Curriculum Mapping, Teacher Retention and Continuity of Practice in Rural Queensland Schools
Historically teacher retention has been a significant problem in rural and remote schools in Queensland, Australia’s most de-centralized population base and second largest state. The current predicted climate of teacher shortage in Australia accentuates this problem, representing a greater challenge for rural and remote schools. This study suggests that the issue of continuity of practice in rural and remote schools is largely underestimated. By accepting teacher retention and continuity of practice as one and the same thing, the potential exists to overlook measures that can be effected to deal with the apparent inevitability of high staff turnover in rural and remote schools.
This is case study research using a ‘curriculum map’ in several rural schools. ‘Curriculum mapping’ is a planning template for curriculum delivery…what is taught and how it is taught in rural secondary schools. A major aim of curriculum mapping is to provide teachers that are new to rural and remote schools with awareness of the situational context of their new environments. Continuity issues need to be addressed to allow teachers in this transitional stage to get on with the provision of quality learning outcomes for students.
KEY WORDS: rural schooling, teacher retention, ‘situated pedagogies’, continuity of practice,
Michael Ogier (Australia)
department of education
Michael Ogier: My interest in rural and remote education is founded upon experiences as a teacher in the Queensland Education system in Australia.
The motivation for this study has been provided by practical experiences and observations in rural and remote locations in this state. After what has now become a ten year period I continually see the same sorts of issues, problems and challenges confronting rural education that I saw when I first moved to Thursday Island, in the Torres Strait, in 1994. In some respects the agendas have changed a little, many improvements have been achieved and on the whole I would estimate that the profile of rural and remote education has improved greatly over the past decade. A number of significant studies into rural and remote education have occurred and remote schools continue to enjoy the benefits of funding arrangements through a range of government sponsored initiatives
(30 min. Conference Paper, English)