The Australian Government, in its Professional Standards for Teachers and Australian Curriculum framework, requires that all secondary teachers actively teach the specific literacy of their learning area. Yet achievement of that goal hinges on teachers having first acquired the pre-requisite literate competencies during their own schooling. There are reasons to doubt that this is the case for some graduate teachers, which means attempts to raise standards in schools are beset by a troubling circularity. Here we illustrate the problem with further findings from a Western Australian ITE Cohort Study (n=393), focussing this time on the word knowledge of secondary teaching graduates. Our analysis suggests that some secondary ITE students carry shortcomings from their own schooling that may hamper their ability to teach word knowledge or to self-correct. Current training and resources may thus have limited efficacy for some graduating teachers, placing limits on what can be achieved in schools. We consider the implications for literacy policies and for initial teacher education at secondary level.
Moon, B. R.,
Harris, B. R.,
& Hays, A.
Secondary Curriculum Literacy and Teacher Word-Knowledge: Further Findings from a Western Australian ITE Cohort Study.
Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 46(11).