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RATEP - a community based teacher education program

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An Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community based teacher education program
Mark Linkson and Gail Mitchell

Presentation at Yamaiyamarna Paitya | Teachers are deadly! 2012 national MATSITI conference, July 9-11, Tarndanya (Adelaide), 9-11 July.
More Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Teachers Initiative.

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RATEP - a community based teacher education program

  1. 1. RATEP – community based teacher education Adelaide, Tues 10 July 2012 Gail Mitchell - RATEP State Coordinator, Queensland Department of Education Training and Employment Mark Linkson - Coordinator, RATEP Diploma of Education (ATSI) 39241QLD, Tropical North Queensland TAFE
  2. 2. My journey so far…
  3. 3. RATEP – community based teacher education 1. Define RATEP: its aims, rationale, structure and procedures 2. Explore the cultural contexts of TAFE RATEP delivery 3. Identify barriers to study success and delivery positives from TAFE RATEP student destinations survey
  4. 4. What is RATEP? RATEP is a community based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teacher education program
  5. 5. Rationale for RATEP RATEP originated in 1990 as a direct response by government to the wishes of many remote QLD Indigenous communities for teacher training. Given isolation, dispersed nature and the small size of many remote Indigenous communities (and the likelihood of low numbers of students seeking enrolment in the program), a unique model of access and delivery was developed by EQ, JCU and Cairns TAFE. It was known as RATEP. The Remote Area Teacher Education Program. (York & Henderson: 2003) Poruma, Torres Strait
  6. 6. Rationale for RATEP Since 1990, RATEP has produced over 800 TAFE graduates and 150 JCU B.Ed.s! TNQTAFE graduation 2010
  7. 7. Aims of RATEP • To increase access to further and higher education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people • To increase the number of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander teachers in Qld schools ▲ RATEP Diploma Graduate ▲ Justin working as a classroom teacher. 2003, Justin Washington He is now Principal of Thallon SS.
  8. 8. Key Performance Indicators Similar to any long term strategic planning process and are frequently monitored: • Participating student numbers • Number of sites • Retention rates • Exiting student numbers / proportion • Increased employment of Indigenous registered teaching staff.
  9. 9. Structure of RATEP Certificate III in Education (ATSI) TNQTAFE – Years 11 & 12 (2 yrs) Students enter at the Certificate IV in Education (ATSI) appropriate TNQTAFE - 8 months (Mar-Nov) level depending on ability and Diploma of Education (ATSI) intention. TNQTAFE - 1 year fulltime (Jan- Dec) Bachelor of Education (Primary) JCU – 3.5 years full time
  10. 10. OFF-SITE MODEL OVERVIEW • Certificate IV in Education • Targeted at currently employed Teacher Aides • Small student cohort • ‘Elluminate’ training & use • Online assessment – training & use • ‘Linked school’ commitment • Part-time Support Tutor access • Dedicated Teacher Coordinator(distance) • Set block residential workshops • If pilot year successful, may expand to Diploma in 2013
  11. 11. Teacher Coordinators (TCs) DETE employs qualified teachers at each site who support students: • Teaching • Course Organisation • Administration • Student Support TCs are pivotal to the success of RATEP
  12. 12. Boigu Is. Poruma Bamaga Remote Some Aurukun Lockhart River RATEP site with TC past & Visiting TC Kowanyama presen Doomadgee Innisfail Regional t Dajarra RATEP Rockhampton sites Woorabinda Rural Birdsville Maryborough 1990 - 2012
  13. 13. How does RATEP work? Teleconferences Virtual classrooms Residentials Printed learning guides Online chats and forums On-site teachers / tutors Practicums Field trip Most RATEP sites are in primary schools, some in high schools
  14. 14. Indigenous cultures intrinsic Our stakeholders expect and demand that RATEP graduates will bring more to their communities, schools and classrooms than just effective teaching practices and curriculum knowledge. They want competent teachers who are strong in pedagogy and also strong in culture. RATEP graduates should be secure in their identities; and able to use and promote the use of Indigenous understandings and ways of knowing. RATEP delivery must affirm that “the education system” values their cultures and ways of knowing.
  15. 15. Valuable Indigenous community input •Applicant interview panels (EQ + TAFE + community) •Site Advisory Committees (EQ + RATEP students + community) •Community Advisory Board (TAFE + EQ + community) •Course Development Advisory Committee (all partners incl. community) •RATEP Management Committee (all partners incl. community)
  16. 16. Cultural contexts at TAFE TAFE RATEP aims to deliver Indigenous people the skills and knowledge to work as culturally relevant and aware teachers. We do this through: • Three teacher education themed VET level courses initiated by Qld Indigenous education stakeholders • Indigenous specific units • Culturally relevant delivery • Continuous improvement
  17. 17. TAFE RATEP awards We deliver specifically created VET level programs of study: 39239QLD Certificate III in Education (ATSI) 39240QLD Certificate IV in Education (ATSI) 39241QLD Diploma of Education (ATSI) These three awards were initiated by Indigenous education stakeholders in 2002 and written specifically for Indigenous people wishing to become teachers.
  18. 18. RATEP Vs Education Support Certificate III in Education Certificate III in Education Support Certificate IV in Education Certificate IV in Education Support Diploma of Education Diploma of Education Support 1. Aims to increase the number of Indigenous Aims to increase the number of trained teacher teachers in Queensland government schools. aides in Australian schools 2. Delivers and assesses the skills of teaching Delivers and assesses the skills of teacher aiding 3. Targets Indigenous people in order to Targets all Australians wishing to work in respond to government policies that look to schools as Teacher Aides improve workplace participation of Indigenous Australians. 4. Indigenous identity and cultural perspectives Indigenous identity and cultural perspectives are are intrinsic to many of the core competencies available in some elective competencies (pre-fixed AIED) and some of the electives
  19. 19. RATEP Vs Education Support Certificate III in Education Certificate III in Education Support Certificate IV in Education Certificate IV in Education Support Diploma of Education Diploma of Education Support 5. Indigenous identity and culture is embraced Indigenous identity and culture is not a priority and referenced throughout the courses including assessments and vocational placements (practicums). Indigenous knowledge is valued. 6. Literacy and numeracy units are CORE. The Literacy and numeracy units are ELECTIVES. teaching and learning of literacy and numeracy Students of CHC08 may complete their studies must be a priority for any program aiming to train without explicit attention to, or improvement of, future classroom teachers. their own literacy and numeracy skills. 7. A Community Advisory Board comprising No CAB Indigenous stakeholders MUST convene regularly to consider the cultural appropriateness of all aspects of delivery.
  20. 20. Indigenous specific units of competency Cert IV in Education AIED403B Develop and apply knowledge of science Task 1: Demonstrate understanding of two Indigenous science concepts Employment of an Elder as informant and assessor is encouraged
  21. 21. AIED504B Develop and apply knowledge of alternative educational pedagogies Student e, w nc hen I gai ned comments erie al mys a lot exp igin elf. T , I fo at e th h Abor rs, ab ;out cultu he N und I us wit k e s rally T trip out mo lk I ta ation wor struggle up English and rew was ey re abou reall a e t Ed uc eople’s t to give y is a rding to -openin e p ou no It made me r seco see g som es y ealise there is nd la that ach more to teac ngua te hing than jus ge teaching… t The NT trip was a life changing experience, I realised that what I went through was trivial. Was inspiring
  22. 22. Culturally relevant delivery • Indigenous staff as teachers / support officers provide role models and mentors for students • Indigenous specific units of competency • Learning Guides written by experienced, culturally-aware teachers that include references to diverse Indigenous lives and contexts. Regularly reviewed by the CAB. • All students have at least 2 teachers allocated to their studies, their EQ TC and the TAFE Coordinator of their course + subject teachers. • All the latest communication technology: SMS, online task submission and Elluminate (Blackboard)
  23. 23. Continuous improvement OUTCOME: In 2012, improved results reported by JCU for screened Diploma graduates entering B.Ed course.
  24. 24. Recruitment Potential RATEP students can include high school students, EQ staff (mostly Teacher Aides) and members of the local Indigenous Australian community. •RATEP TC promotes within their community and school •Word of mouth from students, families, school staff and community members •Jobs Expos and school careers nights •Advertising in local newspapers •TAFE RATEP always fielding enquiries •Systemic news items and publicity
  25. 25. Recruitment For 2012, TNQTAFE accepted over 200 applications for Cert III, IV and Diploma. All applicants must sit a Literacy and Numeracy pre-assessment. Levelled to ACSF Levels 3 and 4. Of those, over 150 were interviewed. Interviews occurred mainly face-to-face with TAFE and local school staff including a community member. Of those, around 100 were offered places.
  26. 26. Destinations survey TNQTAFE graduates CIII, IV, Dip Six years from 2005 - 2010 • 298 graduates who received 374 awards • 197 Diplomas, 124 Cert IV, 53 Cert III • 9 gained 3 awards, 58 gained 2 awards and 124 singles • 88% female (262), 12% male (36) • Half were over 30yrs old when first enrolled June 2012: 25 B.Ed. (4 more by end of year). This gives a B.Ed. success rate for Diploma graduates of approximately 15%
  27. 27. Destinations survey TNQTAFE graduates CIII, IV, Dip Six years from 2005 - 2010 298 graduates: 124 participated in the survey. Significantly for the B.Ed. success rate, how many decided to access the guaranteed articulation pathway to JCU? 124 interviewed: 56 began JCU studies (about half) This gives a B.Ed. success rate for those TAFE graduates who decide to continue studies with JCU of approximately 30%
  28. 28. Destinations survey B.Ed. success rate of 30% How acceptable is this figure of 30% success for all TAFE graduates who attempt JCU studies? 25 Qld Indigenous adults living in rural, regional and remote areas have gained their B.Eds since 2009. Without RATEP this number may well have been zero. Therefore the success rate of RATEP must be judged against the alternative; which for most of our students means NOT studying.
  29. 29. Destinations survey 2011 JCU RATEP B.Ed. graduates Pamai Gimini of Badu Island (Cert IV 2006, Diploma 2007) and MaryAnn Tamwoy of Darnley Island (Cert III 2005, Cert IV 2006, Diploma 2007). NB: nine other graduates in 2011
  30. 30. JCU Graduates Where are they now? Roles Number of people Teacher 85 Principal / Head of Campus / 10 Deputy Principal Project roles 6 Other Ed Qld roles 6 Other 44 Total 151 graduates
  31. 31. Destinations survey B.Ed. success rate of 30% Factors which must be taken into account when assessing this success rate: 3.Many students will take longer than 3.5 years to complete the B.Ed., so 2010 Diploma graduates may not complete until 2015+ 4.There are many barriers to success for our students which make this rate quite reasonable 5.Some Diploma graduates deferred – which means they may still eventually graduate 4. Some Diploma graduates enrolled in other Bachelor level courses (and lower) elsewhere
  32. 32. Destinations survey Barriers which inhibit success for our TAFE students furthering their studies to JCU 1. Family responsibilities 2. Financial difficulties 3. Literacy and numeracy challenges 4. Community responsibilities 5. Attending residentials 73% of students worked while studying; this is probably the most significant factor in slowing or stopping successful study.
  33. 33. Destinations survey TNQTAFE graduates CIII, IV, Dip Six years from 2005 - 2010 What happened to the other half of the TAFE graduates who did NOT attempt to go onto further tertiary studies? Of the 124 interviewed, 91 were currently employed and 7 were seeking employment. 50 of those were working with Education Queensland. That’s an employment rate of 75% This is a fantastic result for an initiative which at its core is an employment program!
  34. 34. Destinations survey Positive factors assisting study 1. Support from family and friends 2. One-on-one support from TC 3. Proximity to the RATEP site Motivations to study 1. Desire to become a teacher 2. Want to do their jobs better 3. Get a job 4. Attain permanency in the school 5. Act as a role model 6. Earn more income
  35. 35. Destinations survey Positive impact of RATEP studies • Improvement in self-confidence • More employable • Increased professionalism (in education) • Positive attitude to further study • Developed a broader understanding of the world • Increased community capacity building • Positive intergenerational impact (role models) • Combatted stereotypes • Improved parenting
  36. 36. Success factors in RATEP 1. On-site teachers (or at the very least tutors) based in the communities 2. Students have multiple layers of support (family, TC, peers at site, peers around the state, teachers and support officers) 3. Indigenous community aspirations and interests are central to all aspects of delivery and management 4. Overt documented school and community support before and during the life of each community site 5. Quality of the learning materials, delivery teams and approaches used (culturally relevant and academically rigorous)
  37. 37. Micheal Beale Graduate teacher 2011
  38. 38. Issues for discussion • financial support for students is critical but highly complex to administer and potentially very expensive • RATEP predominantly attracts women in the middle years of life: how do we encourage younger people and especially males? • what actions could address the 50% of TAFE graduates who do not continue their studies? • how might VET competency based training be tailored to mimic the academic study approaches of university? • how does the assumed 30% B.Ed. success rate for TAFE graduates compare with results for similar programs elsewhere?
  39. 39. Student Residentials Teacher – directed and learner - centred workshops with time to enjoy various tasks and form bonds with students and staff.
  40. 40. Classroom Experiences
  41. 41. RATEP Diploma field trip Thursday Island and Badu Island 2011
  42. 42. To learn more about RATEP You can contact the project team: Gail Mitchell Helen McDonald State Coordinator RATEP, DETE Director RATEP, JCU Gail.Mitchell@dete.qld.gov.au Helen.McDonald@jcu.edu.au Ian Hodges Mark Linkson Coordinator RATEP, TNQTAFE Coordinator Diploma, TNQTAFE Ian.Hodges@dete.qld.gov.au Mark.Linkson@dete.qld.gov.au www.ratep.eq.edu.au
  43. 43. Quality Indigenous teacher edn. is evidenced by an institution that: • has Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in positions relating to governance, leadership and management • provides academic support for students • provides financial support for students, including scholarships • provides personal support for students through counselling and advisory services • provides a culturally safe place to study • has high pass and retention rates that are the same for Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and other students • has Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures as highly visible and valued parts of the Institution • employs Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff • employs and trains skilled staff to be culturally competent. (M.Bat, PhD thesis 2011)
  44. 44. Quality Indigenous teacher edn. is evidenced by a curriculum that: • is accredited by the appropriate authority • has alternative entry pathways • has equitable entry selection processes • enrols people who are suitable to become teachers • has self-determination and emancipation as key outcomes • caters to a diverse range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians • is distinctly different from other degrees • is designed to be equitable in delivery not just in graduate outcomes • connects with the community at all levels of development and delivery • includes innovative practices that are aimed to increase engagement • is adequately resourced (M.Bat, PhD thesis 2011)
  45. 45. Quality Indigenous teacher edn. is evidenced by curriculum content that: • has Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges and cultures at its core • has Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages as part of the instruction • has a good balance between theory and practice • is focused on pedagogy • has a strong emphasis on curriculum planning and skills for reflection on practice • has a strong emphasis on literacy • teaches both phonics and whole language approaches to reading • has a strong emphasis on numeracy • has a strong emphasis on assessment • has a strong emphasis on teaching skills • has a strong emphasis on classroom management
  46. 46. Recruitment
  47. 47. Recruitment

An Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community based teacher education program Mark Linkson and Gail Mitchell Presentation at Yamaiyamarna Paitya | Teachers are deadly! 2012 national MATSITI conference, July 9-11, Tarndanya (Adelaide), 9-11 July. More Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Teachers Initiative.

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