Initial Teacher Education

Learning from Initial Teacher Education Research and Data

In order to improve the quality of Australian initial teacher education programs, we must understand, through reliable research, what practices and approaches best prepare pre-service teachers for the classroom. Research learning on what works best should be shared nationally to improve initial teacher education. In addition, improved data will assist in evaluating programs and matching graduate numbers to workforce needs.

What are we doing?

AITSL has worked with stakeholders across the initial teacher education research sector to develop the Research Agenda for Initial Teacher Education in Australia to guide research efforts in areas of significance that will most improve initial teacher education.

Find out more: Initial Teacher Education Research Agenda 423KB PDF

The Research Agenda describes research priorities for initial teacher education in Australia, and the actions the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) will take to achieve them. The Research Agenda aims to:

• Create a clear direction for initial teacher education research

• Stimulate collaboration and research activity to meet the identified priorities

• Articulate a clear role for AITSL as a catalyst to promote research in these areas.

The Commonwealth Government has also asked AITSL to co-ordinate an approach to workforce data collection in collaboration with states and territories and their regulatory authorities. Following consultation with key stakeholders in this area, AITSL will propose improvements to national initial teacher education and workforce data. 

Find out more: 2015 Initial Teacher Education Data Report 1.6MB PDF

Why a focus on research and data?

In Action Now – Classroom Ready Teachers, the Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group found that although there is a growing international focus on research and evaluation of initial teacher education programs there is a lack of Australia research about what practices and approaches have an impact.

Additionally, it was identified that Australian workforce data relating to supply and demand of teachers is inconsistent, making it difficult for initial teacher education providers to respond to the needs of the market, and for employers to respond to workforce needs. Research and data play a crucial role in shaping and supporting all strands of AITSL’s work plan and will also provide an evidence base to improve program and graduate outcomes in ways that will influence student learning.

What will the outcome be?

A rigorous evidence base about effective initial teacher education will allow programs to learn from and be benchmarked against effective practice. Data driven teacher workforce planning will improve the recruitment, resourcing and retention of effective teachers, allowing analysis of data across the lifecycle of teachers.