How university student–teachers for primary school learn about Department of Education Policy on child sexual abuse, and mandatory reporting: the sources of their professional information
Many regional and local Departments of Education in many countries now require their primary school teachers to be mandatory reporters of child sexual abuse. However, many student-teachers are not provided with courses on child protection and its policy requirements during their pre-service university education. So, how do student-teachers source, and develop, their professional information about this important role? This study examines an Australian university cohort of final 4th year bachelor of education primary school student-teachers, asking them to identify and clarify the nature of any relevant professional information they accessed over the 4 years of their teacher education. The results show that, in the absence of formal child protection courses, such professional information was scarce and sporadic. Student-teachers consistently indicated a pattern of not learning about essential Department of Education policies and procedures whilst at university. These results, although disappointing, provide a rationale for university curriculum planners to design appropriate pre-service university training courses that initiate, develop, and enhance student-teachers' professional competencies as mandated reporters of child sexual abuse.
Education not elsewhere classified