University of Tasmania

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A spatial approach to understanding teachers' 'classroom readiness' for teaching literacy

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-24, 19:49 authored by Sarah Stewart, Kitty te RieleKitty te Riele, Elaine StratfordElaine Stratford
Initial teacher education (ITE) has been subject to substantial scrutiny over the two decades, both locally and internationally. Fuelled by concerns about teacher ‘quality’, the ‘effectiveness’ of teacher education has been repeatedly called into question, spawning over 40 inquiries into different aspects of teacher preparation in Australia. Among the key concepts central to the debates surrounding teacher education, is the notion of ‘classroom readiness’. Mandated by policy-makers, assessed by teacher educators and struggled with by novice teachers, the concept of classroom readiness looks different for stakeholders in various spaces. Drawing on qualitative data from a research project reviewing literacy teaching, training and practice in Tasmanian Government schools, this presentation will use a spatial approach to explore disconnects and disjunctions in understandings of what it means to be ‘classroom-ready’. Our findings suggest that, despite a tightened regulatory environment, intended to assure teacher quality, and the best efforts of teacher educators to produce competent and capable graduates, most pre-service teachers emerged from their degrees feeling seriously under-prepared for the demands of ‘teaching literacy’ in 21st century classrooms. We suggest that taking a spatial lens to the concept of classroom readiness invites a more nuanced understanding and an examination of the multiple perspectives at play. Reconceptualising classroom readiness, not as an endpoint achieved on graduation, but rather as a non-linear ongoing process of ‘becoming’, opens up possibilities for stakeholders to take collective responsibility for career-long teacher development.


Department of Education Tasmania, con


Publication title

4th International ProPEL Conference 2019: Provocations and Possibilities




Peter Underwood Centre

Event title

4th International ProPEL Conference 2019: Provocations and Possibilities

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Socio-economic Objectives

Teacher and instructor development; Other education and training not elsewhere classified

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