Last Friday I flew to Melbourne to join a group of excellent ICT innovators, to take part in Teaching Teachers for the Future focus group - A project funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations through the ICT Innovation Fund.
The purpose of our full day meeting was to provide input and feedback to the 22 draft elaborations of the Graduate standards required for proficiency in the National Professional Standards for Teachers and to assist in the exemplification of the elaborations of these Graduate Standards. We’ve established a group of ‘critical friends’ who can provide input and feedback to the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) – Component 1 of the Teaching Teachers for the Future project during 2011.
According to the media statement, the National Professional Standards for Teachers, which were validated throughout 2010 by almost 6,000 teachers, school leaders and parents, make explicit what teachers should know and be able to do across 4 career stages: graduate, proficient, highly accomplished and lead. In truth, the elaborations are still very much in development, and there will be many steps yet before the standards are finalised.
So the project that had us gathered together in Melbourne specifically targets systematic change in the Information and Communication Technology in Education (ICTE) proficiency of graduate teachers across Australia. The project team is led by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC), and includes the Australian Council of Deans of Education (ACDE), the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL), Education Services Australia (ESA), the Australian Council for Computers in Education (ACCE), and Australian universities/institutions with pre-service teacher education programs as partners.
We had an epic day deliberating, changing, making recommendations. My thanks to Tony Brandenburg (President of the Australian Council for Computers in Education, ISTE Ambassador 2011, Member of the ISTE International Committee), Dr Margaret Lloyd (Faculty of Education at Queensland Uni) and others in ACCE for extending an invitation to me, and making the day such an outstanding success. We will continue to work as a critical group by providing feedback and response to the ICT elaborations as they continue work on them in 2011.
However, my take-away is that we are not going to achieve in Australia anything like the flexibility and innovation that we would have liked to see.
We are not heading for a Finland phenomenon. I wish we were.
- Govt releases new teacher standards (news.theage.com.au)