How Can Australia Sustain Middle School Education?

By Suzanne Hudson and Peter Hudson.

Published by The International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Middle school is a crucial area of education where adolescents experiencing physiological and psychological changes, and require expert guidance. As more research evidence is provided about adolescent learning, teachers are considered pivotal to adolescents’ educational development. Reform measures need to be targeted 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 a 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 a middle school 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 a significant percentages of preservice teachers indicate that they believe they were not well prepared for assessment and reporting at the middle school level, then course designers can target these areas more effectively.

Keywords: Middle School, Preservice, Teacher Education

International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp.31-41. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 312.363KB).

Dr. Suzanne Hudson

Lecturer, School of Education, Southern Cross University, Gold Coast Campus, QLD, Australia

Dr. Suzanne Hudson has been involved in teaching and teacher education preparation for over thirty years. Her research interests include innovations in teacher education (see www.tedd.net.au), teacher induction, mentoring, professional experience, teacher confidence, community engagement, and the middle years of schooling. Previously, Suzanne was the Program Coordinator for the Bachelor of Education at QUT’s, Caboolture campus. Currently, she is a teacher education academic working in the area of Professional Experience at Southern Cross University's, Gold Coast Campus.

Prof. Peter Hudson

Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, Queensland University of Technology, Caboolture, Queensland, Australia

Associate Professor Peter Hudson (PhD) has a teaching career spanning thirty-five years (http://staff.qut.edu.au/staff/hudsonpb), including ten years as a school principal and lecturing at universities. Hudson’s Mentoring for Effective Teaching (MET) model (http://tedd.net.au/mentoring-for-effective-teaching/) is at the forefront of his work in schools.