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Students as Partners in Curriculum Change

Friday 5 July: Conference day three, 10:30am – 11:00am parallel session



Room 9 – 3030-G23 MLT1



Deb Clarke
Charles Sturt University, Australia



In 2018, the Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA) was introduced as an accreditation requirement for Australian initial teacher education programs (AITSL, 2015). The TPA was justified as a means of robust assessment ensuring that graduates of Australian teacher education programs were effectively prepared to enter the profession. Thus, the TPA was designed to provide authentic evidence of teacher education students’ “competence or profession readiness” (Wyatt-Smith, 2018). The TPA is seen as a key mechanism by which Teacher Education (TE) programs demonstrate their impact on student learning, by gathering evidence that demonstrates their ability to design, implement and assess quality teaching and learning opportunities.


The Issue

Given the recent introduction of the TPA, academics teaching professional experience subjects and supporting TE students to prepare their TPA evidence sought resources and mechanisms to assist their students to design, compile and present their TPA. While several Australian universities engaged in a TPA Consortium project related to the TPA, our NSW regional university chose to implement the TPA with the input from our final year TE students. In this way, the students engaged as partners in the curriculum and resource design of their capstone assessment. Final year TE students participated in a sequence of scaffolded meetings with experienced TE academics and secondary school teachers to inform the design of the TPA Thinkspace website: a resource aimed at preparing them to produce their TPA.


Intended Outcome

The TPA Thinkspace has unreservedly supported TE students in the preparation of their TPA and was evaluated in the formal teaching evaluations associated with the Professional Experience subject. As a dynamic supportive resource, the TPA Thinkspace is updated each academic session based on the learning needs of the current final year TE cohort. This research points to the efficacy of drawing on student voice to inform curriculum design and resource support.



Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL). (2015). Accreditation of initial teacher education programs in Australia. Retrieved from
Wyatt-Smith, C. (2018). Graduate teacher Performance Assessment: An intervention project at the intersection of standards, professional knowledge and assessment. Australian Council for Educational Research, Research Conference. Retrieved from


Presentation topic

Students – Working in Partnership

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