Communications & Media

New tool for assessing graduate teachers

An expert panel of assessors gathered over four days recently for a marathon session of evaluating the 300 preservice teachers who will graduate from the University of Tasmania this year.

From this year, all teachers in Australia must pass a Teacher Performance Assessment before they can be registered in their state or territory, part of a national agenda to improve teacher quality.

The University of Tasmania has played a role in shaping the assessment tool in the years leading up to its implementation.

“We are part of a consortium of 17 universities across Australia, led by the Australian Catholic University in Brisbane. Together we developed the Graduate Teacher Performance Assessment, or GTPA, which is one of the tools that has been accredited for this task,” the University’s GTPA lead, and member of the National GTPA Panel of Experts, Michelle Parks said.

“A team of 20 assessors who are experienced teachers, principals and academics has assessed hundreds of submissions and what we are seeing is a consistently high standard from our students.”

“The GTPA has been a significant undertaking at the end of their degree that has required more of them personally and professionally than ever before,” Ms Parks said. “The incredibly high standard of the submissions is a reflection of the continued commitment to excellence within the School of Education, and to see the culmination of the teaching and learning that has led them to this point, is rewarding for all lecturers and tutors involved in their preparation.”

Preservice teacher Madeline Walker said completing the GTPA had ensured her readiness for the classroom.

“Being able to have the opportunity to consolidate what I have learned in my education degree has given me greater confidence entering the profession next year.”

Antonio Zanchetta said the process had helped him build a sense of collegiality, an essential element of being a professional teacher.

“As an online student, the GTPA allowed me to make stronger connections with my peers and colleagues. Collaboration has become an important feature of my teaching practice.”

Faculty of Education Academic Director of Professional Experience Christopher Rayner said the GTPA represented a new level of collaboration with interstate colleagues.

“It also enables a closer connection between the theory and practice of the teaching profession,” Dr Rayner said.

“So far, the GTPA submissions are confirming what we already knew: graduates from the University Tasmania are ready to impact student learning and make a difference in the lives of young people.”

Image: Preservice teachers Alexandra Garwood, Madeline Walker, Tammy Harris and Antonio Zanchetta with the University of Tasmania's GTPA lead Dr Michelle Parks (centre).

Published on: 30 Nov 2018 3:57pm