23 SES 02 A, Policy Reforms and Teacher Professionalism (Part 1)
Paper Session to be continued in 23 SES 03 A
In Australia and many other countries, secondary teachers undertake studies to prepare and qualify them to teach specialisations for which they have the disciplinary background. However, the reality is that many teachers internationally are expected to teach subjects they are not qualified to teach, that is, to teach out-of-field (Australian Secondary Principals Association (ASPA), 2006; Ingersoll, 1998; Hobbs, 2013). Marginson, Tytler et al (2013) report a 2011 ACER study that found 39% of years 7-10 Australian mathematics classes were taught by out-of-field teachers, with 23% taught by teachers with no tertiary mathematics at all. They emphasize the scale of the issue for Australia more so than comparable countries, and the need for urgent action. International studies highlight the significance of this issue as impacting on teacher well-being (see for example, Ingersoll, 1998; Steyn & du Plessis, 2007) and the quality of educational outcomes; for example, studies have shown that students taught by out-of-field mathematics teachers can perform below students taught by qualified teachers (Attard, 2013; Thomson, Hillman & Wernert. 2012). In addition, performance in international comparison tests in mathematics and science show Australia falling behind other comparable OECD countries; while not directly attributable to out-of-field teaching, the teacher is a critical factor in student learning outcomes and decisions to continue with STEM-related subjects in post compulsory years (Lyons & Quinn, 2010; Tytler et al., 2008).
This project examines policies and perspectives across Australia (both state-based and nationally), concerning out of field teaching of secondary science and mathematics, drawing on government informants, and science and mathematics education associations, principals associations, and education unions. The project is collecting and analysing documentation of policy and initiatives and insights gathered from key informant interviews from each of these groups.
The following research questions are being explored:
RQ1. What are the perspectives of government and stakeholders regarding out-of-field secondary mathematics and science teaching?
RQ2. How do government policies and system level procedures interact to impact on the incidence of out-of-field teachers and the quality of teaching by out-of-field teachers?
RQ3. What state-based or national retraining or professional learning programs exist for out-of-field secondary mathematics and science teachers?
This paper will report on data collection relating to three states on the eastern coast of Australia: Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland. Analysis for this paper will focus on Question 1, and only the government perspectives.
Attard, C. (2013), '"If I had to pick any subject, it wouldn't be maths": Foundations for engagement with mathematics during the middle years', Mathematics Education Research Journal, 569 - 587. Australian Secondary Principals Association (1999). Policy – Teachers: Supply and demand in Australian schools. http://www.aspa.asn.au/ Bacchi, C. (1999). Women, Policy and Politics: the construction of policy problems. London: Sage. Giroux, H. (1983). Theory and Resistance in Education: A Pedagogy for the Opposition. Westport: Bergin & Garvey. Hobbs, L. (2013). Teaching 'out-of-field' as a boundary-crossing event: Factors shaping teacher identity. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 11(2), 271-297. Ingersoll, R. M. (1998). The problem of out-of-field teaching. Phi Delta Kappan, 79(10), 773-776. Lyons, T., Cooksey, R., Panizzon, D., Parnell, A., & Pegg, J. (2006). Science, ICT and mathematics education in rural and regional Australia the SiMERR national survey: A research report. Armidale: SiMERR. Lyons, T., & Quinn, F. (2010). Choosing Science: Understanding the declines in senior high school science enrolments. Armidale: University of New England Marginson, S., Tytler, R., Freeman, B., & Roberts, K. (2013). STEM: Country comparisons. Melbourne: The Australian Council of Learned Academies. www.acola.org.au. Steyn, G. M., & du Plessis, E. (2007). The implications of the out-of-field phenomenon for effective teaching, quality education and school management. Africa Education Review, 4(2), 144-158. Thomson, S., Hillman, K. & Wernet, N. (2012). Monitoring Australian Year 8 student achievement internationally: TIMSS 2011. Camberwell: ACER.
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.