currently, and as described in relation to ToR 2, the B. Ed. includes a liberal studies strand
comprising 6 units that must be chosen from outside of the course and are usually undertaken
in other Faculties. During 2007 and 2008 efforts were made to present suites of such units that
represent coherent programs of study and that could contribute to the development of a par-
ticular strength in a non-education discipline. The university’s common course structures ini-
tiative will reduce the number of units in this strand by at least two and thus facilitate the ad-
dition of units in areas of need as identified in this review (See Recommendations 4, 14, 15,
16, 17, 20, 23, 26).

The first three years of the B. Ed. are currently taught on both the Launceston and Cradle
Coast campuses and, from 2009, the entire course will be offered on both of these campuses.
To date all unit coordination duties have been undertaken in Launceston and in the vast ma-
jority of cases teaching materials have been prepared in Launceston and provided to Cradle
Coast staff for delivery on that campus. An important part of providing equity for students has
been the provision of the same printed materials (usually via MyLO). This has not precluded
academics using their own illustrative examples. It is anticipated that as Cradle Coast student
numbers grow unit coordination and materials preparation duties will be increasingly spread
across the two campuses on the basis of expertise and experience. Staff and students indicated
that significant accommodations are made in order to promote the cross-campus delivery of
the course and a number of staff commented positively about collegial arrangements within

27
  The other is nursing.
28
  In 2009, equivalent HECS fees will be incurred by students enrolled in natural and physical science,
maths and statistics courses. See “Further Information on 2009 HECS Fees” circulated as an e-mail at-
tachment to staff by Dean Ian Hay (via Poppy Fay), July 28, 2008.


                                                                                                    70
the faculty. However, staff and student feedback suggests that there is a need for more col-
laboration, cooperation and dialogue between lecturers at Launceston and Cradle Coast cam-
puses in the construction of unit outlines and monitoring assessment practices. Indeed, some
students expressed their concerns that staff members were not always clear about interpreting
assignment expectations and assessment procedures when a unit had been prepared by another
staff member. Efforts have been made to hold two staff meeting per year on the Cradle Coast
campus and the review day on June 18 was held in Devonport to facilitate the attendance of
staff from both campuses. Video conference facilities have been used with mixed success to
facilitate interaction across the campuses. One submission to the review suggested greater use
of teleconferencing as a technically more reliable option.

The need for equity across the campuses is in some tension with the initiative in the Faculty’s
strategic plan concerning the, “Implementation of a distinctive program for years 3 and 4 of
the Bachelor of Education on the Cradle Coast Campus that is aligned with the provision of
education in regional environments and which leverages off other cross-faculty offerings at
that campus, wherever possible.” It was seen as important that such developments occur in the
context of collaborative teaching team meetings across the campuses.

RECOMMENDATION 27: That efforts, including with respect to timetabling and provision
for travel, are made to facilitate greater staff collaboration, including face-to-face interac-
tion, across campuses.

In 2008 the Faculty funded sessional staff to attend planning and moderation meetings and is
committed to continuing this practice. One respondent to the review pointed to the variety of
professional backgrounds that sessional staff bring with them these meetings and stressed the
value of this in terms of enriching conversations about teaching and learning.

There are currently no formal links with the Hobart campus since the Bachelor of Education
is not offered on that campus. Nevertheless, there are primary B. Teach students enrolled in
Launceston and it would be possible to teach these students with B. Ed. students in many
units, particularly in the curriculum strand. The issue of unit rationalisation was discussed in
relation to ToR 2 and is the subject of Recommendation 13.

11. The number and qualifications of academic staff teaching the
course

There are currently 33 staff members (excluding sessionals) who contribute to teaching in the
Bachelor of Education course. Twenty three of these hold Ph.D.s/Ed.D.s, and a further 6 hold
Masters degrees, as their highest academic qualification. Five staff members teaching in the
B.Ed. course are seconded from the Department of Education to the Faculty and one teaches
part in the course and part time in a school. Dr Sally Milbourne, a Visiting Fellow, also
teaches within the B.Ed. course. PhD students, Buck Emberg, Nadia Ollington, Chris Rayner,
and Susan Wilson have been working as sessional tutors in the Bachelor of Education course.
Other sessional staff include Mary Beach, Vicki Fishman, Colleen Harper, Mick LeRossignol,
Karlin Love, David Moltow, Dione Parker, and Sofia Shillito. Staff members (excluding ses-
sional staff), their title, campus location, the positions they hold, employment status, and
qualifications are listed in Table 27.

Table 27
B.Ed. staff by title, campus, position, employment status and qualification
                             LTN /                                       Employment
      Name           Title                      Position Title                           Highest Qualification
                             CCC                                            Status
Andrew, Robert      Dr       LTN     Lecturer                            Tenured        PhD



                                                                                              71
Ashman, Greg          Mr    LTN     Lecturer in Literacy LOTE/TESOL          Tenurable    Masters (Course Work)
Baguley, Margaret     Dr    LTN     Lecturer in Arts Education               Tenured      PhD
Baker, Bill           Dr    LTN     Lecturer in Drama,Visual Arts & Music    Tenured      EdD
Bell, Heather         Mrs   LTN     Assoc Lecturer-Literacy/Early Child      Secondment             s
                                                                                          Bachelor' Degree
Beswick, Kim          Dr    LTN     Senior Lecturer in Maths Education       Tenured      PhD
Browett, Julie        Mrs   LTN     Lecturer in Language/Literacy Educ.      Tenured      Masters (Course Work)
Davson-Galle, Peter   Mr    LTN     Lecturer - Teacher Education             Tenured      PhD
Donaghue, Lynette     Mrs   CCC     Associate Lecturer in Arts Education     Secondment   Certificate
Dowden, Tony          Dr    LTN     Lecturer in Maths Education              Tenured      EdD
Edmondson, Ian        Mr    LTN     Assoc Lect in Curr Methods & Pedagogy    Tenurable    Masters (Research)
Fluck, Andrew         Dr    LTN     Lecturer in Information Technology       Tenured      PhD
Glade-Wright, Robyn   Dr    LTN     Lecturer in Design Technology Educ.      Tenured      PhD
Grey, Patricia        Ms    CCC     Lect in Curric Methods & Pedagogy        Fixed-term   Graduate Diploma
Harris, Donna         Ms    CCC     Lecturer in Education - Science          Secondment             s
                                                                                          Bachelor' Degree
Kenny, John           Dr    LTN     Lecturer in Science/Maths/IT Education   Tenured      PhD
Le, Thao              Dr    LTN     Senior Lecturer                          Tenured      PhD
Milbourne, Sally      Dr    LTN     Visiting Fellow                          Honorary     EdD
McBain, David         Mr    LTN     Assoc. Lecturer in Maths Education       Secondment   Masters (Course Work)
Moltow, David         Dr    CCC     Casual Lecturer & Tutor                  Casual       N/A
Moss, Tim             Dr    LTN     Lecturer in Education - Literacy         Tenured      PhD
Muir, Tracey          Mrs   LTN     Lecturer in Maths Education              Tenurable    Masters (Research)
Paterson, Susan       Dr    LTN     Lecturer in Creative Arts                Tenurable    PhD
Penney, Dawn          Dr    LTN     Senior Lecturer in Sport, Health & PE    Tenured      PhD
Pittaway, Sharon      Dr    LTN     Lecturer in Curriculum                   Tenured      PhD
Porteus, Julie        Ms    LTN     Lecturer: Foundation & Drama Studies     Fixed-term   Masters (Course Work)
Pullen, Darren        Mr    LTN     Lecturer in Health & Sciences            Tenured      Masters (Course Work)
Reynolds, Bronwyn     Dr    LTN     Lecturer in Education                    Tenurable    PhD
Sexton, Shaun         Mr    LTN     Assoc. Lecturer in Maths Education       Secondment             s
                                                                                          Bachelor' Degree
Short, Megan          Ms    LTN     Assoc Lect Curr Methods & Pedagogy       Tenurable              s
                                                                                          Bachelor' Degree
Swabey, Karen         Dr    LTN     Senior Lecturer                          Tenured      PhD
Wright, Anne          Mrs   LTN     Associate Lecturer - SOSE                Secondment             s
                                                                                          Bachelor' Degree
Yost, Helen           Mrs   LTN     Lecturer in Educ - Early Childhood       Tenurable              s
                                                                                          Bachelor' Degree


Recently, it was announced that current Bachelor of Education staff members, Mr Greg Ash-
man, Dr Margaret Baguley, Mr Ian Edmondson, Dr Andrew Fluck and Ms Megan Short, have
been granted study leave in “recognition of the quality of their applications, as well as their
hard work and achievements to date” (Ian Hay, e-mail communication to academic staff, July
1, 2008). This leave is considered to be “an important investment in the future of the Faculty”
(Ian Hay, e-mail communication to academic staff, July 1, 2008). Feedback suggests that such
opportunities are highly valued by successful applicants, allowing them to allocate extended
blocks of time to advancing their qualifications and/or research interests. Additionally, staff
who indicated that they are able to research in the area of study in which they teach, and those
who had colleagues who shared their research interests, expressed high levels of satisfaction.

Student and stakeholder feedback indicated a preference that staff teaching in the Bachelor of
Education course should have recent knowledge and experience of contemporary Tasmanian
classrooms. This matter was also raised by some staff members. Some criticism was levelled
at long-term faculty staff members whom stakeholders consider need to return to the contem-
porary classroom to re-establish their classroom management and teaching skills in the diffi-
cult environment schools are currently experiencing. There was an implication that some of
the ideas they espouse were not practical in today’s classrooms. It was suggested that existing
secondment arrangements with the DoE could be broadened to permit staff exchanges be-
tween the DoE and the faculty, although this suggestion may need to be considered more


                                                                                               72
thoroughly in practical terms. Such experience would, however, allow staff to draw on rele-
vant examples from contemporary early childhood, primary, and middle school classrooms in
relation to the curriculum area in which they are teaching.

In recent years the faculty has experienced high rates of staff turnover, and this has been par-
ticularly noticeable at leadership and profile staff levels. The high turnover of profile staff has
resulted in suggestions that there has been a lack of continuity in the Bachelor of Education
course. Many concerns regarding a heavy reliance on sessional and casual staff were ex-
pressed by internal stakeholders. This situation has been particularly problematic when new
(profile or sessional) staff members are appointed at short notice. These new staff members
have often been given the task of developing unit outlines, and preparing teaching programs
and assessment tasks, without access to a detailed mapping of the course content and structure
over its 4 years. This lack of understanding of the “big picture” was a concern expressed by a
number of staff members (not all of them new), and is an issue that has critical implications
for staff well-being and retention, and for student learning. These issues are compounded
when new staff members are teaching in a university context for the first time and are not
given access to adequate professional learning opportunities, mentoring and guidance in rela-
tion to setting appropriate outcomes, and types and levels of assessment, and marking and
moderating assessment tasks at a tertiary level. These observations lend urgency to the
planned establishment of course and unit portfolios as described in relation to ToR 5 and is
the subject of Recommendation 22.

Staff members commented that they failed to see a clear connection between target student
numbers and the numbers of teaching staff allocated to certain units. They also recalled the
“chaos” which has resulted in the past from a leadership they believe was unwilling to listen
to those who teach units and reported feeling let down by significant under-resourcing in
terms of staff. Additionally, several staff members mentioned that they had been employed to
teach in one curriculum area, but have been allocated to teach in areas outside what they con-
sider their area of expertise. It has been suggested that in allocating teaching load, more con-
sideration needs to be given to staff expertise. This issue was also raised in relation to ToR 3
and taken up in Recommendation 18.

The inception of a completely new leadership team within the faculty has heralded the intro-
duction of a number of formal processes and procedures aimed to address a number of issues
known to exist within the faculty. Already it has been made clear that the new leadership team
welcomes open and honest feedback from staff as well as the healthy debate of issues central
to improving the content and delivery of the course.

A number of steps are being taken to address issues in relation to the matters raised above. In
particular:
    reviewing, clarifying and documenting policies and procedures;
    a recent appointments of a Senior Lecturer in SOSE education, an Associate Professor in
    Mathematics education, and efforts to recruit a senior academic in literacy bode well for
    appropriate timing of allocations of teaching responsibilities
    the faculty has recently made more considered attempts to welcome, include and inform
    sessional staff members.
There is some concern regarding a shortage of appropriate staff to supervise a diverse range
of Honours projects. In considering applicants for positions within the faculty, it was sug-
gested that ability to contribute to Honours (and postgraduate) supervision should be consid-
ered.




                                                                                                73
12. The general infrastructure and resources required for the
course including the buildings, teaching and laboratory equip-
ment, computing facilities, Faculty and other support services, and
the library

Most comments about the general infrastructure and resourcing of the Bachelor of Education
were relatively positive. A number of issues, however, were raised and these are examined
below.


Buildings, teaching and laboratory equipment
Some curriculum content areas (e.g., ECE, Maths, Science, Language, Visual Arts, Drama
and Music) have dedicated teaching spaces while others do not. Staff teaching in content ar-
eas which do not have dedicated spaces would appreciate the opportunity that a dedicated
space would allow them to set up displays of student work and resources, in order to model
best classroom practice and create an atmosphere more conducive to student learning.

Students at the Cradle Coast campus were pleased with the learning spaces provided there,
but wanted access to spaces where they could meet to discuss and plan assignments, have ac-
cess to water, a jug and microwave (other than by paying at the cafeteria to use these re-
sources). There have been no HPE teaching facilities at CC campus, and the Hellyer College
gym has been used. Music is taught in teaching spaces at a local primary school. With the ex-
tension of the course offering to include all 4 years in 2009 these constraints will become in-
creasingly pressing.


Computing facilities
The computing facilities available to staff and Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Educa-
tion with Honours students at both the Launceston and Cradle Coast campuses are considered
to be good. MyLO is considered adequate to most, if not all, needs. Some students appreci-
ated that unit outlines are available online, but suggested that not all lecture and tutorial notes
are accessible in a timely manner after classes. Students are generally now able to access
computers when they wish to do so, which was noted as an improvement over past years. It
was suggested that more use could be made by staff and students of interactive whiteboard
technology. This technology is now available in a number of schools in the state and its use is
a requirement of teaching in Queensland. The course may be falling behind if this issue and
the issue of student ICT literacy (further discussed in relation to ToR 7) are not addressed.

The excessive time required for new staff to access the IT system is a concern, but is appar-
ently university-wide and has attracted negative feedback from all faculties. The fact that the
university uses a different log-in system from the faculty was considered annoying by some
students, and access to the wireless network was considered somewhat inadequate. Access to
the network and printers from laptops would be appreciated by students. Some staff suggested
that e-mail can be “a highly abusive form of communication” with staff being bombarded by
copious amounts of unsolicited, undirected e-mail both from within the faculty and from the
university.

There have been some issues relating to software availability at the Cradle Coast campus, but
these issues are known and steps are being taken to address them. It was thought that better
use could be made of the video conferencing to expand elective choices for students at Cradle
Coast campus.




                                                                                                74
Faculty and other support services

Orientation of students
Students commented that UniStart/UPP is very useful, but that few students seem to enrol in
this course. It was believed that many students would benefit from this course. However,
some of the information from this course, particularly in relation to writing skills, is repeated
in first year units. It was suggested that UniStart/UPP should be compulsory, or that students
who were assessed at a Pass or Fail standard in first semester unit(s) should be required to en-
rol in this program.

It was suggested that the student mentor scheme, which has been used in past years to assist
first year students, has been scaled down. This year’s mentors felt that their role was dimin-
ished in comparison to that which they had experienced as first year students. They felt that
there was still a role for mentors, but that the role needs to include planned involvement and
be promoted more actively to students. A couple of students who had been mentors suggested
they would be prepared to run an orientation session for students. Additionally, they sug-
gested that the value of study groups should be promoted at orientation, and that mentors
might be able to assist some undecided students with liberal study choices.

Students who were enrolled in a combined first and second year felt that the current orienta-
tion did little to introduce them to what to expect of their education course. They did not be-
lieve that they needed to be shown how to use the library or find resources.

Induction of staff
University and faculty induction procedures for new staff are reported to have improved re-
cently, although comments received from some staff members indicate that the faculty still
needs to communicate better with new staff in order to better prepare them to deal with the
realities of tertiary education. For some, moving to tertiary teaching was described in terms of
a “culture shock.” The university’s introduction to teaching and learning at university was be-
lieved to be very informative, but being a new staff member in a tertiary institution is quite
overwhelming and large amounts of information provided too soon mean that some very rele-
vant information may be overlooked. Those who have been provided with a faculty “buddy”
have found this arrangement very helpful, in that information can be provided as needed. Both
the buddy and the new staff member need to be aware of the expectations of the buddy role. It
was suggested that some formal arrangement for mentoring from colleagues early in a term of
employment would be beneficial for all new staff.

New staff wanted to be provided with copies of unit outlines for the units they were being
asked to teach when these are available. Recommendation 22 concerning the development of
unit and course portfolios is relevant to this concern.

Professional learning
Several staff members were aware that they can access a number of professional learning op-
portunities in relation to ICT, the library, and teaching and learning exercises. Some of these
opportunities were seen as valuable, and others as less appropriate.

Professional learning opportunities for staff would be appreciated in the areas of setting learn-
ing outcomes and assessment tasks appropriate to tertiary student level, assessing student
work and moderating assessment. Planning for these is underway as described in relation to
ToR 6. It was also suggested that learning opportunities around writing research applications
would be useful to early career researchers within the faculty. Additionally, a number of staff


                                                                                              75
members thought that they would benefit from having an academic mentor, and that this may
be one way of improving research output.

Some staff members would appreciate the opportunity to get up-to-date experience in a school
setting, and can see that this would be valuable for their work with education students. Addi-
tionally, members of DoE staff have regular access to professional learning in a range of areas
from a range of experts/authorities, and it was suggested that the faculty could enter into some
arrangement with the DoE so that faculty staff could gain access to these PL opportunities.

The amount of financial reimbursement for staff attending conferences has increased, and this
is appreciated, however, it still concerns staff that they need to contribute a considerable
amount of their own money to access such professional learning opportunities. It was believed
that other faculties within the university provided better funding for staff, and, in industry,
staff members are not expected to contribute financially towards their own professional de-
velopment. It was suggested, too, that there is not enough “discretionary time” to take up
some of the learning opportunities which are available to staff.

The general staff member who was interviewed had been provided with a number of opportu-
nities for professional development, some of it funded by an award. The opportunity to take
up appropriate professional learning was valued.

A student who had been one of two able to access the Oceanic Gifted and Talented Confer-
ence in Hobart considered this to have been “absolutely brilliant” and suggested that more
sponsored places be made available to students. In the student’s opinion, staff members may
also have benefited from this opportunity.

Library
One of the more frequently mentioned student resourcing concerns related to the limited cop-
ies of required texts available at the Launceston library. Often there is only one copy of a text
stocked. With a number of assignments due from all students at the same time, demand for
these texts is great and not being able to access appropriate texts is stressful for students. Ad-
ditionally, students are usually asked to reference recent texts, but many books held by the li-
brary are quite dated. Students can access journal articles, however books offer a synthesised
account which is often more suitable for educational essays.

The flexible delivery service offered to students at the Cradle Coast campus was considered
very effective, but students would appreciate having required texts available to them on that
campus. Delivery time is usually 2 days, when books are available for loan. When a book is
ordered by title, it is sometimes not suitable for the assignment and so is returned unused. It
was suggested that some relevant chapters could be placed on eReserve.

Sometimes Readers for different units contained information which the students did not find
was relevant or used within a unit. They suggested that sometimes a reader could replace one
or more required texts, and be cheaper to purchase. Quality assurance measures are flagged in
relation to ToR 8.

The Launceston Liaison Librarian for Education, Anna Klebansky, is readily available to ad-
vise staff and students and willingly supports staff by speaking to groups of students about li-
brary resource access issues and procedures. A Library Resource and Access Statement in re-
lation to the Bachelor of Education is provided in Appendix M.




                                                                                               76
13. The Honours program and its relationship to the Bachelor of
Education program in terms of: learning to teach, learning to re-
search; research methods preparation; coursework load

The Bachelor of Education with Honours is an alternative final year of the Bachelor of Educa-
tion for selected students. Candidates for the degree are qualified for entry by:
    attaining a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 3.50 (out of 5) on their course work
    Year 3 results;
    demonstrating high proficiency in teaching practice;
    achieve at least a credit grade in ESP318 Research Methods
    having an agreed project and assigned supervisor approved by the Faculty.
The weightings of the various components of the with Honours course are shown in Table 28.
Honours dissertation units replace curriculum units in the 4th year of the Bachelor of Educa-
tion.

Table 28
Weightings of Bachelor of Education with Honours course components
Bachelor of Education with Honours                                    Weight (out of 100%)
Education Studies                                                             37.5%
Professional Experience                                                        25%
Honours (Dissertation Part A and Dissertation Part B)                         37.5%
The with Honours program fosters in graduates the capabilities from the Tasmanian Profes-
sional Teaching Standards Framework, graduate capabilities described in the proposed na-
tional course accreditation framework, and University of Tasmania graduate attributes de-
scribed in relation to ToR 2, that are indicated in Table 29.
Table 29
Bachelor of Education with Honours graduate capabilities
   Bachelor of Teaching with Honours
   Tasmanian Professional Teaching Standards Framework
        A. Professional Knowledge
        B. Professional Relationships
        C. Professional Practice
        D. Professional Practice

   Proposal for a National System for the Accreditation of Pre-Service Teacher Education
        1. Professional Knowledge
        2. Professional Practice
        3. Professional Commitment

   Generic Attributes of Graduates of the University of Tasmania
      o Knowledge
      o Communication Skills
      o Problem-solving Skills
      o Global Perspective
      o Social Responsibility

Table 30 shows the Course Evaluation Questionnaire results for the B. Ed. with Honours
course for 2002–2007. The results for 2007 are better than any earlier results in this period
and changes being implemented in 2008 and 2009 should contribute to further improvement.
These changes are described later in this section.




                                                                                           77
Table 30
Bachelor of Education with Honours CEQ Good Teaching, Generic Skills and Over-
all Satisfaction results (2002–2007)
                           Number of Re-      Good Teaching       Generic Skills     Overall Satisfac-
                              spondents                                                    tion
                  2002             5               40.0                61.7               50.0
                  2003             8                7.3                18.7               43.8
                  2004             7                -4.8               48.8               14.3
                  2005             8               19.2                32.3               37.5
                  2006             7               20.2                25.0               21.4
                  2007             2               20.8                45.8               50.0
 Notes: This shows the satisfaction level of students who have completed a course. The CEQ is dis-
 tributed with the Graduate Destination Survey to graduates approximately 4 months after gradua-
 tion. Therefore the year results presented above relate to students who graduated in the previous
 year (e.g. 2005 results are for students who graduated in 2004). The results are summarised to three
 standard measures: Generic Skills, Good Teaching and Overall Satisfaction and results range 100
 points above and below a zero midpoint. Caution should be used if sample size is a low proportion
 of completions for the year or less than 10.

Table 31 shows student:staff ratio data for the B. Ed. with Honours for 2002–2007.

Table 31
Bachelor of Education with Honours student:staff ratio (2002–2007)
                       Student Load           Staff Load           Student:Staff           University
                                                                      Ratio           Student:Staff Ratio
 2002                       12.1                  0.5                  22.2                   18.5
 2003                        8.0                  0.3                  24.9                   19.7
 2004                       15.3                  0.6                  26.4                   20.5
 2005                       9.0                   0.4                  24.5                   21.4
 2006                        8.0                  0.3                  23.4                   19.4
 2007                       11.6                  0.5                  22.8                   19.5
 Notes: The ratio of students to staff for each course is derived from student and staff files submitted to
 DEST in May and June of each year. Student load for each course is provided in EFTSU. Staff load is
 calculated from total staff numbers in Schools and is weighted against each course by the student
 numbers enrolled through the School.
The structure, content and requirements for the B. Ed. with Honours units have been refined
to ensure consistency across the Faculty in undergraduate with Honours courses. Teaching
and learning arrangements have also been redesigned to enable cross-course and cross-
campus delivery. The proposal accepted by the Faculty’s Teaching and Learning Committee
to rationalise Honours units delivery in 2008–2009 comprises Appendix C.

Concerns were raised in contributions to this review, that the current staffing profile limits the
availability of Honours supervisors in relation to a number of research interest areas, and to
those quantitative studies that are heavily reliant upon statistical knowledge as it appears that
limited numbers of staff have expertise in this area. The suggestion was made that this situa-
tion may need to result in limits being placed on the number of students accepted into the
Honours program. It was suggested that arrangements that “piggy-backed” on the research in-
terests of current staff members may be more appealing to some staff members, particularly if
students were keen to publish from their studies. Additionally, a suggestion was made that
some suitably qualified, non-profile staff members may consider taking on a supervision role,
but this would need to be negotiated in terms of workload. Consideration might also be given
to the possibility of more students being co-supervised by two staff members, in order to
spread supervision workload and to allow students the benefit of input from two perspectives.
This has several advantages, in that it allows:




                                                                                                       78
    the possibility of students receiving guidance from one staff member in terms of substan-
    tive theory and another in terms of methodology;
    the mentoring of staff new to a supervision role by colleagues who are more experienced
    in research supervision; and
    the possibility of one supervising staff member taking leave, with the Honours student
    continuing to be supervised by his/her co-supervisor.
It was noted, however, that co-supervision should not be considered to lighten supervision
workload, because, for example, it would be preferable for both co-supervisors to meet jointly
with the student.

It was considered that the organisation of supervisors, choice of research topic, and applica-
tions for ethics approval might appropriately be moved the Year 3. This is in fact the case for
students currently undertaking Research Methods in preparation for Honours in 2009.

One issue that concerned staff was that in semester 1 they had been required to contribute to
the assessment of their own honours students’ work which included their own contribution to
the students’ understanding. This situation was not considered appropriate. With the integra-
tion of Honours programs within the faculty, it was considered that more instruction should
be undertaken at a tutorial level, which would result in less repetition by supervisors and in-
crease the consistency experienced by students.

Several members of Faculty presented their research to Bachelor of Education with Honours
students and/or prospective students. In the past 2 years, presentations have been made by: Dr
Robyn Glade-Wright, Noelene Fitzallen, Professor Joan Abbott-Chapman, Jenny McMahon,
Dr Andrew Fluck, Dr Kim Beswick, and Tammy Jones. Tammy Jones and Dr Karen Swabey
have assisted students with instruction in the EndNote referencing database program, and
Tammy Jones instructed students in the formatting of long Microsoft Word documents.

14. The Faculty’s plans and procedures for improving the course

The Faculty has a number of plans and procedures under consideration, with the objective of
these leading to improvements within the Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Education
with Honours courses. Many of these have already been mentioned in relevant sections of this
report. These include:
    encouraging students who need extra assistance in literacy, numeracy and ICT to attend
    (UPP) University Preparation Program units;
    rationalising the delivery of pre-service teacher education programs throughout the fac-
    ulty in order to provide a greater range of specialisations, subject options, and degree-
    level entry and exit points;
    promoting a more flexible delivery of the course, including on-line options for students;
    further supporting initial steps taken to integrate national and international dimensions
    into the course;
    reviewing the processes of practicum placements for the course in close consultation with
    external stakeholders (particularly the DoE, CEO, and AIST);
    exploring the possibility of expanding opportunities for students to undertake practicum
    placements interstate and international educational institutions;
    improving the timelines for employing sessional staff and allocating teaching responsi-
    bilities;



                                                                                            79
    assessment and moderation meetings are to be held regularly;
    mapping of assessment tasks across the year groups to assess the variety and cognitive
    level of assessment;
Additional to plans and procedures that are currently being considered by the Faculty for im-
provement of the Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Education with Honours degree
courses. Many thoughtful and seemingly feasible suggestions for improvement were made by
contributors to the review process. These suggestions include:
    the provision of a central repository for the unit outlines, teaching resources, policy and
    procedures;
    the provision of a faculty orientation and induction folder to new staff with contact details
    of relevant staff members and their roles;
    direct access to students’ contact details (phone number or email address) to eliminate
    double handling by having to ask a general staff member to provide this information;
    the use of the lightening of the Liberal Study load requirements to facilitate more gradu-
    ates having some specialisation, for example, Science, LOTE, Visual Art, Music, HPE,
    Library;
    the identification of excellent students earlier in the course with a view to suggesting an
    Honours pathway to them;
    the setting aside of a non-teaching block of time within the timetable to allow for year
    group, subject, school and faculty meetings so that all staff are more likely to be available
    to attend meetings;
Several of these suggestions have already been implemented and others are included in plans
already in place. Still others are the subject of Recommendations of this review.

15. Any other issues


Leadership issues
It needs to be acknowledged that the Faculty has undergone a considerable period of instabil-
ity in terms of leadership. Staff comments indicate that this has contributed to the faculty hav-
ing been a stressful workplace in recent years. Staff felt that they had borne the brunt of blame
for issues beyond their control, and had been subjected to a lack of trust by leadership in the
past. It was said that the goodwill in the faculty has been seriously damaged.

Staff members commented that trust needs to be rebuilt within the faculty, and staff members
need to be respected for the work they do. They are hopeful that the new leadership team will
bring stability in terms of decision-making, long-term planning, and policy implementation.
Where staff previously considered there had been a lack of transparency in regard to past de-
cision-making processes, indications are that the new team are keen to provide staff with op-
portunities for consultation and to make management decisions more transparent. Such indi-
cations have been well received.


Communication issues
There are several issues that were raised during the course of the review process in relation to
communication, or a breakdown thereof. These related to three broad areas: communication
within the faculty itself; communication to students; and communication with and to external
stakeholders. These issues are addressed in turn.


                                                                                              80
Communication within the Faculty
Staff members were unsure about students’ attendance requirements and requested clarifica-
tion regarding the number of lessons students can miss before they are considered not able to
be assessed. This was particularly confusing when there is more than one module in a unit. It
was reported, for example, that at least one student had missed 6 out of 12 lessons in one sub-
ject area, and the staff member concerned was not sure of appropriate procedures to deal with
this issue.

Accurate role descriptions have not existed for unit or course coordinators and so new staff
members, and others filling these roles, have been unaware of the extent of their responsibili-
ties in some areas. Associate Dean (Teaching & Learning) Sharon Fraser has circulated draft
descriptions of the responsibilities associated with these roles, and staff consultation in regard
to this matter may see the elimination of staff concerns in this area.

Staff commented that they receive a number of undirected e-mails every day, and that it is dif-
ficult to always determine which information is relevant to them. This is particularly the case
for new staff members, for example in regard to whether their attendance is required at meet-
ings. Some casual staff members were unaware that a new norm exists and that they will be
paid to attend meetings.

Communication with students
Some students were unaware of a range of issues, which resulted in them being caused unnec-
essary concern. For example, some B.Ed. students thought it annoying that Human Movement
students share use of computer labs, without understanding that these students also study
within the faculty. At least some students are unaware that the student server can be accessed
from outside the university. Students’ misunderstandings in relation to Liberal Studies are re-
ported in ToR 2.

Students, like some of the lecturing staff, are unsure about attendance requirements, espe-
cially given that these are enforced by some lecturers/tutors and not others, and that some lec-
turers/tutors take attendance and others do not. It would appear that some practically- and le-
gally-enforceable ruling on this matter needs to be made, communicated effectively to staff
and students, and adhered to.

Correct referencing is an academic skill that students are required to master over the course of
their study. First year students indicated that some first year staff members consider referenc-
ing to be an important issue, while others are less concerned. Students would appreciate hav-
ing a consistent message from staff in such matters, and indications were that students would
rather have correct referencing taught and enforced in first year, if they are to be expected to
accurately use it throughout the 4 years of the course.

Communication with external stakeholders
There are a number of instances where faculty communication with its stakeholders appears
to be problematic. Some of these issues have been raised in relation to ToR 7. DoE stake-
holders expressed a preference for a more personal approach to requests for, and issues re-
lated to, practicum placements. With large numbers of students needing to be found school
experience placements, however, it is difficult to see how a personal approach could reasona-
bly be managed. Some principals believed that links between the faculty and the DoE appear
to be mostly at a senior level, with less communication at the level of the school. It was be-
lieved that more could be done to build positive relationships between university lecturers and




                                                                                               81
school teachers, and creating partnerships around research areas was one suggestion in this
regard.


Workload issues
Workload was mentioned in relation to ToR 6 in the context of the need to provide quality
feedback to students and to comply with moderation processes.

Table 32 shows B. Ed. student and staff loads and the resulting student:staff ratios from 2002
to 2007. The Faculty is funded such that these ratios are greater than the same ratios for the
university as a whole.
Table 32
Bachelor of Education student and staff loads, and student:staff ratios (2002–2007)
                               B. Ed.              B. Ed.              B. Ed.           University Stu-
                            Student Load         Staff Load         Student:Staff      dent:Staff Ratio
                                                                       Ratio
 2002                       694.1                 31.9                  21.8                   18.5
 2003                       685.0                 29.1                  23.5                   19.7
 2004                       727.6                 29.4                  24..7                  20.5
 2005                       722.1                 31.3                  23.0                   21.4
 2006                       728.3                 34.3                  21.2                   19.4
 2007                       653.4                 31.6                  20.7                   19.5
 Note: The ratio of students to staff for each course is derived from student and staff files submitted to
 DEST in May and June of each year. Student load for each course is provided in EFTSU. Staff load is
 calculated from total staff numbers in Schools and is weighted against each course by the student
 numbers enrolled through the School.

Figure 5 shows student:staff ratio data for each of the Faculty’s programs and the University
as a whole over the period 2001–2006.

                          Faculty of Ed Staff Student Ratios by Course

          30.0


          25.0

                                                                                     2001
          20.0
                                                                                     2002
                                                                                     2003
  Ratio




          15.0
                                                                                     2004
                                                                                     2005
          10.0
                                                                                     2006

           5.0


           0.0
                 BTeach       BHM       BAVE    BEd (IS)      BEd   University
                                            Course


Figure 5. Faculty of Education student and staff loads, and student:staff ratios (2002–2006)
Given that considerable time and energy has been expended in discussions regarding work-
load dissatisfaction over the past couple of years, this subject was less prominent in the data
than may have been expected. A number of staff members, however, did express their con-
cern at the number of hours they were required to work, and the number of different units that
they were sometimes asked to prepare and teach. There were some, too, who appreciated the



                                                                                                      82
fact that one semester’s high workload was off-set by the other semester’s lighter load, mean-
ing that more time was available to explore their research interests. Other comments were
made to the effect that some members of staff who commented most about heavy workloads
had a lighter workload than did others who commented less on the topic. With new policies
being proposed in terms of assessment and moderation processes, time needs to be allowed
for this to occur properly.

One support staff member reported frequently working 12-hour days in order to keep up with
an increased workload and many staff members were aware that their dedication to students
and a high work ethic negatively impacted upon their personal lives. Concerns were expressed
by a number of staff members that senior management had been unwilling to comprehend the
extent to which they were working. It was suggested that if there are ways of working more
efficiently, staff would genuinely appreciate learning about them. Year coordinators would
appreciate a nominal workload allocation for undertaking their role. Staff were concerned that
there was little time to do research (particularly in blocks of time), or to get together and dis-
cuss issues such as planning. This latter issue concerned staff who believed it results in a
fragmented student experience.


Recognition of, and rewards for, excellence
The majority view among staff members interviewed for this review was that it is not a staff
member’s ability or excellence in terms of teaching or administrative support that is rewarded
within the university, but rather a staff member’s ability to complete an application that is
able to convince others that they possess such ability or excellence. There were some staff
members who suggested that the considerable time required to complete a worthy application
was not available to them within their current workload. All staff members who commented
on the university and faculty’s systems of recognising and rewarding excellence were con-
cerned that there was a lack of clarity regarding how the processes worked, and who voted on
applications. Colleagues and leadership staff are able to comment on a staff members’ colle-
giality or their ability to meet performance management outcomes, but not necessarily their
capacity in regard to teaching, without the implementation of some formal peer teaching re-
view process (which some staff members supported). The process of staff members being able
to choose which student feedback to use as supportive evidence allowed them to leave out
more negative feedback, with the potential for a biased perspective on their performance be-
ing presented.

It was generally believed that students, as the “clients,” were in the best position to judge ef-
fective teaching and support. However, SETLs were considered a “very blunt instrument,”
and to be particularly problematic in regard to “shared” units (either for lecturing/tutoring, or
in terms of disparate subjects which share unit codes).29 Sometimes, too, SETL questions did
not reflect the reality of the teaching and assessment of some units, for example where stu-
dents are asked the judge the feedback they receive on assessments prior to a final assessment
taking place. Others recognised that not all good teaching practices result in good SETL re-
sults, for example when staff members are realistic in their assessment practices this has the
potential to reflect badly on their SETLs. There some staff members who believed that the
system had been manipulated in the past, which devalued the recognition of those whom they
believed genuinely deserved it. It was also understood that not all those who deserved recog-
nition for their dedication to student learning actually received it. There were also comments
that indicated that staff would rather be recognised in terms of resource allocation and other
support, than by the receipt of less tangible rewards.



29
  This second issue may be resolved once individual subject areas are assigned individual unit codes as
discussed elsewhere in this document.


                                                                                                    83

				
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