The professional standing of the replacement teacher in the education community: a country region's perspective
As Australian schools move towards the twenty-frrst century more attention is being drawn to the professionalism of teachers. This has led to the recent publication of two NBEET reports, Teacher Education in Australia (September 1990) and Australia's Teachers: A Blueprint for the 90's (January 1991). These reports recognise the need for a reconceptualisation and urgent action in regards to the initial training and continuing education of Australia's teachers. Each goes into considerable detail about the need, scope and format of programs of professional development, and each highlights the importance of Employer/Higher Education Institution co-operation in such programs.
The La Trobe University College of Northern Victoria and the Bendigo Regional Office of the Victorian Ministry of Education are in the process of developing this co-operation, especially in the post initial teacher education area. Through the Research Centre for Teacher Development at the La Trobe University College of Northern Victoria, a project is underway to develop this process in close consultation with, and the full co-operation of the Loddon Campaspe Mallee Regional Office. This paper reports on the initial outcome.
Fifty-eight Primary Replacement Teachers (RTs) responded to a questionnaire regarding their employment status, professional qualifications, days worked in 1989 and 1990, and their in-service involvement and in-service needs. The investigation was undertaken in order to provide local Ministry and University College personnel with information to assist in planning future in-service needs for this particular group of teachers.
In Victoria during 1990 the Ministry employed 40,000 teachers in primary, secondary and special schools. There is constantly a pool of 10,000 teachers on leave without pay from the Ministry. During the 1989-90 financial year 14,000 teachers were employed as Replacement Teachers in primary and secondary schools. Some of these Replacement Teachers came from the pool of teachers on leave without pay, but there is still a large group of teachers whose only source of employment is RT work.
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