The SETE research design employs a critical balance between large-scale quantitative research into teacher education programs and beginning teaching and longitudinal in-depth qualitative study of effective professional practice.There are four rounds of surveys of 2010 and 2011 graduate teachers, three rounds of these graduate teachers’ school principals, and up to five case study visits to 30 strategically selected schools in Victoria and Queensland. Sitting alongside this data collection is a national mapping of initial teacher education programs.
The findings from each teacher survey round are being examined alongside the case study data and surveys with principals in the teacher survey participants’ schools. Each subsequent survey has the advantage of being informed by the data from the immediately preceding surveys and from the case studies. These data are used to refine survey questions and to develop new ones that enable the exploration of beginning teacher experiences identified as their time in the workforce progresses. Although there is some variation in the questions asked in each survey, a number of key questions are constant to enable quantitative analysis of trends across the years.
Early in the project, a national mapping of initial teacher education programs was completed. The primary research goal of the mapping was 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.