PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS IN TEACHER EDUCATION: WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO PRODUCE CLASSROOM READY GRADUATES?

T. Bourke

Queensland University of Technology (AUSTRALIA)
The use of professional standards to improve teacher quality has long been contested in the academic literature; however, the professional standards agenda in education continues to dominate debates about teacher preparation and quality. Recent research by two of the current authors identified a mismatch between the development of quality teachers and professional standards/accreditation policies. This study further interrogates this mismatch by investigating the lived experiences of teacher educators working within this standards environment. Discourse analytic techniques associated with Foucauldian archaeology are used to determine the dominant discourses present when teacher educators in a large metropolitan university in Australia were asked about the use of standards in their practice. The findings reveal that teacher educators use standards both developmentally but more predominantly in a compliant fashion with a certain degree of resistance to their implementation. The authors recommend a more productive use of standards to enable the classroom readiness of pre-service teachers.