Data Analysis

Data analysis

Mapping of initial teacher education

The national mapping of initial teacher education set out to investigate and capture a point in time overview of the key dimensions and characteristics of teacher education programs most relevant to the graduate teachers being surveyed. Key data from the mapping exercise were used to cross-tabulate with survey data.

The initial teacher education mapping data included:

  • provider, campus location, qualification, program title, length of program, program scope, mode of offering, program entry requirements, professional experience number of days, structure of practicum, subject specialisations, intake cycles, program overview, distinguishing features of programs, key graduate attributes, key area preparation as stand-alone, embedded or combined units.

Case studies

The case studies are providing rich qualitative data about graduate teachers’ perceptions of their effectiveness as beginning teachers and the value of their teacher preparation. Initial analyses have been conducted using Harré and van Langenhove’s Positioning Theory (1999), Gee’s work on identity as an analytical lens (2000-2001), and Heidegger’s understanding of practice and learning (1927). Cross case analysis is in progress. Findings highlight associations between key themes derived from the literature and dimensions of teacher education programs.

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Case study data includes:

      • teacher education information: qualification, program title, tertiary institution, program area, year of completion, domestic/international student, campus location, mode of study, reasons for selecting teaching, practicum components, specialist area qualifications, distinguishing features of programs
      • current situation: registration with TRA, in/outside teaching, seeking teaching employment, industry sector employment (if outside teaching), reasons for changes in employment, characteristics of location where currently teaching (size, socio-economics, cultural diversity), satisfaction with current situation and working conditions
      • teaching experience: employment type, length of employment, school location, school type, school sector, perceptions of preparation and effectiveness in key teaching areas, support in schools, responsibilities within schools, importance of practicum skills, importance of university-based units, success in influencing student learning, areas of greatest success, areas of greatest challenge
      • future plans: vision for three years’ time

Surveys

The quantitative component of the SETE project involves tracking 2010 and 2011 teacher education graduates in Queensland and Victoria through a series of four surveys over three calendar years, collecting data on the impact of pre-service and in-service education and experiences on teacher quality, supply and distribution. It is designed to examine the influence of initial teacher education on graduate teachers’ perceptions of their preparation and effectiveness across key areas and in diverse settings. The surveys provide a large-scale evidence base with which to inform policy on teacher education.

Survey questions are designed to provide research information on beginning teacher expectations and experiences and are framed around themes of curriculum, professional ethics, relationships with students, pedagogy, assessment, collegiality, professional learning, behaviour management, catering for diversity, and engagement with school stakeholders and local community. The participants identify links from these aspects of their teacher education programs to their experiences in the workplace. These questions use Likert-scale responses to ensure amenability to parametric statistical testing.

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Analysis of the survey data consisted of five components. The first is descriptive statistics, presented in table and/or graph format. The second is cross-tabulation of teacher and school demographic data with career and teacher education data to show key trends. The third is longitudinal analysis across the four surveys. The fourth is factor analysis of constructs within the surveys: attraction to teaching; preparation for teaching; and support in schools for early career teachers. Likert-scale responses for these items are used to ensure amenability to parametric statistical testing. Analyses to be conducted on the Likert-scale responses include analysis of each item in relation to the overall scale with the object of data reduction (i.e. principal component analysis) in order to use these constructs as new dependent variables to test for differences and interactions as a function of appropriately selected independent variables. The fifth component is regression analysis, which will be an assessment of the factors that influence retention and the rates of movement through and out of the teaching profession.
Sample representativeness has been tested against the whole cohort in each state. Data from the analysis of the initial survey was used in developing the framework for the case studies. Survey data is read alongside information about the key dimensions of respondents’ initial teacher education programs and characteristics of the schools in which the graduate teachers are employed.

Teacher survey data includes:

      • teacher demographic information: age, gender, ethnicity, Indigenous status, tertiary qualification, first in family
      • teacher education information: qualification, program title, tertiary institution, program area, year of completion, domestic/international student, campus location, mode of study, reasons for selecting teaching, practicum components, specialist area qualifications, distinguishing features of programs
      • current situation: registration with TRA, in/outside teaching, seeking teaching employment, industry sector employment (if outside teaching), reasons for changes in employment, characteristics of location where currently teaching (size, socio-economics, cultural diversity), satisfaction with current situation and working conditions
      • outside teaching experience: highest other qualification, industry experience, employment type, reasons for not seeking teaching employment
      • teaching experience: employment type, length of employment, school location, school type, school sector, perceptions of preparation and effectiveness in key teaching areas, support in schools, responsibilities within schools, importance of practicum skills, importance of university-based units, success in influencing student learning, areas of greatest success, areas of greatest challenge
      • future plans: intent to seek teaching employment in future, vision for three years’ time

The Principal survey data includes:

      • school demographic data: state/territory, sector, name, geographic location, EFT teachers, graduate teacher number, number of students, proportion of students with a disability, proportion of students from Indigenous backgrounds, proportion of students from language background other than English
      • individual graduate teachers: effectiveness in key teaching areas, responsibilities within schools, success in influencing student learning
      • graduate teachers in general: areas of greatest success, areas of greatest challenge, programs and program elements that better prepare graduates for teaching, school support for graduate teachers, university-school transitions, professional learning opportunities

School demographic data includes:

      • education department data – Government schools: state/territory, name, geographic location (LGA, national zone code), year range, school level (Primary, Secondary, Combined, Special), EFT teachers, graduate teacher number, EFT enrolments (male/female), Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage, proportion of students funded through the Program for Students with Disabilities (aggregate data only), proportion of students of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent, proportion of students from language background other than English
      • all schools database (The Write Response) – Government and non-government schools: state/territory, name, geographic location (LGA, Australian Standard Geographical Classification Remoteness Area), school level (Primary, Secondary, Combined, Special), school sector, Diocese (for Catholic schools), Actual Socio-economic Status Indicator (DEST ranking for non-government schools), year range, enrolment classification

Data triangulation includes:

      • teacher and principal surveys: perceptions of preparedness and effectiveness in key teaching areas, responsibilities within schools, success in influencing student learning, areas of greatest success, areas of greatest challenge, perceptions of school-based supports
      • initial teacher education mapping data: qualification with length of program, preparation and effectiveness in key teaching areas with key area preparation as stand-alone, embedded or combined units, preparation and effectiveness in key teaching areas with structure of practicum, characteristics of ITE program with current teaching employment and employment type
      • school demographics: geographic location, enrolment classification, Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage/ Actual Socio-economic Status indicator, proportion of students funded through the Program for Students with Disabilities (aggregate data only), proportion of students of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent, proportion of students from language background other than English
      • case studies: reading of the data referred to in the dot points immediately above against the patterns identified in the case studies regarding teacher education experiences, current situation, teaching experience and the graduate teachers future plans.

Cross-survey analysis includes:

    • teacher surveys: teaching successes and challenges, recommendation of program and satisfaction with employment overtime, employment type and career intentions overtime, teaching specialisations and areas taught overtime, influence on student learning overtime, and leadership overtime.
    • teacher and principal surveys: effectiveness in key teaching areas (principal and teacher perceptions) overtime, support in schools (teacher and principal perceptions) with effectiveness in key teaching areas (principal and teacher perceptions) point-in-time, support in schools (teacher and principal perceptions) with satisfaction with current situation and working conditions.