Quote: Chaucer, Geoffrey, (-1400). The Canterbury Tales. General Prologue, line 308.

A literature review commissioned by AISNSW enhances our understanding of what we need to do to find the ‘keeper’ teacher

AISNSW has published the key findings of a 2022 literature review into the current school teacher shortage. Reviewing the Evidence Base: Attraction, Pathways and Retention, was conducted in partnership between AISNSW’s The Evidence Institute and the Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education at the Australian Catholic University.

For decades, the global teacher shortage issue has been an ever-present but now critical agenda item – one that has been very difficult to address. The mathematics is the easy part - too many teachers leaving the profession and not enough graduates to replace them. Add in those graduates who do not enter teaching and population growth, there is an urgent need for action.

More simply, we are struggling to find and keep the Clerk of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales who ‘gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche’.

Growing and Nurturing Educators (GANE) is an initiative developed in 2022 by AISNSW with significant input from across the independent sector. 

Director of The Evidence Institute Tiffany Roos said, “‘Reviewing the Evidence Base: Attraction, Pathways and Retention’ is an important first step. It adds to the growing body of evidence exploring the international and national opportunities and challenges for attracting, recruiting and pathways into education - as relevant to today’s society."

The findings are published in three parts: Focus on Attraction, Pathways and Retention, aligning with a number of The Evidence Institute’s proposed 2023 projects.

An important focus for GANE will be tackling one of the most challenging areas addressed in the review - public perception of teachers and teaching. The attraction of undergraduate and Master’s students to education has continued to wane.

“There are opportunities to raise the profile of education as a career that can attract new candidates to teacher education from diverse backgrounds, potentially including career changers and those who are qualified but chose not to enter the profession," said Tiffany.

“Also, research projects with a strong focus on teacher career satisfaction, wellbeing, and support may provide evidence for different teacher recruitment models. Teachers who enjoy rewarding student engagement, successful careers, and genuine promotional opportunities exist in every school. We need to be sure that aspiring educators know that they exist - and why they happily stay in the job.”

Tiffany Roos, Director: The Evidence Institute.

An additional focus area for GANE is enhancing existing pathways that are available for pre-service teacher training in independent schools. Projects recognise the importance of collaboration between AISNSW, independent schools and university teacher training partners and include the AISNSW Teaching School Hubs, Early Career Experience and Mentor Programs.

Looking to the future, Tiffany considers, “A better understanding of what attracts teacher education candidates but fails to convert them to practising teachers could indicate that innovation in the first years or even months of teacher education is needed.”

“As a result, a further focus of GANE is enabling opportunities for retaining early career and experienced teachers using the expertise of education consultants. Teaching and Learning, the Leadership Centre and Teacher Accreditation are just some of the existing AISNSW consultancy teams that continue to develop innovative professional learning, career development and mentor training for independent schools,” said Tiffany

To access the literature review, click here.

For more information about Growing and Nurturing Educators, click here. 

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