How can Australia sustain middle-schooling education?

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Conference publication

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Middle schooling is a crucial area of education where adolescents experiencing physiological and psychological hanges require expert guidance. As more research evidence is provided about adolescent learning, teachers are considered pivotal to adolescents’ educational development. The two levels of implementing reform measures need to be targeted, that is, at the inservice and preservice teacher levels. This quantitative study employs a 40-item, five-part Likert scale survey to understand preservice teachers’ (n=142) perceptions of their confidence to teach in the middle school at the conclusion of their tertiary education. The survey instrument was developed from the literature with connections to the Queensland College of Teachers professional standards. Results indicated that they perceived themselves as capable of creating a positive classroom environment with seven items greater than 80%, except with behaviour management (<80% for two items) and they considered their pedagogical knowledge to be adequate (i.e., 7 out of 8 items >84%). Items associated with implementing middle schooling curriculum had varied responses (e.g., implementing literacy and numeracy were 74% while implementing learning with real-world connections was 91%). This information may assist coursework designers. For example, if significant percentages of preservice teachers indicate they believe they were not well prepared for assessment and reporting in the middle school then course designers can target these areas more effectively.