10 SES 07 A, Parallel Paper Session
Parallel Paper Session
A move within Higher Education internationally, from an elite system to the massification of education has widened participation, resulting in a changed student population (Eggins, 1999). No longer is Higher Education the domain of the elite as those from groups traditionally under-represented within Higher Education seek places within various programmes across the spectrum of academic study (Crosling, Thomas & Heagney, 2008). Within the context of Teacher Education there have been continuing calls to accept those from traditionally marginalised and under-represented groups to ensure a more heterogeneous teaching fraternity (Moran, 2008). At the same time, due to a global downturn in the economy, many Teacher Education providers are experiencing an increased number of applications for places within programmes as potential candidates look for a secure career.
The decisions surrounding who is selected into Teacher Education programmes are complex. There is the need to admit candidates who are not only academically able but who also possess a range of dispositions that will enable them to handle challenging circumstances and contexts far beyond those experienced during their teacher preparation (Elik, Wiener & Corkum, 2010). Moreover Teacher Education providers are under increasing pressure to produce graduates that will go to develop into highly effective teachers (Buchburger & Byrne, 1995; Cochrane-Smith & Zeichner, 2005).
To make such important decisions Teacher Education providers have used various admittance criteria to select candidates (Moran, 2008). In many instances multiple forms of evidence are utilised to form the basis of this decision-making. At the University of Auckland, evidence about a candidate’s suitability is gathered in relation to: previous academic achievement, English Language competency and fitness to teach. Letters of recommendation and the results of a group interview performance provide additional evidence. All candidates, once admitted to the University, must also undergo a further diagnostic language assessment to determine their academic language competency.
However, while there is a growing body of research that investigates novice teachers’ socialisation into teaching and their subsequent success (Ludlow et al., 2008) there are very few studies that have investigated the relative efficacy of admittance criteria in regard to candidate selection. The current longitudinal project aims to investigate the long- term predictive validity of specific admittance criteria to select Teacher Education candidates who will succeed academically and professionally. This paper reports findings from the first phase of the project where attention is paid to candidates’ entry scores and their subsequent success in the first semester of study.
Buchberger, F. & Byrne, K. (1995). Quality in teacher education: a suppressed theme? European Journal of Teacher Education, 18(1), 9-23. Cochran-Smith, M., & Zeichner, K, (2005). Studying Teacher Education: The report of the AERA panel on research and teacher education. Mahweh, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Publishers. Crosling, G., Thomas, L., & Heagney, M. (2008). Improving student retention in Higher Education. London: Routledg Eggins, H. (1999). European approaches to widening participation in Higher Education: A commentary in light of the role of society for research into Higher Education. Higher Education in Europe, 44, 561-566. Elik, N., Wiener, J. & Corkum, P. (2010). Pre-service teachers open-minded thinking, disposition, readiness to learn and attitudes about learning and behavioural difficulties in students. European Journal of Teacher Education, 32(2), 127-146. Ludlow, L., Pedulla, P., Enterline, S., Cochran-Smith, M., Loftus, F., Salomon-Fernandez, Y., & Mitescu, E. From students to teachers: Using surveys to build a culture of evidence and inquiry. European Journal of Teacher Education, 31(4), 319-337. Moran, A. (2008). Challenges surrounding widening participation and fair access to initial teacher education: Can it be achieved? Journal of Education for Teaching, 34(1), 63-77. Willcoxson, L. (2010). Factors affecting intention to leave in the first, second and third years of university studies: A semester-by-semester investigation. Higher Education Research & Development, 29(6), 623-639.
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