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Professional Practice & Regulation

These papers and reports cover the professional practice of teaching, professional education, and general professional regulation and representation. They discuss various aspects of education and healthcare in Australia including the national accreditation of nursing and midwifery courses, conditions for an effective teaching profession, appropriate length of initial teacher education, and the national identity and activity of Australian teachers over time.

May 2009 – Barbara Preston, National framework for the accreditation of nursing and midwifery courses leading to registration, enrolment, endorsement and authorisation in Australia, Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council, Canberra.

This national framework for the accreditation of nursing and midwifery courses leading to registration, enrolment, endorsement and authorisation within Australia was developed by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council in collaboration with stakeholders including the Nursing and Midwifery Regulatory Authorities, the Council of Deans of Nursing and Midwifery (Australia and New Zealand), and the Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council. It provided a basis for the current regime of course accreditation.

June 2001 – Barbara Preston, Conditions for a dynamic and effective teaching profession, Address to the Independent Education Union NSW/ACT conference, ‘The Learning Age: Teachers hold the key’, Sydney.

In this keynote address I began by setting out the factors affecting future demand for and supply of new teachers. There is discussion of the implications of a bifurcated age profile of the teaching workforcefor professional leadership (including succession planning), professional development and school cultures. I describe the nature of teacher professionalism as involving high level professional judgments, and being collective, strategic and democratic. Finally, I consider matters of the professional regulation of teachers, specifically registration (a then highly topical matter), including the distinctions between professional representative organisations (such as teacher unions and subject associations) and professional standards organisations (such as registration boards)according to their basic nature and purpose, mission and responsibilities, social role and status, membership, legal status, principles or decision-making, and structure.

June 2001 – Barbara Preston, Excerpt on Teacher Professionalism, from ‘Conditions for a dynamic and effective teaching profession’, Address to the Independent Education Union NSW/ACT conference, ‘The Learning Age: Teachers hold the key’, Sydney.

This brief paper is an excerpt from a keynote address (above), concerned with the nature of teacher professionalism as involving high level professional judgments, and being collective, strategic and democratic.

December 1998 – Barbara Preston, How long does it take for the professional preparation of a teacher? The Australian experience in establishing a standard, Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education and Development, Vol. 1, No 2.

In this paper I provide a historical background to the then-current debates around the appropriate length of initial teacher education, and discuss the evidence for different positions in terms of quality teaching, higher education funding, and various administrative constraints. The paper is based on a report commissioned by the Teachers Registration Board of South Australia: ‘Review of the three-year minimum preservice teacher education requirement of the Teachers Registration Board of South Australia’.

February 1998 – Kym Adey (Chair), Preparing a Profession: Report of the National Standards and Guidelines for Initial Teacher Education Project, Australian Council of Deans of Education, Canberra.

The report of this highly collaborative and consultative project, chaired by Professor Kym Adey (then president of the Australian Council of Deans of Education), is in three parts. The first sets out detailed standards and guidelines for initial teacher education that cover graduate attributes that are ‘necessary for effective beginning teaching and a potentially successful teaching career, and which can be reasonably expected to be developed in an initial teacher education program’, program standards and guidelines, and organisational standards and guidelines.The second part covered principles and options for development and implementation, including in course accreditation. The third part included lists of those who made submissions and were formally consulted. I was executive officer (including researcher and writer) for the project. The report is also on the ACDE website.

1997 – Barbara Preston, A national teaching profession?, In Bob Lingard and Paige Porter (eds), A national approach to schooling in Australia? Essays on the development of national policies in schools education, Australian College of Education, Canberra.

In this chapter I discuss the national activity and identity of Australian teachers from the time of federation, including the opening up of the federal industrial arena in 1983 High Court decision on the definition of an industrial dispute, and the subsequent federal industrial registration of the teacher unions, and the many federal and national professional teacher initiatives and activities of the time. The chapter ends with a consideration of the many and divergent pressures on an assertive, national teacher professionalism.

November 1996 – Barbara Preston, Professional practice in school teaching, Australian Journal of Education, vol.40, No.3, pp. 248-264.

In this article I investigated different theoretical approaches (notably functionalism and critical sociology) to teacher professionalism, and argued for an approach with a key criterion of high level professional judgments.

1996 – Barbara Preston, Award restructuring: A catalyst in the evolution of teacher professionalism? In Terri Seddon (ed.)Pay, Professionalism and Politics: Reforming teachers, reforming education, Australian Education Review No. 37, Australian Council for Educational Research, Camberwell, Vic.

In this chapter I examined award restructuring through a consideration of teacher professionalism. I discuss the historical background of the inter-relationships between the professional and industrial in teacher unions, the award restructuring agenda in the wider union movement, and the multiple initiatives, stakeholders and positions (both theoretical and practical) concerned with teacher quality and related matters in the early 1990s.

August 1995 – Barbara Preston and Kerry Kennedy, The national competency framework for beginning teaching: A radical approach to initial teacher education?, Australian Educational Researcher, Vol. 22, No. 2.

In the early 1990s competency standards for the teaching profession were a federal policy priority, and a ‘Draft National Competency Framework for Beginning Teachers’ was developed. This paper provides a background to the development of competency standards for the professions, and sets out an ‘integrated’, in contrast to a ‘behaviourist’, conceptualisation of competencies, and discusses many ways in which the Draft Framework could be used to support initial teacher education. These include:a checklist for course content and student assessment, criteria for graduation and framework for course goals, an approach to assessment procedures, a guide to course structure and coherence, a guide to the role and nature of the practicum, a framework for collaboration, a guide to pedagogy, a framework for student self-management of learning, and a guide to the review and development of the provision of initial teacher education.

April 1995 – Barbara Preston, The Australian Teaching Council and the Teacher Unions: Collaboration or Competition? Curriculum Perspectives,Vol. 15, No. 1, April 1995, pp.29–40.

The Australian Teaching Council was launched in 1993, and abolished four years later. While the organisation itself was short-lived and limited in its achievements, the thinking behind it and the debates around the representation and regulation of the teaching profession have longer term significance. In this paper I document the historical and conceptual background of the ATC, and discuss the differences between representative and regulatory organisations, and the place of the industrial and the professional in both.

1994 – Barbara Preston, Teacher professionalism and the devolution of school management, in Roy Martin et al (eds), Devolution, decentralization and re centralization: The structure of Australian schooling, Australian Education Union, Melbourne.

In this paper I considered some of the theoretical positions that underpin policies related to devolution, and developed a typology of the implications for teacher and principal the professionalism under a ‘professional bureaucracy model’, ‘corporate management model’, ‘market model’, and ‘democratic professionalism model’.

November 1992 – Barbara Preston, Teacher professionalism: implications for teachers, teacher educators and democratic schooling, presentation to the Australian Association for Research in Education and the New Zealand Association for Research in Education joint annual conference, Geelong.

In this paper I took up a broad sweep of issues concerned with teacher professionalism, including possible contributions from a critical examination of the debate in the USA, and thehistorical circumstances and currentdevelopments in Australia. The major focus was on an understanding ofpossibilities for teacher professionalism, and a consideration of teacher education in relation to it. Other matters, such as the implications of school organisation and governance for teacherprofessionalism, were touched on. My hope was to provide a useful analysis for those involved in shaping developments:teachers and their unions, teacher educators, policy-makers in government, parent organisations, among others.