What are fully developed teaching standards?

Standards are not fully developed until it has been made clear how they will be used to judge performance. Fully developed standards are benchmarks illustrating what counts as meeting the standards.

There are three steps in developing standards for purposes such as professional certification. These are:

  1. Defining the standards: (that is, what is to be assessed. This is the purpose of the Australian Professional Standards for Teaching.)
  2. Developing valid methods for gathering evidence about teaching: (that is, how performance against the standards will be assessed).
  3. Setting performance standards: (that is, how the evidence will be evaluated and how we will decide what counts as meeting the standard and define benchmarks).

Standards must not only describe what good teachers know and do (that is, what will be assessed), but also describe how evidence about capability and performance will be gathered, and how judgements will be made about whether the evidence shows that the standards have been met.

The purpose of the ACER Portfolio Project is to provide a basis for completing Steps 2 and 3.  In effect, the Portfolio Project will be aiming to provide fully developed examples of what counts as meeting the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers at the Highly Accomplished level.  This will involve developing rubrics defining levels of performance and identifying examples of portfolio entries that exemplify those performance levels. In other words, the Portfolio Project aims to set performance standards and illustrate the current content of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers in terms of performance benchmarks in particular fields of teaching.