Published 22 Feb 2022
When is the right time to begin your Inquiry?
Initial teacher education (ITE) programs are designed for pre-service teachers to meet the Graduate teacher level of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST). Provisionally registered teachers (PRTs) are required to move their practice to the Proficient teacher level of the APST by moving to full registration.
Demonstrating proficiency is achieved through completing the Inquiry process, where PRTs develop their practice from a theoretical understanding to a practical implementation of the standards.
The model used by VIT to enable teachers to demonstrate proficiency is a cycle of reflective practice, similar to improvement models used in education settings every day. It is underpinned by the PRT’s own development and their interactions with more experienced colleagues.
It is important that PRTs do not begin the Inquiry process until they, and their mentor, are satisfied they can demonstrate proficiency. The process itself will not make PRTs proficient, rather it is an opportunity to demonstrate they have reached proficiency.
Tips for starting the Inquiry process
The process of moving to full registration represents the development of teaching practice and should not be rushed or started too soon. The following tips should be considered prior to beginning your Inquiry
- Use the PRT Guide to familiarise yourself with the process and keep you on track - the guide explains all the requirements and includes helpful templates and checklists to keep you focused throughout the process.
- Attend a free PRT Seminar and access a team of experienced educators - seek direct advice and support from the Professional Practice team and connect with your colleagues going through the same process.
- Understand the place(s) you are teaching and the needs of your learners - if you attempt to begin the Inquiry without having a solid grounding of your workplace's educational priorities, you will not create a good outcome for yourself or your learners.
- Take the time to develop an Inquiry question that is strong and specific – don’t start with an Inquiry question that is too broad, as you may lose direction and waste your time. The more time spent planning your Inquiry question, the more focused you will be on your Inquiry.
- Speak with your mentor to determine the right time to begin - working through the Inquiry is designed to demonstrate proficiency, not enable it, therefore proficiency should be achieved before the process begins. Working with your mentor and other colleagues prior to this will develop your practice and, together, you can decide if you are ready to begin.
If you are unable to apply for full registration or if you are not in a position to demonstrate you have achieved the proficient teacher standards before your registration expires, you may need to apply for a further grant of provisional registration. (Please note – this will only become available in your MyVIT account three months prior to your registration expiry date. Legislation provides that teachers can only remain provisionally registered for a maximum of 6 years.)