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Professional experience framework

A new framework for coordinating and managing the professional experience that teacher education students undertake in schools is now available.

An initiative of the NSW Government’s Great Teaching, Inspired Learning (GTIL) Blueprint for Action, the Professional Experience Framework helps provide consistent, high quality opportunities for future teachers to practise their teaching skills in the classroom.

The framework was developed by NESA (previously BOSTES), in consultation with:

  • the NSW Department of Education
  • the Association of Independent Schools of NSW
  • the Catholic Education Commission NSW
  • Deans of Education 
  • NSW Vice-Chancellors Committee.

The framework sets out how schools, school systems and higher education providers can work together to improve the quality of professional experience placements.

With the aim of creating greater consistency in the quality of professional experience arrangements, the framework includes:

  • Best Practice Guidelines for Teachers, Teacher Educators and Teacher Education Students
  • An Evidence Guide for Supervising Teachers
  • A Common Report Template
  • A Statement of Common Roles and Responsibilities
  • Data Exchange Guidelines.

Research shows quality teachers are crucial for achieving an overall improvement in student learning outcomes.

A framework for better coordinating and managing professional experience placements for teacher education students, is:

  • helping to prepare future teachers for their careers in the classroom
  • supporting the career long professional development of teachers
  • helping NSW students to achieve better results.

Answering your questions

Why do we need a framework?

The ultimate test of great teaching is in the practice.

Throughout the Great Teaching, Inspired Learning consultation process, stakeholders consistently said that the partnership between higher education providers and schools needed to improve.

The framework has been developed to support a consistent, high quality approach to professional experience arrangements.

What are the benefits of using the Professional Experience Framework?

Using the framework supports:

  • employing authorities, schools and higher education providers to develop greater certainty around the availability of placements and greater continuity and consistency in relationships between all parties
  • supervising teachers with an Evidence Guide for making consistent judgements about the quality of a teacher education student’s teaching practice
  • supervising teachers through professional development and where relevant, linking their professional development to higher level teacher accreditation processes
  • higher education providers and supervising teachers with a Common Report template for gathering improved quality and more consistent reports
  • all stakeholders by providing a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities during teacher education professional experience.

How is the framework different from current professional experience practices?

While current professional experience programs meet minimum requirements, there is a wide variety of guidelines and support provided by higher education providers to schools, supervising teachers and teacher education students.

The Framework provides, for the first time, Best Practice Guidelines that describe indicators for a quality professional experience arrangement, and an Evidence Guide for Supervising Teachers to help them make consistent assessments of teacher education students’ teaching practice.

Do all NSW higher education providers have to use the framework?

All accredited teaching degrees will be required to include professional experience arrangements based on the framework. This will support greater certainty around availability of placements and greater consistency in placement arrangements.

What is included in a professional experience arrangement?

Higher education providers and employing authorities/ schools will work together to formalise arrangements to:

  • adequately support professional experience, including providing professional learning to staff
  • clarify communication by identifying clear expectations and responsibilities, regular contact, supervision and high level decision-making
  • implement consistent assessment based on clear professional standards, common documentation and professional learning
  • prioritise professional experience placements according to agreed protocols that acknowledge employing authority/school priorities and capacities.

When will the framework be implemented?

Schools and higher education providers are now able to use the framework.

How does my school formalise a professional experience arrangement?

Each sector is developing their own processes for establishing arrangements with higher education providers.

Contact the NSW Department of Education, Catholic Education Commission NSW or Association of Independent Schools of NSW for further advice specific to your sector, about how these arrangements may work.

Where can I get copies of the framework documents?

Download the Professional Experience Framework

Download Professional Experience Framework flyer (PDF, 1.4 MB)

Download Professional Experience Framework flyer (print version) (PDF, 710 KB)

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