University Of Tasmania

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Choosing our best: innovation in teacher education selection

posted on 2023-05-25, 05:19 authored by John WilliamsonJohn Williamson, Christine GardnerChristine Gardner, Knipe, S, Fehring, H, Szadura, A, Falkiner-Rose, L
Executive Summary

This study seeks to describe and map the approaches and mechanisms used by Australian Initial Teacher Education (ITE) Providers to select students into courses. It focuses on processes not based on the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).

Institutions regularly review their course entry requirements and the TEMAG report provided recommendations for consideration by ITE providers in this regard. This study reflects institutional action following adoption of the recommendation regarding the use of academic and non-academic selection approaches.

The Human Research Ethics Committee of Tasmania approved the study, which was conducted during late 2016 and early 2017. Researchers used the same questionnaire instrument as one designed and implemented by Universities Australia in an earlier investigation (undertaken in 2013) for the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL). Interviews, to obtain stakeholder perceptions of the entry approaches and mechanisms, were conducted. The interview sample comprised Deans and Heads of Faculties and Schools of Education, pre-service students and recent graduates.

The mixed-methods approach to data gathering was chosen to provide base-line data and richer, detailed information about specific approaches.

The questionnaire was sent to all Deans/Heads of Faculties/Schools of Education (N=40) and 27 completed returns were received. Four Deans/Heads and 13 pre-service students and recent graduates were interviewed and audio-recorded for later transcription and analysis.

The data show a variety of institutional approaches to the selection mechanisms and processes for entry into Initial Teacher Education (ITE) courses with approaches resulting from institution mission, context and strategic priorities. All are rigorous and publicly available through the respective Academic Board or Senate.

The data suggest institutions:

• Have strategies for consideration of equity, and access and participation. They are consistent and not ad hoc in their use of bonus points and targeted approaches, which provide additional student support

• Have rigorous entry requirements, but see the ITE course as important in refining the qualities and dispositions of the pre-service students

• Regularly review their entry approaches and mechanisms to ensure they fit their institutional mission

• See the need to work collaboratively with other key stakeholders to raise the status of teaching as a career.


Commissioning body

Australian Council of Deans of Education






Faculty of Education


Australian Council of Deans of Education

Place of publication


Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Other education and training not elsewhere classified