Teacher Quality Analysis

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It is widely recognised that teacher quality is a strong determinant of student achievement (Hanushek & Welch, 2006; Hattie, 2009; Leigh & Ryan, 2008; Rowe, 2006). However the quality of teaching varies markedly across Australian schools (Hanushek & Rivkin, 2010; Leigh & Ryan, 2008). To improve teaching quality the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST) prescribes elements of high-quality, effective teaching and expected knowledge and ability for teachers across four career stages: Graduate, Proficient, Highly Accomplished and Lead (AITSL, 2014). Good quality teachers get to know their students and how they learn (Adams & Peirce, 2004, Levy, 2008). This student-focused aspect of quality teaching is the discussion point of this essay, relevant to the first APST: ‘Know students and how they learn’ (AITSL, 2014) (the Standard). An overview of the Standard is provided, followed by a comparison and contrast of the differences between Graduate and Lead teachers in accordance with focus …show more content…
A broad knowledge of the theories relating to these areas assists teachers in understanding these complex processes. There are six focus areas of the Standard. The first two relate to students’: (i) inherent developmental and (ii) learning predispositions. A child’s physical, intellectual and social development are influenced by biological and environment factors, are interrelated and are all equally important (Kearns, 2010). Developmental stages for each of these areas can be explained by various development theory and literature. For example, ‘Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development’ (McLeod, 2009) and ‘Erikson’s eight stages of psychosocial development’ (McLeod, 2008) are familiar to most

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