How can preservice teachers be measured against advocated professional teaching standards?
Australia has had many inquiries into teaching and teacher education over the last decade. Standards for teaching have been produced by national education systems with many state systems following suit. The Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) advocates ten professional teaching standards for teachers and preservice teachers. How can preservice teachers be measured against advocated professional standards? This study investigated 106 second-year preservice teachers’ perceptions of their development against the QCT standards. A pretest-posttest survey instrument was developed based on the QCT standards and administered to these preservice teachers before and after their science education coursework. Percentages, ANOVAs and t-tests were generated to analyse the results. Findings indicated that 22 of the 24 paired pretest-posttest items were highly significant (p<.001). Percentage increases ranged from as low as 27% in the pretest to as high as 97% in the posttest, yet, there were two items with lower significance (i.e., working in professional science education teams and supporting students’ participation in society). Understanding preservice teachers’ perceptions of their abilities to implement these standards may be a step towards the process of determining the achievement of teaching standards; however, more rigorous measurements will need to be developed for both teachers and preservice teachers. University coursework and related assessments can provide an indication of achieving these standards, especially authentic assessment of preservice teachers’ practices.