Meeting the needs of diverse learners in the mainstream: Does ATAR forecast the capacity to meet graduate teaching standards?

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paper


Over the last decade, there has been a growing interest both nationally and internationally in the perceived quality of teachers graduating from initial teacher education programs. This interest is apparent both within the media and in an array of government reports into teaching and teacher education. Mostly, the focus is presented from a deficit perspective in terms of teacher capacity. Jurisdictions have responded in a number of ways to address the perceived deficits. Some examples of responses include establishing set graduation standards for graduate teachers, setting minimum requirements for achievement in different HSC subjects (NSW), establishing exit level literacy and numeracy testing programs for teacher education graduates, and suggesting that a minimum Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) be set to allow access to undergraduate teacher education programs. This paper reports on a research program involving final year teacher education students in NSW and explores the concept of using the student’s ATAR as a predictor of their performance on the Schema for Teaching Scale (STS). The STS employs schema theory within a validated scenario-based approach to determine the degree to which a schema for practice in a given domain has been developed. In this instance, the capability under investigation was the capacity of final year pre-service teachers to meet the needs of students with a disability in a mainstream classroom setting, as described in the Australian Professional Standards for teachers (2011). Results will be discussed in the context of using the ATAR and its corrolaries as measures to forecast an individual’s likely success as a classroom practitioner.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCoast to coast
Subtitle of host publicationLocations and directions in educational research
EditorsMargaret Baguley
Place of PublicationACT, Australia
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventAustralian Association for Research in Education: AARE 2015 - University of Notre Dame, Fremantle, Australia
Duration: 29 Nov 201503 Dec 2015 (conference program)


ConferenceAustralian Association for Research in Education
Internet address


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