[Note: These documents were developed and published by the Australian School Library Association. ASLA wishes to acknowledge the work done by the members of the Project Team who undertook this lengthy project.]
The Australian Institute for Teachers and School Leaders (AITSL) developed a set of professional standards for teachers in 2011. AITSL's Australian Professional Standards for Teachers identify teacher quality; they define the work of teachers and make explicit the elements of high-quality, effective teaching in 21st-century schools, which result in improved educational outcomes for students (AITSL 2012). The Standards cover three domains of teaching: professional knowledge, professional practice and professional engagement. Across the three domains there are a total of seven standards, each with its own set of focus areas, which are interconnected, interdependent and overlapping. Each focus area has a set of assigned descriptors for each of the four career stages of graduate, proficient, highly accomplished and lead. The career stages are benchmarks that recognise the professional growth of teachers throughout their careers.
The Australian School Library Association (ASLA) has long recognised the importance of professional standards and has been actively involved in the preparation, implementation and promotion of standards for teacher librarians for the past decade. ASLA was instrumental, with the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), in devising and preparing the Standards of professional excellence for teacher librarians launched in 2005. ASLA has also enjoyed a professional partnership with AITSL since its inception when AITSL first evolved under the banner of Teaching Australia.
The Policy Advisory Project Team (PAPT), under the auspices of ASLA, was directed to devise and develop a way for its members to connect with the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. A group of teacher librarians with a shared interest in the value and purpose of the Standards banded together to plan a way forward. Their collaboration has resulted in evidence guides for the Highly Accomplished and Proficient stages of AITSL's Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. Many hours have been given to the preparation of these documents. They have been devised, debated, discussed, changed and tweaked, all in a spirit of cooperation. These documents will assist teacher librarians to see where and how they can meet the Standards.
In these evidence guides each standard is listed with its associated foci and relevant descriptor. Added to this is a statement about the role of the teacher librarian and then a short list of examples of evidence. The examples given are by no means prescriptive. They give the teacher librarian a sense of how he/she might meet that standard.
You are invited to use these evidence guides when preparing your professional goals or setting your professional learning plans. These documents are not definitive and will be subject to a review. It is essential that these documents are used in conjunction with the official documents as supplied by AITSL. To access those documents visit http://www.teacherstandards.aitsl.edu.au/ (AITSL 2012)