It is a condition of school’s funding arrangements that they comply with AITSL’s Australian Teacher Performance and Development Framework. While the notion of ‘improving’ educational outcomes is laudable, the mechanisms by which members engage with AITSL processes deserve close analysis. The key is certainty of understanding. The way additional requirements are introduced is critical.
The IEU is proposing the following general principles as a scaffold for implementation. The importance of an agreed approach will ensure members are not expending energy and importantly, time, on activities not required by AITSL.
The IEU’s preferred model is set out below. It provides a mechanism to manage what is being sought. The IEU is in discussion with various dioceses to ensure that RFF and preparation time is not intruded upon with the additional processes. Employer support for the implementation of the Teacher Performance and Development Framework initiatives is paramount.
- The individual teacher (however described) determines their own professional development plan. While a professional dialogue should occur, the teacher maintains professional control in relation to their plan.
- Teachers have the right to be supported in their professional enhancement and the responsibility to be engaged in performance and development processes.
- Implementation of the Framework is to grow from a collaborative and respectful culture.
- The AITSL processes are not akin to grievance or like supervisory practices. They are intended to be formative and affirming.
- Performance is referenced against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. These standards provide a mechanism for professional learning. They are not intended to act as a checklist.
- Observations are conducted by an agreed and trained colleague and support provided to facilitate this occurring.
Professor Stephen Dinham in the July 2015 edition of Professional Educator captures the zeitgeist when he indicates:
“’Second generation standards’ are less prescriptive and more aspirational in nature. Rather than engendering a compliance mentality, these are more future and improvement focused, and are more about developing capabilities than judging competencies”.
See www.ieu.asn.au for Teachers Performance Development information.