How ready are you? : a preliminary investigation into the workplace readiness of final-year education students at a regional university
One criticism of teacher-training programs is that they do not sufficiently prepare graduating teachers for the transition between higher education and the demands and practicalities of classroom teaching. This lack of workplace readiness or 'teacher ready' status of graduates has been attributed to insufficient pre-service practical experience and the failure of training programs to adequately coach pre-service teachers in the delivery of quality pedagogy (Nelson, 2005). On the other hand, the Australian Council of Deans of Education (2005, p. 3) argues that teacher-training programs should provide foundational knowledge and skills with the onus on the profession to build on these foundations and elevate the teacher 'to the point of full and complete practitioner-readiness'. Central Queensland University has tried to respond to these concerns through the introduction of the Bachelor of Learning Management. This paper reports on a preliminary investigation into the perceived strengths and weaknesses of the program in preparing graduates and enabling workplace readiness. Towards the end of 2005 a cohort of final year students was asked to identify their levels of confidence in the transition from university to work; and how the cohort could have been better prepared. It is intended that the issues identified will be translated into recommendations for future program improvements.