Assessment tools

Each Assessment Tool contains a number of "components" (shown below) that may be clicked and expanded upon.

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Tool 8B: Key Challenge


Issue/Challenge: Linking universities and schools around professional experience


Teacher education institutions need to work closely with schools and teachers regarding communication about guidelines, expectations, and responsibilities relevant to the assessment process.

Tool Summary:

Issue/challenge: Linking universities and schools

Professional Experience whilst school-based, requires coordinated effort from schools and teachers working together with universities and academics. Jointly these educators need to support PSTs in the work of integrating bodies of knowledge and practice that arise on campus and in schools, work commonly termed ‘bridging the theory-practice divide’.

Challenges around communication between universities with schools and teachers are frequently cited as sources of tension, particularly the sharing of information regarding guidelines, expectations, and responsibilities relevant to the assessment process. For many programs the major means of communication between universities and schools is in documented form through Handbooks and increasingly through websites. At times this leads to educators in both sites being insufficiently informed regarding expectations and issues significant to both the university and the school. Teachers as primary assessors can feel unsupported through this process.

In general, universities are primarily responsible for setting the criteria/outcomes for assessment and in some cases the activities the PST needs to experience across the placement. These are usually aligned with specific unit of study outcomes to be reached as university course requirements as well as aligned with National Professional Teaching Standards. However, the implementation of these specific placement requirements and their summative assessment and reporting is commonly the responsibility of individual teachers and schools. Navigating across what can be experienced as a university/school divide can present challenge to PSTs, teachers and academics.

Limited resources, specifically those associated with time, workload and finances can constrain academics from being present in school sites during professional experience placements. From the teacher perspective similar constraints can limit their access to communication and contact with the university. These constraining factors can also limit teachers’ access to relevant professional development opportunities to guide mentoring and assessment roles.