QUALITY ASSURANCE IN INITIAL TEACHER EDUCATION

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1 QUALITY ASSURANCE IN INITIAL TEACHER EDUCATION BENCHMARK INFORMATION ON THE STANDARD for INITIAL TEACHER EDUCATION IN SCOTLAND CONSULTATION DOCUMENT April 2000

2 This document has been produced under the aegis of the Standing Committee on Quality Assurance in ITE in Scotland. The Committee s membership includes representatives from HEIs, GTC, EAs, schools, teachers professional associations, SHEFC, QAAHE, HMI and the Scottish Executive. This document contains the set of Benchmark statements required by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, and incorporates the competences contained in the Guidelines for Initial Teacher Education Courses in Scotland (SOEID, 1998). This document can be found at website: Responses to the document are sought at

3 CONVENER S INTRODUCTION The preparation of this document has been undertaken within the framework of the national procedures for quality assurance in Initial Teacher Education in Scotland. The document offers those who have a direct or indirect interest in Initial Teacher Education an opportunity to identify those key issues which ought to inspire and influence programmes in this area. The framework for the Benchmark Information offers a comprehensive view of Initial Teacher Education, and one that should not constrain those who design programmes. Particular attention has been paid to the main aspects to be considered in developing programmes, namely, Professional Skills and Abilities; Professional Knowledge and Understanding; and Professional Values and Personal Commitment. Transferable Skills have also been identified. Attention has been paid to the national requirements for initial teacher education and the document incorporates the competences in the present Guidelines for Initial Teacher Education. The programmes will be undertaken within the context of the partnerships between teacher education institutions and education authorities and their schools. This document has also been designed to provide a foundation for the professional development of teachers throughout their careers. The Benchmark Information will require to be developed and refined through application and reflection. It is hoped that all who will use this document will find it to be of value, and that it will offer support for the design of courses targeted at the continuing professional development of teachers. The Benchmark Information is designed to encourage and enhance development and change, and not to inhibit it. The current framework being developed for quality assurance in initial teacher education in Scotland will include a range of processes and practices which will build on this Benchmark Information to ensure a system of high quality. In time there may be the opportunity to rationalise national requirements for continuing professional development into a framework for teacher education in which benchmarks form a key feature. Bart McGettrick Convener ITE Benchmark Group April 2000

4 BENCHMARK INFORMATION ON THE STANDARD FOR INITIAL TEACHER EDUCATION IN SCOTLAND 1 Introduction This document has been prepared to establish a comprehensive and unitary set of Benchmark statements which are the requirements for each programme of Initial Teacher Education in Scotland. The Vision The Benchmark Information is based on a vision of the newly qualified teacher who, having successfully completed a course in Initial Teacher Education in Scotland, can function as an effective facilitator of pupils learning, is committed to professional development and is able to engage collaboratively with colleagues in the profession, with other groups and agencies, and with the various members of the communities served by education. The newly qualified teacher is taken to mean the person who has newly qualified from a programme of Initial Teacher Education in Scotland. The Benchmark Information, however, more directly refers to the programmes of study and not directly to the prospective teachers themselves. Attention has been paid to the identification and organisation of the distinctive features of the person who has successfully completed a course of Initial Teacher Education in Scotland. The Benchmark Information therefore specifies the range of skills, abilities, knowledge, understanding and values within programmes which should enable learners to achieve, and against which they might be assessed. The Educational Framework The Standard for Initial Teacher Education is defined in terms of Benchmark statements which belong to the suite of such statements being developed by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, but also takes account of: the professional nature of prog rammes of Initial Teacher Education which entail both academic and practical elements; the quality initiative in Scottish education and the role of self-evaluation; the range of other requirements to which programmes must conform, and in particular - the Guidelines for Initial Teacher Education Courses in Scotland; - the Accreditation and Review Procedures of the General Teaching Council for Scotland; 1

5 - the Benchmark statements of QAAHE in relation to Education Studies; the developing national framework of professional awards; the continuing and developing partnerships with education authorities and their schools. (A fuller statement of the formal status of the Benchmark Information in relation to other mandatory requirements is set out in the Appendix.) Audience It is expected that this document will be useful for: those involved in designing, approving, accrediting and validating courses; those who teach in these programmes, including staff in HEIs and schools; those engaged in external examining; those who are responsible for the assessment, review and monitoring of programmes; the students who undertake these programmes; those who are responsible for building continuing professional development on the statements indicated in this document; those members of other professions, and the public more generally, who have an interest in the professional education of teachers; prospective employers. Purposes of the Benchmark Information There are several purposes for which the Benchmark Information may be used. These would include: the design of programmes of Initial Teacher Education; acting as a template for coverage and balance in assessment; in providing a framework for reporting on student achievement; 2

6 in identifying areas for progression in teachers continuing professional development. There may indeed be other purposes to which this document can be put and these will be identified through the use of the document. 3

7 2 The Nature and Scope of the Benchmark Information Professionalism Initial Teacher Education programmes are concerned with the professional education and development of teachers, preparing them for work in Scottish schools, and acting as a basis for continuing personal and professional development. These programmes are professionally demanding, seeking to ensure that teachers are committed to excellence and are able to work in a world of change and accountability, in an environment influenced by its social, economic, cultural and political contexts. Expectations The Benchmark Information specifies the expectations of courses which contribute towards the design and quality assurance of all programmes of Initial Teacher Education in Scotland, including those taken as dedicated undergraduate programmes (eg BEd); concurrent courses of Initial Teacher Education (eg BTechEd, BMusEd); postgraduate programmes (eg PGCE Primary and PGCE Secondary); and additional teaching qualifications. Threshold Level The Benchmark Information relates to the threshold level of performance expected of students who successfully complete a professional programme leading to the award of a Teaching Qualification (Primary Education), or a Teaching Qualification (Secondary Education). Courses of Initial Teacher Education should enable students to achieve the threshold level of performance in relation to each of the benchmark statements. Courses should also enable them to develop strengths in some of them. Programmes of study can allow students to develop and demonstrate evidence in specific areas with a view to transferring these skills to other areas of their practices as professionals or through Continuing Professional Development. The Benchmark Information for programmes of Initial Teacher Education incorporates the competences in the Guidelines for Initial Teacher Education in Scotland. It does not, however, contain detailed requirements for specific contexts, methods of learning or teaching, or approaches to assessment. Those who design and deliver programmes will be expected to take decisions on these matters, indicating how they relate to the Benchmark Information. 4

8 First stage in a National Framework of Professional Qualifications The Benchmark Information will serve as an important reference point for those engaged in developing other Standards in the emerging framework for Continuing Professional Development. 5

9 3 Programmes of Initial Teacher Education in Context Core Professional Interests Programmes of Initial Teacher Education are dynamic, changing and developing. They prepare students to undertake progressively the professional duties required of teachers, and to reflect on the nature of the education system, not only to respond to changes in the professional context, but also to contribute to that process of change. The range of core professional interests and requirements for the teacher will include: - being accountable for their role in the education of the whole child or young person, and taking professional responsibility for developing the personality, talents and mental and physical abilities of each child or young person; - engaging with current educational issues and contributing to the processes of curriculum development, staff development and school development; - undertaking a range of approaches to teaching to facilitate the learning of pupils; - supporting the pastoral care of pupils; - promoting equality of opportunity among all people in an inclusive society, and actively taking steps to counter discrimination; - promoting the learning of those pupils who encounter barriers to learning, including those who are in need of support for learning in particular areas of the curriculum; and those with emotional and behavioural difficulties; - reporting the success and progress of pupils to parents and other interested parties; - taking responsibility for and being committed to their own professional development; - using research and other forms of valid evidence to inform choice, change and priorities in promoting educational practices and progress; - relating appropriately as a developing professional to other teachers, colleagues from other professions, para-professionals and agencies in support of the pupils, and to experience working collaboratively with them; - undertaking administrative duties as required in a school. 6

10 Key Educational Principles The document contains statements which represent core professional interests. Other requirements may emerge with time and in the specific contexts in which teachers are working. Since these professional requirements and interests depend on an understanding of key educational principles, programmes of Initial Teacher Education will be expected to: draw on a wide range of intellectual resources, theore tical perspectives and academic disciplines to illuminate understanding of education and the contexts within which it takes place; provide students with a broad and balanced knowledge and understanding of the principal features of education in a wide range of contexts; encourage students to engage with fundamental questions concerning the aims and values of education and its relationship to society; provide opportunities for students to engage with and draw on educational theory, policy and practice; encourage the professional reflection on educational processes in a wide variety of contexts; develop in students the ability to construct and sustain a reasoned argument about educational issues in a clear, lucid and coherent manner; promote a range of qualities in students including intellectual independence and critical engagement with evidence. From the above, it is clear that programmes will involve students spending a significant proportion of time in schools or other relevant educational establishments. As a result, they will have opportunities for direct experience of teaching children or young people, and engaging professionally with other teachers, para-professionals, parents and members of other professions. 7

11 4 Learning, Teaching and Assessment The Processes of Learning and Teaching In courses of Initial Teacher Education it is expected that there will be particular attention given to the processes of teaching and learning. Institutions will work in partnership with schools and other agencies to provide a variety of approaches to learning and teaching so that student teachers will have experience of a wide range of strategies and approaches to education. This will include individualised study as well as active participation in group activities, working with other professionals, and working as part of a team. Particular attention will be paid to the effective use of computerised systems to facilitate learning. School-based Work There will be a significant involvement of student teachers in the school setting. Learning through working with practising teachers and other professional staff is a central feature of professional education. It is expected that each institution will develop a scheme to facilitate the partnership with education authorities and their schools. Assessment The assessment of student teachers will be undertaken using an appropriate range of methods of gathering evidence about their success and progress. This will include the use of data from HEIs, as well as from schools and other places in which the student teacher is undertaking her/his professional education. Schemes of assessment will be developed as part of the programmes of study for students and these schemes will relate to this Benchmark Information. 8

12 5 Areas of Professional Development Programmes of Initial Teacher Education need to promote three main aspects of professional development: Professional Knowledge and Understanding Professional Skills and Abilities Professional Values and Personal Commitment The significance of placing these elements within a triangle is to emphasise that these are not simply lists of competences or outcomes. They are inherently linked to each other in the development of the teacher, and one element does not exist independently of the other two elements. It is this inter-relationship among all three which develops the professionalism of the teacher. The interrelationship is illustrated in the model below. Professional Values and Personal Commitment Professional Skills and Abilities Professional Knowledge and Understanding The significance of this model is that the main aspects of professional education interact with each other. The programmes which are developed will be the result of the interaction among these areas. Each programme will offer a distinctive balance and emphasis but will develop all three areas. Benchmark statements have been produced for each of the aspects. Programmes will be designed to give their attention to each of these and to their interaction. The Benchmark statements incorporate competences and other nationally specified qualitative requirements in Initial Teacher Education as well as the requirements of academic study. Transferable Skills Programmes of initial teacher education help students to develop skills which are transferable to other areas of study and professional employment. These 9

13 transferable skills are not additional to the benchmark statements, but are the outcome for students of success on a programme which addresses all the benchmark statements. The Benchmarks and Expected Features The Standard for Initial Teacher Education comprises the following two elements: The Benchmarks which are a set of statements specifying a requirement for each programme of Initial Teacher Education. The Expected Features for each Benchmark which are intended to clarify and illustrate the expected student performance deriving from the successful completion of a programme which has addressed the Benchmark. These features will be used by HEIs in designing assessment strategies to ensure that the threshold requirements for student teacher performance in Initial Teacher Education are met. A cross-reference for each Benchmark is given to the relevant Competence(s). These Competences are the statements currently in use in ITE programmes and are set out in the Guidelines for Initial Teacher Education Courses in Scotland. It should be emphasised that the Benchmark statements describe what is to be included in a programme of study of Initial Teacher Education. The set of Transferable Skills is also listed. As noted above, these generic abilities are derived from and integral to the Benchmark Information and should not be considered as additional outcomes. By the end of programmes of Initial Teacher Education, newly qualified teachers are expected to be responsible for a class of pupils. However, they should not be expected to function as fully independent practitioners and should expect to receive support as probationer teachers. During the two years of probation, they will be striving to achieve the standard of a teacher fully registered with the General Teaching Council 10

14 Standard for Initial Teacher Education 1. PROFESSIONAL KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING Benchmark The programme of initial teacher education will enable students to:- 1.1 Acquire a sound knowledge and understanding of the relevant area(s) of pre-school, primary or secondary school curriculum. 1.2 Acquire the knowledge and understanding to fulfil their responsibilities in respect of literacy and numeracy; personal, social and health education; and ICT, as appropriate to the sector and stage of education. Expected Features By the end of the programme of initial teacher education, students will:- Demonstrate sound knowledge, understanding and practical skills in the area of the curriculum or subject(s) to be taught. Know how to match the level of the curriculum and subject(s) to the needs of pupils. Know how to use and adapt good quality materials for learning and teaching to stimulate and challenge pupils. For student teachers at the pre-school and primary stages Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the content of the curriculum in relation to literacy and numeracy as set out in national guidelines. Base their planning and work with pupils on a secure knowledge and understanding of the developmental stages of literacy and numeracy in children. Demonstrate a good knowledge and understanding of the methods and underlying theories for effective teaching of literacy and numeracy; and select the most appropriate methods to meet pupils needs. For student teachers at the secondary stage Understand the demands of their subject on pupils skills in literacy and numeracy. Know how to match the demands of work in their own subject with pupils skills in literacy and numeracy. Know how to promote attainment in literacy and numeracy necessary for pupils work in their subject area. For all student teachers Know how to promote and support the individual development, well-being and social competence of the pupils in their class/register groups; and show commitment to raising these pupils expectations of themselves and others. Know how to apply knowledge and understanding of PSE, health education, and, when appropriate, vocational education at a level which stimulates and challenges pupils being taught, and raises awareness of relevant issues. Demonstrate the knowledge and understanding laid out in SOEID Guidance on the use of ICT with Courses of Initial Teacher Education. (SOEID, 1999). Cross-reference to Competence No , 1.3 and

15 Standard for Initial Teacher Education Benchmark The programme of initial teacher education will enable students to:- 1.3 Acquire the knowledge and understanding to enable them to plan coherent and progressive teaching programmes, and justify what they teach. 1.4 Draw on relevant principles, perspectives and theories to inform professional values and practices. 1.5 Acquire a broad and critical understanding of the principal features of the education system, educational policy and practice. Expected Features By the end of the programme of initial teacher education, students will:- Know and understand how to plan for effective learning in the area(s) of the curriculum or subject(s) to be taught. Have the knowledge and understanding to justify what is taught within the area of the curriculum or subject(s), in relation to its value in the curriculum; its contribution to children s learning and general development; and its relevance to the needs of the pupils being taught. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the stages of child development which they are able to use to take account of their pupils needs. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the main theories of learning and draw on these in thinking about and planning their own teaching and pupils learning. Be able to discuss the principles informing their own view of education, the curriculum and professional practice, drawing on a knowledge and understanding of moral and religious values and philosophical ideas. Demonstrate an understanding of the national framework for, and developments in, the Scottish educational system. Know about and understand the provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Children (Scotland) Act Know about and understand international, national, and local guidelines on child protection and teachers' roles and responsibilities in this area. Demonstrate an understanding of principles of equality of opportunity and social justice and of the need for anti-discriminatory practices. Cross-reference to Competence No. 1.5 and 1.6 All 3.1, 3.3, 3.9, 4.3 and

16 Standard for Initial Teacher Education Benchmark The programme of initial teacher education will enable students to:- 1.6 Acquire a good working knowledge of the sector in which they teach and their professional responsibilities within it. 1.7 Acquire an understanding of the nature of the curriculum and its development. 1.8 Acquire an understanding of research and its contribution to education. Expected Features By the end of the programme of initial teacher education, students will:- Demonstrate an understanding of the system in which they are working, including: the role and organisation of education authorities; the organisation and management of schools and resources; how classroom learning and teaching relate to school policy and development planning; quality assurance; staff development and review; and the work of school boards and parents groups Demonstrate a working knowledge of their contractual, pastoral and legal responsibilities. Show an awareness of their responsibilities for contributing to the ethos of the school, for example, by promoting positive relationships between staff, pupils and parents. Know how to report to parents about their children's progress and discuss matters related to their children's personal, social and emotional development in a sensitive and productive way. Demonstrate an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of staff within the school. Know about the roles of other professionals and how to work with them. Know about the informal school curriculum and the contribution they might make to it. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of structure, breadth, balance, progression and continuity in the curriculum. Know about and understand the processes of change and development in the curriculum. Know how to draw on relevant comparisons with other sectors and systems. Know how to access and apply relevant findings from educational research. Know how to engage appropriately in the systematic investigation of practice. Cross-reference to Competence No. 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, 3.9, 4.6, 4.7 and , 3.2, 3.8 and , 4.5 and

17 Standard for Initial Teacher Education 2. PROFESSIONAL SKILLS AND ABILITIES 2.1 Communication and approaches to teaching and learning in the classroom Benchmark The programme of initial teacher education will enable students to: Communicate effectively, using a variety of media, to stimulate pupils and achieve the objectives of lessons Employ a range of teaching strategies and justify their approach Set expectations and a pace of work which make appropriate demands on all pupils Work effectively in co-operation with other professionals and adults in order to promote learning. Expected Features By the end of the programme of initial teacher education, students will:- Demonstrate that they are able to use appropriate strategies to motivate and sustain the interest of all pupils during a lesson. Explain to and communicate with pupils clearly and in a stimulating manner. Question pupils effectively and respond to their questions and support their contributions to discussions. Use direct interactive teaching and homework to reinforce and extend work in class. Select strategies for teaching and learning appropriate to the subject, topic and pupils needs. Select and use, in a considered way and in a number of different learning and teaching situations, a wide variety of resources, including ICT. Demonstrate the ability to teach individuals, groups and classes. Evaluate and justify the approaches taken to learning and teaching and their impact on pupils. Show that they have high but realistic expectations of pupils and match tasks and rate of work to the needs of all pupils, including those with special educational needs, and ensure that the more able pupils are effectively challenged. Identify and respond appropriately to pupils with difficulties in, or barriers to, learning and recognise when to seek further advice in relation to their special educational needs. Respond appropriately to gender, social, cultural, religious and linguistic differences among pupils. Show that they are able to encourage pupils to take initiatives in, and become responsible for, their own learning. Show they are able to work co-operatively with other professionals and adults, such as parents and classroom assistants, in the classroom. Identify the ways in which additional support in the classroom can assist pupils' learning. Cross-reference to Competence No , and , 2.1.5, and , 2.1.8, 2.1.9, and , , 3.7 and

18 Standard for Initial Teacher Education 15

19 Standard for Initial Teacher Education 2.2 Organisation and management in the classroom Benchmark The programme of initial teacher education will enable students to: Organise classes and lessons to ensure that all pupils are safe and productively employed when working individually, in groups or as a class Manage pupil behaviour fairly, sensitively and consistently by the use of appropriate rewards and sanctions and know when it is necessary to seek advice. Expected Features By the end of the programme of initial teacher education, students will:- Plan and provide a well organised classroom, designed to stimulate the pupils and ensure their health and safety. Co-operate in planning and organising working arrangements involving, as appropriate, nursery nurses, classroom assistants and other ancillary staff. Make full use of space to accommodate whole class lessons, group and individual work. Know how to make use of the environment and resources outside the school to support teaching and pupils' learning. Know how to enable pupils to make full use of well-chosen materials and equipment including ICT. Use display effectively. Use a variety of techniques to encourage pupils and promote positive behaviour. Carry out in an informed manner the discipline policy within the school, including strategies for preventing bullying. Know how and when to seek the advice of colleagues in managing pupils behaviour Justify the approach which they take to managing pupils. Cross-reference to Competence No , 2.2.1, 2.2.3, 3.7 and , 2.2.4, and

20 Standard for Initial Teacher Education 2.3 Assessment in the classroom Benchmark The programme of initial teacher education will enable students to: Understand and apply the principles of assessment, recording and reporting Use the results of assessment to evaluate and improve teaching and to improve standards of attainment. Expected Features By the end of the programme of initial teacher education, students will:- Explain the principles and purposes of baseline, summative, and formative assessment, including criterion and norm-referenced techniques. Demonstrate that they have used assessment techniques, appropriate to the age and stage of their pupils and including those required by SQA. Demonstrate that they have used techniques, including teachers reports, marking of work, observation, questioning and testing, to establish the levels of attainment of individuals, groups and classes. Know about a range of ways of recording the results of assessment and keep good records. Produce full and clearly expressed written reports and provide positive feedback to pupils. Know how to produce reports for parents which are in line with national guidelines. With support, as appropriate, monitor progress against national expectations, and individual targets, diagnose difficulties, confirm attainment of learning outcomes and set targets for next steps in learning. Demonstrate that they know about studies of Scottish and international comparisons of pupils attainment and explain how their knowledge has influenced learning and teaching in their classes. Use the information obtained from assessments to encourage and reward pupils, to explain errors in learning and to advise them on ways of overcoming difficulties and making progress. Encourage pupils to assess themselves and to engage with them in dialogue about their progress. Demonstrate that they have successfully used results of assessment to set longer term targets for a class. Cross-reference to Competence No , 2.3.2, 2.3.3, 2.3.4, 3.2 and , 2.1.4, , 2.3.5, 3.2 and

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