Education policy in Australia and comparable countries requires that all secondary content teachers actively teach the literacy of their learning area and support the literacy development of students in their classes. In this paper we present evidence on the capacity of graduating teachers to meet that obligation. We review assessment data from 393 Initial Teacher Education students who completed a core unit in secondary curriculum literacy prior to graduation. We report that while the majority met the unit requirements, approximately 30% graduated as teachers with marginal or inadequate capacity to teach the literacy of their subject or support student learning through literacy. Approximately 12% of the sampled cohort failed the unit on their first attempt; yet 76% of those who failed went on to graduate. We show that such performance is consistent across the secondary disciplines included in the survey. We pose the questions as to whether secondary teachers with a marginal command of literacy strategies and poor literacy knowledge can be expected to provide effective literacy support, and whether education policy goals and provision of training in this area are therefore realistic.
Moon, B. R.,
Harris, B. R.,
& Hays, A.
Can Secondary Teaching Graduates Support Literacy in the Classroom? Evidence from Undergraduate Assignments.
Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 44(8).