Vincent Wright

Publication Date



Quality teaching is the most significant systemic factor contributing to student achievement. Attracting, developing and retaining effective teachers are important goals for Australia as they are for all nations. Debate rages currently about criteria for selection of students into Initial Teacher Education (ITE). The Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) is promoted by some commentators as a useful selection measure. The data from six cohorts of students from undergraduate degree programmes at a Melbourne university campus were investigated to evaluate the validity of ATAR as a predictor of academic success and performance on school placement. ATAR was positively related to academic success for students in the three Bachelor of Education Primary cohorts but was weakly related for the three Early Childhood/Primary cohorts. Ratings of performance by associate teachers on placement were unrelated to ATAR for all six cohorts. Given less than one third of students nationally enter ITE on the basis of their ATAR the data suggest that a variety of selection methods and criteria are required and ensuring high standards within ITE courses is the best way to control for quality of graduates.

Document Type

Journal Article

Access Rights

ERA Access

Access may be restricted.