1. Student teachers are studying to enter a profession that seeks to ensure that teaching quality and professional standards are protected and supported. The profession achieves this through requiring the registration of teachers, as part of the framework for ensuring quality teaching and learning experiences for students in the classroom.
2. The compulsory registration requirements for teachers apply only to staff of registered private schools, state and integrated schools, free kindergartens and from 1 January 2005 the position of ‘person responsible’ in teacher-led early childhood centres.
3. However in supporting the professional requirements for teacher registration, the TEU believes that those who are supervising student teachers on their practicum must also be registered teachers.
4. Implicit in this position is the expectation that as registered teachers, practicum supervisors will have a comprehensive and current understanding of pedagogy, education theory and research, and the New Zealand curriculum. Supervisors should also have a thorough understanding of the course-related expectations and requirements that students must fulfil during practicum, as well as appropriate skills and expertise to observe different practicum contexts. Additionally we support supervisors of practicum being afforded opportunities to maintain the currency of their classroom skills and expertise, as part of their programme of professional development.
5. The TEU is of the opinion that practicum duties should be undertaken by staff employed on the programme, as we believe that this is the best way to ensure that programme content for the particular course is integrated into students’ practicum experience. We recognise that in some instances, flexibility to employ staff outside of the programme may be required (for example, within some early childhood education programmes). In general however programmes should be organised so that permanent teaching staff can fulfil these responsibilities, within the constraints of a fair and equitable workload.
6. We take this position on teacher registration because we believe that the same professional standards and practices that are monitored by teacher registration in the primary and compulsory sectors apply to the work of teacher education, and should therefore be part of the regulatory framework of this part of the profession.
As passed by Conference 9 November 2010