The report of the Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group, Action Now: Classroom Ready Teachers, identified an urgent need for an improved evidence base on initial teacher education in Australia. Among its recommendations for improvement, the Advisory Group recommended that AITSL develop a national focus on research in initial teacher education. This recommendation was accepted in the Australian Government’s response to the Action Now report.
In addition to the specific recommendation about an improved evidence base, the whole approach to initial teacher education being implemented in response to Action Now demands a focus on research, data and evidence. The new approach will result in initial teacher education programs being accredited based on their impact on their graduates, and those graduates’ impact on student learning. This will both require and enable a much sharper focus on what elements of initial teacher education produce this impact. To be effective, such an approach must be underpinned by a national program of research that illuminates these issues.