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Going Global: Graduate teacher accreditation across jurisdictions

Kean, B., Readman, K., Lancaster, N. and Smith, S. (2008) Going Global: Graduate teacher accreditation across jurisdictions. In: Teacher Educators at Work: What works and where is the evidence? 2008 Australian Teacher Educators Association (ATEA) Conference, 8 - 11 Jul 2008, Sunshine Coast, QLD

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In recent years teacher education institutions have seen an increase in the number of graduates seeking to teach in jurisdictions other than the state or province in which they trained. A further development has been internationalisation of student populations where teaching training is undertaken internationally and the graduate seeks registration in their country of origin. The differing criteria for accreditation of teacher registration boards create complex and in many instances difficult decisions by course coordinators who are responsible for reviewing an applicant’s academic record for entry and the suitability of the course they offer for accreditation in another state, province or country. With ongoing changes in the criteria of teacher registration boards the process of graduates seeking registration in jurisdictions outside where they train has further complicated the portability and hence the globalisation of a teacher education qualification.

Teaching is becoming a internationalised profession and the various registration boards in different countries, states and provinces are constantly responding to ongoing quality assurance measures. Assessment practices by teacher registration boards are varied and generally focus on a review on individual student transcripts to ensure that the applicant meets regional registration requirements. In this mire of analysis of subject names, mandatory requirements, numbers of days professional experience and the definitions of what is or isn’t professional experience, the role of the course coordinator in assisting students with accreditation and understanding complex rules across jurisdictions creates a complex scenario that is restricting the concept of a internationalised teacher education qualification.

Even between the Australian States of NSW and QLD mutual recognition of teacher education qualifications due to different professional standards are increasing the barriers to recognition of teaching qualifications between the States. For instance for primary education the QLD requirement of the content of a first degree is that is should provide content knowledge to support teaching areas and the teacher education program is of one-years duration. In NSW the first degree must contain a specific number of curriculum areas taught in primary and the traditional one-year Graduate Diploma of Education courses are being phased out as the NSW Institute of Teachers implements new professional standards requiring a minimum three-semester course.

This paper opens a discourse, based upon the experiences of course coordinators across four jurisdictions, to establish the commonality of elements of teacher education programs with the view to developing processes by which a teacher education qualification may become as internationalised as possible in an ever changing world of professional standards. The paper outlines the various requirements for entry to post graduate courses in primary and secondary education in New Zealand (NZ), Queensland (QLD), New South Wales (NSW) and Ontario (ONT). This paper details the potential issues that restrict movement of graduates across teacher registration board jurisdictions.

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