Drafting Professional Standards for Foundation-Level Tutors

Sunset chaser

Here’s what I’m working on at the moment – drafting professional standards for foundation-level tutors in Aotearoa New Zealand.

This is a short-term project involving a wide range of providers and experts from the foundation teaching sector and running through until the start of next year.

It’s broader than the work I’ve been doing in the adult literacy and numeracy education delivering professional development and training. And I’m loving it.

One of the best things about this project is that it allows us to build on the great work that many people have contributed to in this sector over the last 10 years.

The short version of where we’re at right now is that we have a solid infrastructure including professional qualifications, learning progressions, a national assessment tool, online learning and various kinds of professional activities happening around the place.

What we’re lacking though is a cohesive framework that allows us to pull it all together in a clear way.

Also, most other professionals including teachers have professional standards that they have to measure up to after gaining their credentials. There are lots of great models out there that we can learn from.

Hopefully, too, a set of professional standards for tutors delivering foundation-level training gives us a set of tools for designing bespoke approaches to tutor capability building and professional development.

And that’s one of the things we need next and I get kinda excited talking about it.

Organisations are not all the same and it follows that we need tools that help organisations and tutors design the kinds of professional development and capability building that works for them.

Sometimes this might include professional qualifications like our new content for the new NZCALNE (Voc) which you can have a look at on Pathways Awarua.

And sometimes it might include ways of validating the capabilities that tutors and others already have. If we can link these capabilities to the different qualifications that are out there it would be even better.

I’ll be sharing more about this work on a draft professional standards framework for foundation tutors as we engage with different providers and experts over the next few months.

For now though, here are a couple of details. Nothing is set in concrete, but at this stage, we’re looking at:

  1. Describing tutor capabilities for professional knowledge, practice, engagement and cultural capabilities.
  2. Four domains spanning literacy, numeracy, English language and employability skills.
  3. An explicit focus on tutor capabilities for working with priority adult learner groups including Maori, Pasifika and youth.

More to follow soon, but I’d love to hear your comments, ideas and feedback.

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