Task: Essay on Foundation of Teaching and Learning
”Not just anyone can teach. I know from personal experience that many people have given it a go, but frankly, they just can’t do it. Teaching is a vocation and a profession. Through the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers, teachers and leaders in Australia have set very high standards about what someone needs to achieve to teach in an Australian classroom.”
Introduction: ”Not just anyone can teach. I know from personal experience that many people have given it a go, but frankly, they just can’t do it. Teaching is a vocation and a profession. Through the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers, teachers and leaders in Australia have set very high standards about what someone needs to achieve to teach in an Australian classroom.” - Lisa Rogers, former CEO of AITSL The words above by Lisa Rogers brings up an important question, a greater debate in the field of education, that if teaching is just a vocation or is it a proper vocation? Does one need to have a knack to teach? Is the instinct enough as a calibre to implement carefully designed curriculum, assessments when teaching students? Or, is it that just by passing certain set of examinations, or undergoing training to become a teacher, can someone become a teacher? Does the theoretical concepts, their understanding, is that enough to be considered when i comes to execution of pedagogy to students? To understand this, different available literature discussing this education essay and the actual challenge this profession brings to teachers were studied. The findings in this education essay shall be presented henceforth. ?
Discussion: First, the most important concepts and the terms related In this education essay are important to mention. The term ‘pedagogy’, since it occurs frequently in consulted literature and shall appear here as well. Pedagogy could be simply explained as the practice of education (Daniels, 2016). A teacher’s practice of imparting knowledge to students and examining the impacts of the same in terms of skills in students. In this aspect; the NSW, Department of Education had introduced the Quality Teaching Model (QT) in 2003.
Figure 0.1 NSW QT Model (NSW, 2017)
The model is an indicator to what the term quality would mean in pedagogy. The three frameworks, that of intellectual quality, quality learning environment and significance makes the teachers think on the different elements when imparting education in the process. The teachers need to bind their expertise, soft skills, personality and engage the students when following this QT model (NSW, 2017). This again brings the same debate up, how can a teacher without years of experience and formal guidance through an institution be able to do this while there may be many untrained teachers who may be encouraging a perfect learning environment without a sound exposure to the QT model and yet, make pedagogy exciting and engaging for their students.
In 1945, Robert Menzies, 2 time prime minister, then a leader of opposition had told to the Australian House of Representatives that teaching was one of the most important professions among all secular ones and the worst paid as well (EC, 2019). The job of the teacher was, in the formative years of a student’s life, to be able to produce responsible, productive and good citizens of future just by an everyday exposure for few hours in classroom (Harland & Kinder, 1997). He insisted that a teacher must have the highest levels of education as part of qualifications and must consist of people who were aware of this greater responsibility of forming and shaping up the future country. This is what is being followed by Australia even presently. Australia adopted a national Australian curriculum to maintain homogeneity across the continent when it came to education skills and knowledge levels. This formed a benchmark level in the field of education. Schools, teachers, parents, students and all concerned clearly understood what to expect when it came to education irrespective of their backgrounds, location or any type of school system they were engaged in (DET, 2019). The Australian Curriculum provided a standard content to be followed as part of curriculum, set appropriate learning outcome based milestones for students to gauge their own level of understanding but it did not become a limitation for teachers. It still provided them with ample flexibility to pour in their expertise to the content to suitably respond to the requirements of their own students (Daniels, 2016). As is seen the portion where teacher contribution is involved, it is largely still an open space. There are present guidelines but is it just about the profession, when the teacher is putting in something of their own, is it still just a profession or has it also got elements of being a vocation as well to deliver the same.
Since 2008, Australia also introduced another breakthrough benchmark for assessments. The NAPLAN or the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy was to check students’ progress for years 3,5, 7 and 9 (ACARA, 2019). These tests were incorporated into the curriculum and checked reading, writing, basic grammar and numeracy skills among all students throughout Australia. Such tests were an important marker for students’ progress in their crucial formative years and ensured that every student had certain basic levels to assist them later on in their education as well as life. The question is despite such an extensive curriculum why is that every school participates in this nationally? Is it to check just the students or is it also marker of a teacher’s abilities in the process of pedagogy? The results in this education essay indicate to the teachers essential interventions that may be necessary suited to every student for improving the results. How can just a profession guide the teacher through this. The profession may be assisting the teacher to read the results but is it not that the vocation guides the teachers to make suitable changes to bring up the level of the student to an improved outcome.
This also brings forward Australia’s another important initiative – Australian Professional Standard for Teachers. It is an initiative built of foundation of years of research and evidence showing that a student’s performance largely is dependent also on the teacher’s effectiveness. If there is lack of quality in a teacher’s methods, the consequent influence of it on the student shall result in poor student performance (DET, 2011). This brings to the question that if teaching was just a vocation, why build professional standards and empower teachers to adhere to them.
Through these various initiative put in place by Australia’s Department of Education, one thing is clear. That would be this that Australia is serious not only about quality of education imparted, they want to inject the education system and its every pillar – pedagogy, teachers, assessment and curriculum with the same. This prevents any random person to get into teaching (EC, 2019). Only serious people inclined towards taking up the responsibility of building future citizens get into the process and through the processes in place and adherence to them. Nevertheless, without a passion in place and instincts to guide, it is still not possible to impart education for trained professionals as well. Simply teaching the syllabus, taking tests as designed after getting appropriate qualifications cannot convert a teacher to be a motivating figure for students. It is lot more important to inspire, challenge and motivate them, stand as an idol for them to follow and leave deep impressions in their minds for the rest of their lives (Nielsen et al., 2017). To make profound difference in a student’s expertise levels, it is important both to comprehend the idea of expert practice and to devise strategies that are suitable to learning that. The plan of instructive projects in this education essay is constantly guided by convictions about how understudies learn in a scholastic order. Regardless of whether explicit or implicit, these thoughts influence what understudies in a program will be educated, how they will be instructed, and how their learning will be surveyed. In this way, instructive program planners who trust understudies adapt best through remembrance and rehashed practice will structure their projects uniquely in contrast to the individuals who hold that understudies adapt best through dynamic inquiries and examinations (Harland & Kinder, 1997).
Among the difficulties that a professional teacher faces in every day life, some of the biggest challenges are – making time for lesson preparations. Sometimes, owing to various reasons preparing for lessons could be difficult for the teacher, for a new teacher, this could be even more challenging. The teacher needs to make lesson preparation according to the set guidelines, assessments, curriculum s that the student could meet their lesson objectives and learning outcomes. Teachers also need to handle the emotions of the students and be careful to not cause them stress regarding an assignment (Nielsen et al., 2017). Amidst all of this, the teacher needs to keep track of progress the student is making and taking extra initiatives is another time based challenge for the teacher. The paperwork which is involved with teaching is quite a lot and going through all of it, ensuring accuracy is another everyday challenge for most teachers. Not all students are at same learning levels. Hence, getting the message across to all students at the same time could be another greater challenge for most experienced teachers as well (Nielsen et al., 2017).
In light of the above discussions, requirement and challenges that are faced by the teachers, teaching as a profession seems to require an equal mix of both as a profession as well as a vocation. This is because it cannot be taken for sure that the conceptual frameworks; part of teaching profession, are at length incompatible with the teaching vocation. Not any one precludes the other at all completely. There have been instances as mentioned by many teachers who joined the teaching as they found a calling in it however, to exhibit quality, they took it up professionally after undergoing all necessary qualification based education and training. Christian missionary school teachers take up teaching not only as a profession but mostly because they found they could align their instincts to it appropriately (Buijs, 2005). A simple activity within the teaching sphere could be responded equally with policies, learning material, activities as it could be with a simple call to respond, or as service, or even as combination of both. ?
To conclude in this education essay, I would like to second with views of Lisa Rogers that teaching is both a vocation and a profession. It is not just important to have a calling within to contribute to society, towards upliftment of children and students to making of a strong nature, good citizens. It is equally important to respond to the need with a scientific and research backed approach as is done by Australia through various educational reforms, strategies and frameworks put in place such as the Australian National Curriculum, NSW Quality Teaching Model, National Assessment Program and lastly, Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.
Through my understanding of why such frameworks were installed it affirms my belief that pedagogy is for benefit of students and thus, quality must be an important facet of education.
Hence, for teachers to respond to this need and prepare for the future, it is beneficial for them and the students they teach to respond with quality that only a profession based response could offer. Nevertheless, without the innate feeling to contribute towards the betterment of a student’s life, it is impossible to carry on such strenuous training based education, live with the challenges that a teacher faces in everyday life. Here, there is importance of personal commitment to see through this that all professional parameters are met successfully for the benefit of the student. While profession based outlook will impart the objective look to pedagogy, vocation based framework will lend a subjective outlook to the same. Both indeed are needed in equal measures such that ultimately the student benefits. It is observed in this education essay that while maintaining quality of teaching, maintaining quality of teacher could not be an excluded and hence, teaching could be explained rightly as a vocation as well as a profession. Education essays are being prepared by our experts from top universities which let us to provide you a reliable essay writing services.
ACARA. (2019). NAP - NAPLAN. Retrieved March 25, 2019, from https://www.nap.edu.au/naplan
Buijs, J. A. (2005). TEACHING: PROFESSION OR VOCATION? Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1006220.pdf
Daniels, H. (2016). Vygotsky and pedagogy. Retrieved from https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/9781317208457
DET. (2011). Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. Retrieved from https://www.aitsl.edu.au/docs/default-source/apst-resources/australian_professional_standard_for_teachers_final.pdf
DET. (2019). Australian Curriculum | Department of Education and Training. Retrieved March 25, 2019, from https://www.education.gov.au/australian-curriculum-0
EC. (2019). Teaching – the Most Important Profession | Education Council. Retrieved March 25, 2019, from https://educationcouncil.org.nz/content/teaching-–-most-important-profession
Harland, J., & Kinder, K. (1997). Teachers’ continuing professional development: framing a model of outcomes. Journal of In-Service Education, 23(1), 71–84. https://doi.org/10.1080/13674589700200005
Nielsen, W., Mena, J., Clarke, A., O’Shea, S., Hoban, G., & Collins, J. (2017). Australia’s supervising teachers: motivators and challenges to inform professional learning. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 45(4), 346–368. https://doi.org/10.1080/1359866X.2017.1304527