Quality assurance of teacher education programs through benchmarking
Education and Arts
Education, Fogarty Learning Centre
In an era of accountability, universities are being encouraged to explore a range of quality assurance processes. In this context, Edith Cowan University (Western Australia) and Macquarie University (New South Wales) engaged in a benchmarking process, initially for a twelve month period, with a focus on their Bachelor of Education programs in Early Childhood Education. This paper presents the histories of the benchmarking project and the processes involved. It demonstrates how a process of "collegiate benchmarking" can lead to outcomes of improvements in teaching and learning as well as the development of communities of practice within and between benchmarking institutions. Details of the process of benchmarking and issues to consider are given to encourage others to undertake benchmarking in higher education, particularly of early childhood teacher education.