Thank you for being a part of this essential component of Initial Teacher Education. Professional
experience is critical to the preparation of graduate teachers. Site based teacher educators are
important contributors to the preparation of JCU teacher graduates. They contribute to the
foundation for JCU preservice teachers’ learning as educators, and provide experiences that
support learning and change. The contributions of site-based teacher educators are also vital to
professional renewal and reflect the goodwill and collegiality of our teacher communities.
This document realigns JCU Professional Experience Program to the new Queensland Professional
Experience Reporting Framework. It also responds to feedback from school community and JCU
preservice teachers. This handbook is informed by policy imperatives as well as best practice
literature in initial teacher education. Further, to give effect to JCU’s Strategic Intent and Goals,
we seek to prepare graduate teachers who are committed and responsive to meeting the needs
of people in the region.
Graduates of this program will engage ‘open-eyed’ and critically in the complex and creative
work of teaching; they will contribute to the wealth of the community they serve. Furthermore,
we seek to cultivate an ethic of care in JCU teacher graduates who, with dispositions of inquiry,
support the aspirations and lives of students and their communities. A key goal of professional
experience is to immerse preservice teachers in the exciting work of teaching to refine their
theoretical understandings of, and sensitivities to student learning that inform their teaching.
This handbook provides the guiding policy for ensuring
professional experience in Education at James Cook University
optimises professional learning. As noted by the Australian
Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL),
“Supported, authentic professional experience is categorised
by strong collegial interactions and focus on learning”. This
program is focussed on leadership, professional learning and
engagement based on the Australian Professional Standards
for Teachers (APST). It capitalizes on the potential of the rich
professional learning relationship between preservice teachers
(PSTs) and their Site-Based Teacher Educators (SBTEs). Its
developmental approach systematically supports preservice
teachers’ success. Its coteaching
principles promote theory
and practice alignment, improve pedagogical understanding
and reflective practice. This framework involves PSTs and SBTEs
learning through professional conversations, coplanning,
coteaching and coevaluating the professional experience.
We welcome feedback to continue to improve the quality of learning and teaching that our
communities expect of us.
Coteaching is a teacher preparation approach grounded in social constructivism. It is distinguished from the hyphenated term ‘co-teaching’ that is primarily
associated with special education. (See Murphy & Martin, 2015) However, for the purpose of grammar clarity, the hyphenated form is used in this