Initial teacher education (ITE) research project

Provisionally registered teachers and principals are being encouraged to share their views on teacher education and support for new teachers through the Victorian initial teacher education survey.

The Victorian initial teacher education survey, which runs between 17 July and 11 August, will explore perceptions of teacher preparedness for the classroom, elements of teacher education contributing to graduates’ development, and school‐based processes that support beginning teacher development. Responses will provide important evidence for ongoing state‐wide improvements.

The survey has been developed by a Victorian team of educational leaders, sponsored by the Department of Education and Training. It is being conducted by the Centre for International Research on Education Systems at Victoria University. This is part of a global initiative to improve teacher education, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Members of the Victorian Community of Practice include

  • Department of Education and Training
  • Victorian Institute of Teaching
  • Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership
  • Victorian Council of Deans of Education
  • Victorian Association of State Secondary Principals
  • Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group

Project explanation

The project aims to design, deliver and administer a pilot survey for provisionally registered graduate teachers and their employing principals. The survey will gather data from provisionally registered teachers and principals about the quality of ITE in Victoria, the preparedness of beginning teachers and the support that schools provide to beginning teachers. It is intended that ITE providers and school systems will receive aggregated data on beginning teacher and principal feedback, creating an effective feedback loop between schools, beginning teachers and ITE providers.

This feedback will help course providers and school sectors to improve initial teacher education programs and early career experiences. It is hoped that this survey will be conducted annually, so that ongoing improvements to teacher education and support are based on evidence and best practice.

What are principals being asked to do?

The Victorian Community of Practice is asking you to respond to the short online survey which will be sent on 17 July (around 20 minutes) that seeks information about the preparation of each of the provisionally registered graduate teachers recently employed by your school, who graduated from August 2016. If you feel that another member of your team (such as a mentor) may be better placed to provide detailed feedback on the preparation of individual teachers, there is provision for you to delegate this specific aspect of the survey to another member of your team.

What are PRTs being asked to do?

The Victorian Community of Practice is asking you to respond to the online survey which will be sent on 17 July that seeks your views on the ITE course you have recently undertaken together with your current employment arrangements and the support you are experiencing for professional development. Completion of the survey should take around twenty minutes and no preparation is required. If you wish to leave the survey before completing all questions, you can save your responses and complete your response at another time.

What will be gained?

The study will assist in the shaping and refining of a feedback instrument on initial teacher education, which will benefit successive cohorts of ITE students and their course providers, provisionally registered teachers and the schools in which they work.

The focus of the survey does offer an opportunity for principals and/or their delegates to reflect and provide feedback on ITE programs and the preparation of teachers for current employment demands.

The survey also provides PRTs with an opportunity to reflect and provide feedback about the nature of their training and how initial teacher education has prepared them for current and projected employment demands. This is a pilot study but it is hoped that in future, an annual survey will allow ITE graduates to report in an informed and direct way on their experiences of teacher education.

How will the information be used?

Information will be aggregated to provide feedback information to relevant ITE providers and to education systems to provide important information on which to plan improvements and reforms.

The data will not be used to inform any decisions about teachers’ registration status or career progression, and no individual or school will be identified in any reporting of survey data.

What are the potential risks of participating in this project?

There are no foreseeable personal or professional risks to PRTs or Principals in participating in this study.

The Victorian Institute of Teaching has assumed responsibility for managing the survey contacts and administering the online survey to ensure that the privacy of all potential participants is maintained. Neither research investigators nor the Department of Education and Training will have access to the identification of survey respondents.

How will this project be conducted?

A Victorian team of educational leaders, sponsored by the Department of Education and Training, have designed the project which will be conducted by The Centre for Research on Education Systems (CIRES) at Victoria University.

Who is conducting the study?

The Chief Investigator for this project is Associate Professor Merryn Davies who may be contacted on (03) 9919 1045. Any queries about participation in this project may be directed to Associate Professor Davies.

If participants have any queries or complaints about the way they have been treated, they may contact the Ethics Secretary, Victoria University Human Research Ethics Committee, Office for Research, Victoria University, PO Box 14428, Melbourne, VIC, 8001, email researchethics@vu.edu.au or phone (03) 9919 4781 or 9919.