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New National Teacher Professional Standards: An almost-missed opportunity? March 19, 2010

Posted by Editor21C in Education Policy and Politics.
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From Steve Wilson

Recently a Commonwealth Working Party has developed a set of draft national standards for consultation. These standards are designed to describe the competencies and skills Australian teachers require to effectively work in and lead education into the 21st century, at the Graduate, Proficient, Highly Accomplished, and Lead levels – each designed to describe a more advanced stage of a teacher’s classroom career. These standards can be viewed at:


The School of Education at UWS will be making a submission about the draft standards as part of the consultation process. You are invited to make a comment on this Blog to state your view of the standards, and we will be looking to include a range of pertinent views from this Blog into our submission.

One question for me is whether these standards effectively project the profession well into the 21st century and capture the types of expectations that we will have of 21st century teachers in 20+ years. There is not a great deal of reference in the standards to technologies and technological competence, and the standards could generally have been written for the 1970s, when I trained to be a teacher many years ago.  These standards seem decontextualised from the current world and the way it is demanding that education engages with its students. The standards seem to represent quite low expectations of graduate teachers in particular. The standards seem to be instrumental; not aspirational. Maybe this is what national standards should be: a set of minimalist and basic competencies. However, I cannot help feeling that in adopting these, we may lose an opportunity to effectively capture the reality of the work, creativity, and high levels of professional competence, required of the 21st century teacher.

What do you think of the standards?  Please feel free to make a comment on our blog. You can read all comments using our ‘About’ facility.

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