Professional Experience in Australian Initial Teacher Education: An Appraisal of Policy and Practice

  •  Susan Ledger    
  •  Christine Ure    
  •  Madeline Burgess    
  •  Chad Morrison    


Legislative guidelines regulate professional experience within initial teacher education (ITE) but little is known about teacher educators’ perspectives on how these guidelines are operationalised. ITE providers, in collaboration with school partners, implement a range of programs designed to develop pre-service teachers’ ‘classroom readiness’. We examine how current legislation influences the delivery of professional experience, the provision of funding, and support for university-school partnerships and in-school supervision. This analysis highlights ambiguities in the interpretation of the legislative guidelines, creating a disconnection between policy and practice, an over-reliance on the ‘good will’ of key stakeholders, and competing demands between the ‘actual’ and ‘hidden’ costs of professional experience. Without reform of both policy and practice ITE providers will continue to be constrained when attempting to meet regulatory expectations. These findings demonstrate a need for government departments and ITE regulators to work more closely to improve integration of policy and practice for professional experience.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1925-4741
  • ISSN(Online): 1925-475X
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: quarterly

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